From June 2009 to June 2010 I had the privilege of Driving an All Electric MIMI E for a year, it was a great experience, and got me hooked on electric cars. I've since moved on to other electric cars which I will blog about.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

MINI E Test Drive

I drove the MINI E today.
Found out my MINI dealership had 2 MINI E's there today for a few hours, and I stopped by for a test drive, of car number 419
One word that best describes the experience is smooth. This car accelerates like no car I've ever driven before, you hit the gas and it just keeps on accelerating at the same rate without any of the jerkiness your familiar with in gas engines. and at low speeds the acceleration rivals my 6 cylinder Z3 sports car which gives you a shot of acceleration, then a dead spot as you shift, then another dash of acceleration then a dead spot as you shift. I bet unless your facing a professional driver you could bet most cars from 0-30 just because you never have to shift.
The quietness is very strange the first time you start to move, but by the end of my drive it seemed almost normal, until I left in my own car;)
The Regenerative braking was not as big an issue as I had thought it would be, first off Its not an immediate take your foot off the gas and your slamed with deceleration which some reviewers seemed to suggest, there is a noticeable maybe 1 second delay from when you take your foot fully off the accelerator until the regenerative breaking kicks in, at first I thought this might be a problem but then I realized, it helped you make sure you really wanted to break, and didnt just need to shake out a foot cramp, or reduce your acceleration slightly. And you can apply the regenerative breaking slowly, by reducing the pressure on the accelerator just a little bit you get a slow deceleration. By the end of the drive I was able to judge the breaking distance easily and was breaking without touching the break petal at all.
The only down side was that with my erratic driving, jaming on the accelerator then taking my foot off to feel the breaking I dropped the car's charge by 5% after only going 3 miles, but once Im familiar with the car I'm sure Ill do better.
It was a fantastic experiance and really has me excited as I wait for my new MINI E


  1. Wow this sounds like the same experience I had driving the EV1 12 years ago. I could beat a Porsche 911s from stoplight to stoplight easily. Every time they shifted I jumped ahead 10 feet. That car's top speed was 80 so I would be way ahead till then. I look forward to driving electric again. It's an easy sell to all that try it. People who are not mechanical love this technology because they are way less likely to get fooled by the repairman. Not that much to go wrong. You can't be told you need a $1200 water-pump if you know you don't have one! That actually happened to my sister-in-law!

  2. The dropping the charge by 5% after only 3 miles is a little disconcerting... at that rate, the range would be only 60 miles. With my 90-mile commute, is my first day going to be nerve-wracking or what???

    Robert, thanks for the ride back from NYC on Wednesday. It was good to meet you. -- Tim

  3. Jeff,
    the death of the EV1 was a real step backwards, now all the car companies are playing catch up for a decade of inaction.

    I was really being hard on the car, and the distance you can drive an electric car is very much dependent on how you drive. There is a very interesting article, of EV advertised range versus real world range here
    My daily commute is only 40 miles so I can afford to burn some rubber on it, but I'll be driving like a hypermiler the first time I attempt my planned 80 mile trips.