MINI Es in Munich – the BMW Test Project Kicks Off

MINI Es in MunichAnother step towards market readiness for electro-mobility: The BMW group and the Technical University Munich fired the starting shot for the first project to be showcased in Bavaria-Saxony. Over the coming five months, 25 test drivers will take to Munich’s streets behind the wheels of their own electrically-powered MINI Es.

Four showcase locations were chosen from among 23 candidate regions in April this year; the goal was to help prepare the market for electric mobility through government assistance. The showcase project for electric mobility has over 150 partners in around 70 projects and an entire budget of over 150 million Euros, and ties Bavaria and Saxony together.

Bavaria’s Ministry of Economic Affairs supports and sponsors the economic research project; Katja Hessel, Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs, says:

“Bavaria is already the leader for electric mobility. Our goal is to further strengthen Bavaria’s reputation as a world-renowned center for economics and scientific research and to use that to assist electric mobility towards a breakthrough. We can only accomplish this when we precisely research and understand customer needs prior to getting the market up and running. For this reason, I am particularly pleased with the use of the 25 MINI Es for private and fleet use in our first research project here today.”

Compare and Contrast

The scientific goal of the project is an analysis of how driving habits differ depending on whether the driver is in a conventional ICE vehicle or an EV. In order to collect accurate data, TU Munich will run comparison test and also conduct regular interviews with the drivers. Data loggers in the electric vehicles will also record and report information such as how far or how fast each car was driven.

Once the adaptation processes for electric vehicles are properly understood, optimal strategies for efficiency can be implemented in future cars – things like assistance systems and innovative mobility concepts. Dr. Julian Weber, head of the Electric Vehicle Innovations Project in the BMW Group, said in regard to the project:

“The MINI E has been on the streets since 2009. In the previous research projects, our test drivers have demonstrated that electric mobility works perfectly well for daily driving. The test drivers in Munich this year also have every right to regard themselves as pioneers of electric mobility and will provide us with further valuable experience and information.”

15 Munich residents drove home in the MINI Es on the first day, to be kept until mid-January 2013. The ten remaining MINI Es will be provided to the city of Munich and the Munich Airport as part of the respective vehicle fleets. If you’re in the area and interested, you can register yourself for the second phase of the test (which starts next year) after September 10th at the project website.

Source: | Image: BMW.

Charis Michelsen

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.