We have had a bit of a fascination with the MINI E here at This could be because the MINI is just generally irresistible in all its charm and size, but I think it is really deeper than that. The MINI E is really the only electric vehicle (today) that embodies the pleasure of motoring and is still promises to be somewhat affordable when it is released.

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The MINI E is one of the few electric cars that doesn’t take on the ultra aerodynamic looks of say a Prius or Volt. Instead it takes its design cues from an existing best seller more in the vain of the Tesla/Lotus connection. There was some doubt if an electric vehicle like the MINI E could live up to consumer expectations, but that doubt seems to be lessening with the early results of a study released by BMW recently.

As our partner site reported earlier this week, BMW in conjunction with the University of California-Davis conducted a study of 57 MINI E drivers who leased the electric vehicle. As mention above, these are early results, but so far the feedback is pretty positive. The conclusions from the study include confirmation that the 100 mile range is enough for most daily use, home charging is more important than public charging stations, it works more or less like a real car and is fun to drive.

Case closed. Okay, so that was only the positive feedback, but even that is a big win for MINI and electric cars in general. There are some challenges that still have to be addressed however. Users said in the survey that the repair and service access and completion times could be frustrating and drivers in cold weather climates are experiencing a fairly severe reduction in mileage. Of course, there is also the complaint of a lack of cargo space, but you are driving a MINI afterall.

Bottom line—the MINI E is proving to 450 consumers that an electric car can be viable and fun to drive. I can tell you that it suites my 20-something tastes much better than the 2010 Toyota Prius.


Be sure to check out all the feedback on the MINI E at and more on the cold weather range issues at