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Mini E field trial ends, for the 40 testers a search for a new car begins

Tim Stevens
03.20.11
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People who love a given car tend to keep that car for awhile, longer than they should sometimes, but that isn't always an option. Sometimes you have to give it back, and such is the case for the 40 "pioneers" who were among the first to get their mitts on and bums in the electric prototype Mini E in the UK. That fleet of test vehicles has been summoned back home, but thankfully not to suffer the same fate of the recalled GM EV1 -- most of which were crushed in the '90s. Instead, most of these Minis will find new homes among corporate vehicle fleets, though the testing program itself is largely over. From that program BMW learned that most drivers got along just fine, despite a complete lack of public charging stations, though some said cold temps put a crimp on the driving habits -- a possible counterpoint to one EV Mini tester on this side of the pond found. All that data is being used to tailor the upcoming BMW i3, which we've already seen hooning around in some rather frigid weather but won't be seen hooning on public streets until 2013 or so.

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