Mini E Electric Cars Struggle in the Cold

Mini_e_cooper
In a potentially serious hiccup for the viability of widespread electric-vehicle adoption, consumers who have leased the Mini E battery-powered car have found that cold weather presents serious issues for the battery’s charge.

Cold weather performance hasn’t mattered too much in warmer states, but in the Northeast, Mini E drivers discovered that extreme cold can drain the battery more quickly. This leads to extreme range anxiety, since being stranded in below-freezing temperatures does not rank high on most car buyers’ lists of preferred features.

Mini says its electric car has a range of 100 to 120 miles, but New Jersey and New York drivers have reported running out of power far short of that — a problem that has led to some calls for tow trucks. Others report that in the cold, the car’s power begins to fade when it hits 70 mph.

We’re a bit stunned that common sense — and Mini itself — did not warn the Mini E drivers that batteries don’t play well with extreme cold temps. Everything from cell phones to laptops to, yes, conventional cars run less efficiently in subfreezing weather. Current Toyota Prius owners in cold climates report similar drops in mileage. The problem with the Mini E is that you can’t just pull over and hit a gas station when the meter dips too low.

Other automakers are trying to tackle the problem by introducing thermal management systems that can heat or cool a battery pack even when the car is not being charged. Coda Automotive, which will introduce an electric sedan in California later this year, has developed a management system for this purpose. However, electric vehicles and hybrids overall will still run less efficiently in these conditions. How much so will only be figured out over time.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside for Mini Es (Wheels)

Comments 

To be fair, you really ought to point out that gas-powered cars also run less efficiently, often far less efficiently, in cold weather. Yes, there are gas stations around "everywhere", but cold-weather fuel inefficiency is universal. I bet there's been many cases of gas-car owners who've pushed the fuel dial further than they should've in the winter, assuming that because they pushed it the same way in the summer that they wouldn't run out of gas. Surprise - cars, all of them, don't go as far in the winter.

You mean like this sentence in the story itself
"Everything from cell phones to laptops to, yes, conventional cars run less efficiently in subfreezing weather."

Paul

Miles or "mph"??
Typo.

Dan

ICE cars should run less efficiently when their engines are colder, but once warmed they will be more efficient in cooler weather. This is why races are always faster in cool air.
If you're only taking short trips you'll end up spending a lot fuel just warming up your engine in the winter and you'll see increased fuel consumption, but if you're driving long distance you'll actually see a small improvement.

thats car is same like a MR BEAN,s car i love it ..:)

some lithium batteries are great in extreme cold ,heat and can charge fast and last longer with a 500,000 mile life.

check out altair nano lithium batteries. Aerovironments tested them with 10 minute recharges and predict a 500K mile life.

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