Thursday, May 27, 2010

Could this be the new Megacity?

Previous article link was broken, so I've replaced with this updated one.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MINI E Only the Beginning

Mini E Only Beginning of BMW EV Strategy

Here are some highlights from the above article:

Mini Es turned in as the lease concludes have not been dispatched to the smasher. “We will refurbish all Mini Es off-lease and put them into service around the world,” Steinberg says.

The Mini E cars have held up well during the recent lease trial. “We have not seen any significant deterioration of range, but there’s been some,” he says. “Some cars have been better than others in terms of charging behavior, but it has to do with driving conditions and climate. All these things have an impact vehicle by vehicle.”

BMW has not yet finalized pricing for the ActiveE when it arrives next year, but Steinberg hopes to undercut the Mini E pricetag. BMW expects again to target the ActiveE in New York and California.

Referring to the Mega City Vehicle,

Derived from a bespoke architecture, the MCV will feature four doors and seating for four occupants. The body-in-white will be produced from carbon fiber manufactured at a new $100 million plant being built in Moses Lake, WA, by SGL Group and BMW.

The location is intended to take advantage of plentiful hydro-electric power because carbon-fiber production requires much energy and generates lots of carbon dioxide.

The raw material will arrive from Japan, and the carbon fiber will be shipped to Landshut, Germany, where the carbon-fiber reinforced plastic parts will be fabricated. Vehicle assembly will be in Leipzig, Germany.

The goal of the MCV program is to keep the same range of about 100 miles but reduce the capacity of the battery from 30 kW to 16 kW in a bid to reduce weight.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Back on the road

Picked up #140 this past Thursday. Glad to be back in the quiet, smooth ride of the MINI E. The Cooper S was fun for three days but I really started to miss the MINI E.

The windshield didn't have a chip in it after all but was pitted all over the place. Probably from driving on the 710 so much. For those folks not in the Southern California area this freeway is the main one for trucks leaving and going to the ports of Long Beach. Funny thing is that the car was so dirty from all my driving I didn't even notice the pits. Now that the windshield is brand new and clean, I can see what I've been missing.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

In for 18,500 service, needs new windshield

#140 currently at the dealer for a windshield replacement. They spotted a chip during the scheduled service visit. A piece of trim needed to be ordered and hopefully we'll get the car back on Thursday. Was given a Cooper S as a loaner and it's quite zippy. Have put 250 miles on it so far. In looking at the differences between the E and the S, the noise is one thing that never use to bother me before in driving a gas powered car but now after getting spoiled by silence in the E, after a day or so it was really noticeable. Also the jerking around of the gears shifting was something I'd forgotten about since the E is a single speed. The smoothness and quietness of the E are two great qualities that I'm currently missing with the loaner.