For the past year or so, BMW leased about 500 Mini Es to commuters in California, New York, and New Jersey to learn from the real-world experiences of EV drivers. That experience produced a ton of data for BMW, but the company wants to learn more.
A new Mini E trial will be starting in September in Munich, as a joint project between the BMW Group, Siemens and Munich City Utilities (Stadtwerke München [SWM]).
The trial will be restricted to local residents with a private parking space—and who are willing to pay 400 Euros a month ($517 USD). Information and an application form (in German) are available at www.MINI.de.
The new trial will use Siemens Quick Charge stations and renewable electrical generation provided by SWM.
The introduction of the new stations could be a response to problems during the US trial. The list of complaints includes:
- Mini Es were delivered as EV conversions—with the back seat taken up by the battery pack—rather than finished production cars
- Months-long delays in delivery of vehicles to lessees
- A shortage of high-power cables leaving owners with 110-volt charging requiring as long as 21 hours for a full charge
- Months of delays in the installation and inspection of home charging equipment, some requiring expensive upgrades to home power service