MINI E FIELD TRIAL
As a part of our commitment to MINIMALISM and the future of motoring, we?re proud to announce the first real-world test of the MINI E, a 100% electric, zero-emissions MINI.
For this year-long research program, we?re seeking a maximum of 500 select, pioneering spirits to lease a MINI E. Do you have the right stuff?LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MINI E FIELD TRIAL
WHAT'S THIS ALL ABOUT?
One thing we at MINI have never been afraid of is the unknown. In fact, the farther from the beaten path we stray, the happier we are. And so it?s in the spirit of discovery and our fierce commitment to MINIMALISM that we are excited to launch an official public field trial of the first, 100% electric, zero-emissions MINI.
But make no mistake about it. For right now, the MINI E is an experiment of sorts. While a handful of companies have recently pursued hybrid electric-gas engines, BMW Group is the first to use the latest generation of lithium-ion technology in an all-electric vehicle. So this is a big jump and it?s important to remember that there are still some considerable hurdles to clear before a pure electric car is ready for mass production. How well will the limited range of such a vehicle fit our busy lives? Will the batteries hold up under extended day-to-day use? Can they be made smaller, or charge quicker and go farther? These are all important questions we don?t have the answer to. Yet.
But with the help of up to 500 people with a taste for breaking new ground, we?re eager to explore the possibilities. Will you be one of our Motoring pioneers?
FIELD TRIAL DETAILS
WHY WE'RE DOING THIS
Unless ?burying your head in the sand? is a favorite hobby, you?d probably agree that certain elements of our modern lifestyle are ripe for reconsideration - namely, our heavy dependence on oil and the effect of emissions on our environment.
Luckily, this perspective comes naturally to us within the BMW Group. Whether it?s the 50 year-old MINI legacy as a more efficient motoring solution or the pursuit of hydrogen fueled BMW vehicles, finding innovative ways to use less while delivering more performance and fun has always been our priority. Within MINI we refer to this essential philosophy as ?MINIMALISM?, and it?s why we?re so excited to launch the MINI E Field Trial, where all the learning we gather will help inform the conceptualization and development of future mobility concepts within the BMW Group.
As we all become increasingly aware of the need for more efficient transportation solutions, we believe a pure electric vehicle holds great promise. Electric cars produce zero emissions and since the generation of electric power can rely on such a broad range of cleaner, renewable energy sources, the entire ecological footprint of an electric vehicle is kept to a minimum.
That said, we still have a long way to go before such a vehicle is truly ready for mass production. Issues such as limited driving ranges, battery technology costs, relatively lengthy charging times and the lack of public and private infrastructure of high-voltage charging stations are all very real hurdles that need to be cleared before a car like the MINI E would be ready for widespread use.
But attempting to address and improve on a variety of those issues is precisely the reason why we?re taking this giant first step of a real-world, public Field Trial. We hope you have the right stuff to become one of the Motoring pioneers who help us chart this exciting journey towards the future.
FIELD TRIAL REQUIREMENTS
Due to the high demand for the limited number of Field Trial openings, the application period will only be open from now until December 10th.
LIMITED SCOPE AND GEOGRAPHY
The initial numbers will be relatively small, with a maximum of 500 MINI E trial vehicles, MINI E will be available in:
Due to the program?s orientation towards research and the innovative nature of the MINI E itself, there are some unique requirements for all selected Field Trial participants:
PROGRAM LEASE TERMS AND BENEFITS
Again, given the exploratory stage of the program, there will be several distinctive parameters to the MINI E Field Trial lease:
Length of lease: 1 year*
Cost of lease: $850/month (financed through MINI Financial Services)**
Collision Coverage: Included***
Maintenance and Roadside Assistance: Included****
Additional benefits: In addition to the obvious cost savings from not needing to buy gas, MINI E owners may also benefit from additional incentives for alternative fuel vehicles. But you?ll need to check with your local state for specifics:
* Exactly one (1) year from the date of delivery, Field Trial participants must return their MINI E to their MINI dealership. Typically, the vast majority of our owners develop incredibly strong psychological and emotional bonds with their MINIs, and we expect this act of returning their MINI E back in to be incredibly difficult. So we are preparing for this and will offer Field Trial participants a medically approved ?Motoring Transition Kit.?
It?s also important to note that while there have been mentions in the press about the possibility of a lease extension, as of right now there are no such plans in place. So if you?re selected, plan on it being just a 1-year term. Think of it more as an exchange student rather than one of your own children.
** Tax, title and registration fees will also be due upon delivery of the vehicle. In NY/NJ Metro, sales tax will also be required up front. In California, sales tax will be added to the monthly payment of $850.
*** Don?t worry about Collision coverage; we?ll take care of that, but participants will need to show proof of Liability Insurance. And while it?s certainly OK to keep your existing Liability Insurance, some carriers have issues not including collision on the policy. In this case, we have partnered with Liberty Mutual to offer all MINI E Field Trial participants complete insurance coverage if needed.
**** Being a Field Trial and all, applicants should be aware that there’s the chance there may be a few glitches with the MINI E. But we’ll be right there if anything happens to go wrong. In case of an accident, we’ll cover all repair costs (except intent/gross negligence), however we do reserve the right to repair any MINI E Field Trial vehicle at our own discretion. Due to the limited number cars, we can’t ensure that a participant will be able to get another MINI E in the event of any significant problem.
LIFE WITH A MINI E
2-SEATER WITH EXTENDED RANGE*
At the current stage of development, the pure-electric drivetrain of the MINI E offers certain conveniences and the great advantage of much lower energy costs with zero-emissions. There are, however, some tradeoffs that will be critical for Field Trial participants to keep in mind.
First up: due to the size of the battery cells, the MINI E only has proper seating for two people ? a driver plus one passenger. And due the location of the batteries in the vehicle, the MINI E has less maximum storage capacity than a typical MINI hardtop.
Secondly, in its current stage of development, the MINI E?s lithium-ion power source achieved a range of approximately 156 miles on a single charge during optimal laboratory testing*, however motorers will likely get between 100-120 miles based on normal driving style and conditions. It?s important to note that the 100-120 mile range is well above the 60 miles that the average person living in a metro or suburban area drives in a given day. But obviously motorers will need to plan their driving (accounting for entire round-trip distances) accordingly and will most likely want to have access to other transportation, because as you?ll read in the next section, there are also certain restrictions presented by the recharging process.
* 156 under ideal conditions. Vehicles were tested according to California Test Procedures for 2005 and subsequent Zero-Emission Vehicles, amended December 19, 2003.
One of the obvious advantages of the 100% electric MINI E is the fuel-cost savings it provides over a gas-powered car. But there?s also the convenience factor of being able to recharge daily, right from your own home instead of needing to visit a gas station. Though at roughly 3 hours, recharging will take more time than filling up on a tank of gas.
The other important thing to keep in mind is that for the duration of the Field Trial, participants will need to use the dedicated MINI E Charging Station that we will install in their garage.
In effect, what this means is that unless motorers are going to visit another MINI E Field Trial participant, they won?t be able to take their MINI E on long trips farther than 50-60 miles away, since they?ll need to recharge it at the wall box in their home. The battery will not lose its charge when not in use, so motorers can still take the MINI E away on over night trips, just as long as they can make it back to a wall box before the batteries are fully discharged.
THE MINI E DRIVING EXPERIENCE
With a nearly perfect 50/50 weight balance ratio, wheels all-the-way-at-the-corners and a specially tuned suspension, a MINI E will deliver the same tight, nimble handling that its petrol powered cousins are known for around the world. But for drivers new to a pure electric vehicle, there are a few things that might take some getting used to as well.
RAPID ACCELERATION WITH A QUIET RIDE
With 201 hp at its disposal, the MINI E provides plenty of punch and can effortlessly climb to its electronically limited max speed of 95 MPH. But one of the most striking features for first-time drivers of the MINI E is how incredibly quick the acceleration truly is. That?s because with an electric motor, the vehicle is able to reach its peak torque levels almost immediately before leveling off.
However, all this immediate power combined with an almost silent motor may be disconcerting at first. When you pull away from a stoplight quickly, it might surprise you to learn just how much sensory feedback the sounds of a traditional engine provide to help indicate you?re going faster. So in a MINI E, it can feel odd to be speeding up so quickly but have the car be so quiet.
This lack of engine noise also means it?s important to keep your eye on the speedometer and be alert to your surroundings, since those typical engine sounds aren?t there to help keep you in check or cue the hearing impaired and children that a car is coming.
One of the other innovative technologies in the MINI E is called Regenerative Braking, a system designed to help slow the vehicle while capturing a portion of the motor?s kinetic energy. When you take your foot off the gas pedal, the electric motor will essentially act like a generator, reversing itself and using the friction it generates as a brake-force, almost like downshifting in a gas-powered car. In some instances it will even trigger the vehicle?s brake lights. So, while we?re all used to a car slowing down a bit when you take your foot off the gas, in the MINI E, the resulting slowing of momentum is dramatic (if you?ve ever driven a golf cart, the sensation might be somewhat familiar). In fact, in some environments, up to 75% of all your deceleration can be done without ever touching the brake pedal.
In addition to providing an extremely seamless driving experience, the Regenerative Braking system boosts the vehicle?s efficiency by putting the kinetic energy it recuperates from the motor to good use. And by feeding it back into the battery cell, the MINI E?s range can be extended by up to 20%.
SPECS AND EQUIPMENT
* electronically limited
** US Federal Test Procedure, also referred to as UDDS (Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule). Vehicles were tested according to California Test Procedures for 2005 and subsequent Zero-Emission Vehicles, amended December 19, 2003.
ABOUT THE FIELD TRIAL
HOW MUCH IS THE MINI FIELD TRIAL LEASE?
$850* a month for 1-year through MINI Financial Services. But you won?t be paying for gas, collision coverage or maintenance, and as the owner of an electric vehicle, you might be eligible for other benefits like preferred parking and access to the HOV commuting lanes.
* $850 cash due at signing covering first month?s lease payment of $850. Excludes amounts payable for title, registration and license fees which are due upfront. In NY & NJ, sales tax is also due upfront. In CA, the monthly payment will be $850 plus the monthly sales tax.
WHAT?S REQUIRED OF MINI E FIELD TRIAL PARTICIPANTS?
To be eligible for the MINI E Field Trial, you need to be a resident of the LA or NY/NJ metro areas and meet each of our fairly extensive list of requirements, including things like access to a garage, providing monthly feedback to our research teams, having updated electrical wiring in your home (or being willing to pay for upgrades) and having access to backup transportation options.
For the full list of requirements, be sure to visit the FIELD TRIAL DETAILS section of this site.
WILL MINI E FIELD TRIAL PARTICIPANTS NEED TO PROVIDE ANY FEEDBACK TO MINI?
The MINI E is going to teach us a lot about bringing an all-electric vehicle to the market. To help us better understand the impact of this vehicle, Field Trial participants will be asked to provide additional information about their experience to our research teams. Additionally, a data logging device may be installed in the vehicle, allowing us to measure performance data, such as how much power the MINI E is using, how far people generally drive, etc. But rest assured, this information is for MINI E related research only, and personal information will never be shared with any third parties.
DO FIELD TRIAL PARTICIPANTS HAVE TO HAVE PRIOR EXPERIENCE WITH A HYBRID OR ELECTRIC VEHICLE?
No. You only need experience driving a car. It works pretty much the same. Acceleration and deceleration takes some getting used to and we?ll help you with the ?plugging in? part. Other than that, you?ll just need to be aware of the vehicle?s battery range and remember to plug it in every day to recharge.
HOW ARE YOU CHOOSING THE FIELD TRIAL PARTICIPANTS?
Contrary to some rumors out there in the blogosphere, we?re not simply giving the vehicles to well-connected celebrities. We?re seeking up to 500 pioneering motorers who possess the enthusiasm and patience to help make the MINI E Field Trial a success. And that?s why the Field Trial Application process is so thorough.
In addition to meeting a very detailed list of mandatory requirements, we need to make sure we?re finding a diverse group of people who sincerely want to help us plot the course to the future. This is an incredibly important program for MINI and the BMW Group and selecting Field Trial participants who understand that and understand the project?s research oriented nature is critical.
HOW WILL YOU KNOW WHETHER AN APPLICANT?S HOME HAS AN UPDATED ELECTRICAL WIRING SYSTEM?
If selected to participate in the Field Trial, we will send a licensed electrician to your home to inspect the electrical system. If he determines that a upgrade is needed, you can either decide to pay for the necessary work (which could run up to a few thousand dollars) or opt out of the program.
But MINI will pay for the standard installation of the wall box (charging station). For more information about charging the vehicle, refer to the section in DAY TO DAY USE.
WHY ARE THERE ONLY UP TO 500 MINI E VEHICLES AVAILABLE?
We?d love to make more. But the simple reality is that right now 100% electric vehicles need testing in the field before they?re ready for mass production. That?s why we?re conducting this limited Field Trial with the MINI E to learn more about how they perform in real-world, day-to-day situations.
WHY IS THE MINI E ONLY AVAILABLE IN SUCH LIMITED AREAS?
There?s a significant amount of effort required to maintain the program, including installation of the wall boxes, specially trained personnel and specialized facilities for servicing the vehicles. And all that work meant that for now, in the field trial stage of this vehicle?s evolution, we could only really run the program efficiently if it was limited to just a few specific areas.
As for why we ended up choosing the LA and NY/NJ Metro areas, there were a couple deciding factors. First off, it?s important to remember that the MINI E has a fairly limited range. While it achieved a range of 156 miles on a single charge during optimal laboratory testing*, motorers will likely get between 100-120 miles based on normal driving style and conditions. So that means that it?s ideally suited for dense urban areas where typical drivers don?t drive long distances each day. Secondly, a location in California made a lot of sense given the state?s progressive climate legislation. Then, to help make sure we were collecting data from a diverse range of climates and driving environments, we chose the NY/NJ Metro area. Lastly, both regions made a lot of sense because of the high number of MINI dealers in each area who could help provide the attentive service infrastructure necessary in a field trial program such as this.
* 156 miles under ideal conditions. Vehicles were tested according to California Test Procedures for 2005 and subsequent Zero-Emission Vehicles, amended December 19, 2003.
HOW RELIABLE IS THE MINI E?
Generally, with fewer parts in the vehicle the reliability increases. As this vehicle has fewer parts than its MINI counterpart we expect this vehicle to have a good reliability record.
It will be important for people to remember that this is a field trial and although extensive testing has already been done, this program is the first time the MINI E will be tested for an extended period under real-life conditions. So, there are bound to be some hiccups now and then. But we?ll be providing Roadside Assistance and specially trained personnel to service the vehicles whenever something goes wrong.
And as motoring pioneers, Field Trial participants will proudly go down in MINI history as a widely respected group who helped pave the road to the future for us all.
ARE THERE SPECIAL INCENTIVES FOR DRIVERS OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES?
In addition to the obvious cost savings from not needing to buy gas, MINI E owners may also benefit from additional incentives for alternative fuel vehicles. But you?ll need to check with your local authorities for specifics:
WHY DO FIELD TRIAL PARTICIPANTS NEED A GARAGE?
A garage is needed to install the high-voltage wall box that charges the MINI E. On-street parking is not an option.
HOW MUCH SPACE DO I NEED IN MY GARAGE FOR THE CHARGING UNIT?
You?ll need approximately 4 square feet of available and easily accessible wall space for the 2 X 2 wall box. The wall box will have a 21' cable, allowing you to place the unit where you have space on the wall and still be able to reach the car. The cable will plug in where the gas tank filler would normally be.
WHY ISN?T THE MINI E AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE?
For now, the all-electric MINI E is still very much in the research phase. So making them available for just a 1-year, Field Trial lease makes the most sense. Frankly, at this stage, we?re not really sure about the long term endurance of the MINI E?s batteries. By taking them back after each Field Trial lease ends, we?ll be able to gather valuable data from extended real-world conditions and work towards engineering a longer-term alternative energy vehicle solution.
WHY ISN?T THERE AN ELECTRIC CLUBMAN?
When we were engineering the MINI E, we felt strongly that, for now, the MINI Clubman?s design had two big disadvantages: first, the MINI Clubman is heavier than a MINI Hardtop (an additional 165 lbs in the case of the Cooper S version).. On top of that, the battery takes up a good portion of the rear seat, and we felt that the MINI Clubman?s club door would be nowhere near as practical without a back seat.
WHAT IF I REALLY, REALLY WANTED TO BE A FIELD TRIAL PARTICIPANT BUT WASN?T SELECTED?
First of all, we?d like to sincerely thank you for your interest and we?re sorry we don?t have more of them to go around. Other than that, we?d recommend signing up to receive MINI emails with any updates we might have on the MINI E Field Trial.
And we?d of course recommend taking a MINI Cooper or MINI Cooper S for a spin. They may not be all-electric, but you can rest assured you?ll be enjoying some of the best gas-mileage available on the market today, and having a ton of fun whenever you motor.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE THE MINI E TO CHARGE?
Using the high-voltage wall box we?ll install in the garage of all Field Trial participants, it will only take about 3 hours to fully charge the MINI E.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST LIMITATIONS OF THE MINI E?
The most important thing MINI E drivers need to keep in mind is the vehicle?s fairly limited range. While it achieved 156 miles on a full battery charge during optimal laboratory testing*, motorers will likely get between 100-120 miles based on normal driving style and conditions. That means the entire round-trip shouldn?t be more than 100 miles from your home, because there won?t be any spots away from your home to re-charge the vehicle.
Other than that, people should be aware that the MINI E is essentially a 2-seater with limited cargo space in the back.
* 156 miles under ideal conditions. Vehicles were tested according to California Test Procedures for 2005 and subsequent Zero-Emission Vehicles, amended December 19, 2003.
CAN I CHARGE THE MINI E FROM A REGULAR WALL OUTLET?
The best way to charge the vehicle is through the high-voltage wall box installed in the garage, however, a 110V cable will be provided for occasional use only. Keep in mind, it does take a long time using the 110V cable (26+ hours) and it also requires a few setting adjustments to the vehicle, which is why you would want to use the wall box installed in the garage to charge it. If you?re chosen as a Field Trial participant, we?ll give you the specific charging instructions.
CAN I USE PUBLIC CHARGING STATIONS?
To charge the MINI E in the shortest amount of time, you?ll need to use the wall box installed in your garage with the tethered cable. It has a special plug to fit the MINI E and right now most public charging stations are not outfitted with a compatible cable.
HOW DOES THE WALL BOX CHARGING STATION WORK?
To charge the MINI E, you plug it into the 240V/ 48 Amp wall box engineered specifically for this purpose. The MINI E has a maximum charging rate of 48 ampere and you can expect an average charging time of 3 hours or a bit more if the battery has been run down to almost 0%.
IF MY MINI E?S BATTERY RUNS OUT OF POWER, WILL I BE CHARGED TO TOW IT BACK TO MY HOUSE?
If you were driving within the accepted range of the vehicle (meaning a radius of roughly 60 miles from your home) and your MINI E dies, this would be covered. A good rule of thumb is to always stay within the recommended range.
IF MY CAR REQUIRES SERVICE, WILL I GET ANOTHER MINI E?
Unfortunately you won?t be able to get another MINI E due to the limited number of MINI E cars available. In that event you will be provided with alternate transportation options.
ARE THERE WAYS TO EXTEND THE BATTERY CHARGE AND RANGE OF THE MINI E? ARE THERE CERTAIN DRIVING HABITS OR CONDITIONS THAT WILL MAKE THE BATTERY LOSE ITS CHARGE QUICKER?
The battery charge is what it is, it cannot be changed. There are no conditions known to us at this stage which make the battery lose its charge more quickly. With a MINI E in perfect condition, the battery will not lose any charge even if left in the garage for a long period of time. However the range of the MINI E can be influenced by your driving habits.
Here?s a few tips: As the car decelerates, it recovers more energy thus recharging your battery. In low speed conditions the efficiency of the electric motor is higher than in high speed conditions, so if you accelerate quickly, it could affect your range.
HOW MUCH WEIGHT CAN I PUT IN THE MINI E?
The total additional weight which can be added to the empty MINI E is 430 lbs. This includes the weight of the driver and the passenger.
ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON WHAT CAN BE CARRIED IN THE BACK OF THE MINI E?
You can carry anything in the back of the MINI E, just make sure you don?t put anything on top of the battery box or block ?the domes? behind each front seat that help maintain air flow and cool the batteries. And be careful that any unsecured objects in the back won?t be sent flying around the cabin in the event of a sudden stop.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO DRIVE THE MINI E?
Thanks to an electric motor that reaches peak-torque almost immediately, acceleration in the MINI E is incredibly quick, quiet and smooth. Another unique feature is the vehicle?s regenerative braking system that transfers the kinetic energy from the motor?s momentum back into the battery supply whenever you take your foot off the gas. The electric motor will then essentially act like a generator, reversing itself and using the friction it generates as a brake-force, almost like downshifting in a gas-powered car. The result is that you can effectively ?brake? the car in about 75% of driving conditions without actually touching the brake pedal.
Other than that, the MINI E handles very similarly to its conventionally powered cousins, with incredibly tight and nimble handling and smile inducing exhilaration every time you bite into a sharp corner.
DOES THE MINI E?S PERFORMANCE CHANGE DEPENDING ON THE BATTERY CHARGE LEVEL?
Yes. In order to protect the battery, when the charge level goes below 10%, the MINI E?s performance becomes slightly weaker.
WHY IS THE MINI E SO QUIET?
Without a conventional combustion-engine under its hood and with no pistons firing and exhaust to dispel, the MINI E is very quiet. It can be a little strange at first, since much of the auditory feedback we receive while accelerating is one way we can tell we?re going faster. But everyone gets used to it pretty quickly. You should, though, pay extra attention to your surroundings, since young children or pedestrians won?t have those same noise cues either to let them know there?s a car coming.
ASSUMING I CHARGE MY VEHICLE EVERY DAY, WHAT WILL IT COST ME VERSUS GASOLINE?
Here?s an example:
Let's say you drive about 40 miles every day - 20 to and from work during the week, and 40 miles running errands both Saturday and Sunday. That's roughly 1200 miles a month.
The battery on the MINI E holds enough charge to last approximately 100 miles depending on driving style and conditions. Ideally, if you?re charging every night (which is recommended) you?re charging only what you?ve used on your round trip for that day. The 40 miles is about 13.3 kWhr of power, so at $0.15/kWhr of electricity (a good round number, what you pay per kilowatt hour varies depending on where you live, just like gas), it will cost you about $2.00 to charge your MINI E every day, or roughly $62 per month.
Now, if you drive a car that gets 28 mpg you?re using roughly 43 gallons of gas per month to go the same distance, at $2.50 a gallon, that?s $107 a month.
The take-away: it?s about 40% cheaper using the MINI E.
HOW DO ELECTRIC VEHICLE?S WORK?
Basically, the heart of an EV has 3 main components: the batteries, the electric motor controller, and the electric motor. The controller takes power from the batteries and delivers it to the motor. The batteries of an EV can vary in type, number, voltage and placement. The different battery types available now are Nickel-Cadmium, Nickel metal hydride, Lithium Ion, and Lead acid. To recharge the batteries, there is a charger component on the car which takes the electricity from a power source (ultimately the power plant) and converts it from alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) that is stored inside the battery.
From there, the power is delivered to the electric motor via the motor controller, based on the driver?s inputs.
SAFETY & ENVIRONMENT
IS THE MINI E AS SAFE AS TRADITIONAL GAS-POWERED VEHICLES?
Certainly. In order to be allowed on the road, all electric vehicles must meet all National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requirements and undergo extensive crash tests. The battery has safety features that prevent overheating scenarios. Nevertheless, only MINI E Specialists should work on these vehicles. No aftermarket parts should be installed in these vehicles that would change its energy consumption characteristics.
IS THERE ANY CHANCE OF THE PASSENGERS RECEIVING AN ELECTRIC SHOCK?
No. The lithium-ion batteries have been securely sealed and all high-voltage circuits are protected from casual contact, so make sure you keep the batteries sealed and don?t try to work on the car yourself. High-voltage circuits are marked, color-coded and posted with warnings to advise of their presence. These vehicles pose no additional risks over a conventional vehicle.
And though we wouldn?t recommend driving the MINI E in your bathtub, they?re fine in the rain.
CAN PEOPLE WITH PACEMAKERS RIDE IN A MINI E?
Yes. The electric components of the vehicle will not affect anyone?s pacemaker
(though the exhilarating handling of all MINIs has been known to make more than a few motoring hearts skip a beat.) But remember, to be safe, don?t try to work on the car yourself and keep the battery compartment sealed.
WHAT?S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A 100% ELECTRIC VEHICLE AND HYBRIDS?
100% Electric Vehicles (EVs) are cars that run on electricity stored in batteries and they?re often confused with hybrid electric vehicles which combine an internal combustion engine with a battery. EVs are truly zero emission cars because they have no tailpipe exhaust and no evaporative emissions from fuel systems. Manufacturers have developed a broad spectrum of EVs ? from neighborhood electric cars which can be used for short trips around town to full function electric cars like the MINI E, which can be used for longer trips and have the body of conventional cars.
Hybrids charge the electric battery using energy from the traditional engine and then only rely on the electric motor in selective situations, such as low speeds. Plug-in Hybrids provide expanded use of the electric motor, but still rely on the gas engine to extend the vehicle?s range.
WHAT ARE THE ENVIRONMENTAL ADVANTAGES OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES?
The two biggest advantages of EVs are that they do not depend on imported oil for fuel and they do not emit any tailpipe exhaust, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions. On average, someone using an electric vehicle with a 30-mile daily commute could reduce gasoline consumption by an estimated 750 gallons per year. And even taking into consideration emissions generated at the power plant supplying electricity, EVs are up to 90% cleaner than the average gasoline vehicle with the possibility of 100% emission-free driving when charged with electricity which has been generated in a fully regenerative manner, e.g. electricity from wind, water, etc.