German automaker BMW has delivered 12 Mini Cooper electric cars, or Mini Es, to government officials, researchers and academics in Mexico City as part of a field trial of their mobility and power consumption, as well as road conditions in this heavily polluted capital.
Tuesday's delivery of the vehicles, to be launched on the Mexican market in 2014, is aimed at complementing studies on these new prototypes' response to real traffic conditions, BMW Mexico CEO Gerd Dressler said.
During the ceremony attended by Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, the executive said the idea is for the cars' temporary owners to report back on battery performance, charge times, changes in their driving habits and use of the vehicle in Mexico City.
This program is part of a series of Mini E field trials in several large cities, including ones in Germany (50 cars deployed), Britain (40), the United States (450), China (50) and Japan (20).
The Mini E, which has a 150 kilowatt (200 horsepower) asynchronous motor that revs up to 12,500 rpm, accelerates from 0 to 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour in 8.5 seconds and has a range of 175 kilometers (108 miles) in the city and 154 kilometers (95 miles) on the highway.
Mexico City must take steps in the medium term to reduce the impact of climate change and replace the 4 million autos with internal combustion engines that currently circulate in this congested city, Ebrard said.
Electric taxis have operated in Mexico City since November 2011 as part of the capital's Green Plan to improve the environment and ensure rational use of natural resources.
Ebrard, one of the recipients of a Mini E, said in a Twitter posting that he would hold a contest to give environmentally conscious citizens the chance to test drive the vehicle. EFE