Mini E electric car trial ends

* All 40 drivers hand back their cars * Results to be revealed in the summer * Earlier study results revealed...

Mini E electric car trial ends

The latest Mini E electric car trial has come to an end in the UK.

Forty drivers have been putting the electric Mini through its paces on the UK's roads since December 2009. The trial is part of research being carried out by the Technology Strategy Board and the Department for Transports 25m Ultra-Low-Carbon Vehicles Demonstrator Programme.

Results from December 2009 February 2010 study revealed
The final results of the latest study will be released in the summer, however results from a previous study run from December 2009 February 2010 have already been released. The key findings are as follows:

• Mini E usage differs only slightly from a control group of conventional car drivers in terms of average journey distance, daily mileage and frequency of use.
• Before the trial, users suffered from anxiety over range and charging times. In practice, users reported these areas to be only minor barriers.
• Users felt confident that the Mini E itself and the charging process were completely safe.
• Users felt that renewable energy sources should play a key role in the development of new technology such as electric cars.
• Users believed that the BMW Group is trusted to provide a realistic and practical solution to the challenge presented by EVs.
• The study found that users wanted more space for passengers and luggage.
• Most users wanted more public charging facilities, although the majority of them also claimed they coped well without them.

In summary, the areas Mini E users particularly liked were:
• Mini Es quiet operation
• The convenience of home charging
• Low off-peak power charges
• Not having to go to a petrol station and queue
• Driving a zero-emissions vehicle
• Mini Es instant acceleration
• Regenerative braking

Drawbacks include:
• Current mileage range for certain journeys
• Limited passenger and luggage capacity
• Poor performance during the extremely cold weather conditions

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