BMW proclaims Mini E users 'delighted'

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BMW says early adopters of the Mini E in the US are delighted with their new electric car.

Details of a University of California study into the reactions of those taking part in the BMW leasing trial were released to coincide with the Washington Auto Show.

Only 57 of the 450 Mini E drivers took part in the report but the findings revealed that the car's limited range was sufficient for most trips, and that most households were using the Mini more than other vehicles available to them.

But as all the participants were self-selected some commentators have questioned the validity of the study; especially in light of a New York Times report which found several Mini E owners complaining about the car's falling range in freezing conditions.

BMW admitted that cold weather would cause reduce the Mini's range by 30 per cent, but that PR blip did not stop them touting the current study as evidence of the car's overall acceptance.

According to the University's findings, people were more concerned about the lack of room for passengers than the 70-100 mile range they were confined to on a full charge.
The respondents also reported that the Mini E's regenerative braking system was disconcerting at first, but most adapted to it over time.

All 450 Mini E users have charging stations installed in their homes as the car takes 23hrs to charge from a standard 110-volt US household socket.

The results of the Mini E leasing programme will feed into the BMWs forthcoming field trial of the BMW ActivE. That car, based on the current 1-series, will feature new technology designed to offer a more consistent driving range by cooling or heating the lithium-ion battery.