Could The Mini Lead The Way To Electric Limos?

Posted on May 26, 2010 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

A New Jersey operator finds encouraging results for the potential of electric livery sedans after a one-year experiment with an electric Mini.

HACKENSACK, N.J. — LIMO EXPRESS CHAUFFEURED SERVICES is exploring alternative technologies and cost saving strategies that may be implemented in the coming years.

The ELECTRIC MINI made its official debut at Limo Express in Hackensack in 2009. It recently finished a year-long beta trial which is one of only 250 in the Northeast.

In a business known for stretch limousines and Lincoln Town Cars, the Electric Mini stands out in a fleet.

This concept car is being used for experimental purpose to see firsthand the feasibility of electric technology for the chauffeured transportation industry. Admittedly, the Mini E is small, but the 12-month experiment indicates its drive train and technology can be transplanted to a 4-door BMW sedan, a vehicle that appeals to some chauffeured clients.

Limo Express kept detailed logs during the experiment to evaluate if the electric technology is feasible for its demands. Unlike hybrid vehicles, which switch between gas and electric assist, the Mini is a 100% electric vehicle that's powered solely by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack.

The cars plug into a recharging station, with the batteries needing three hours to be fully charged. There are limitations, of course; a fully charged battery is rated for a range of about 100 to 150 miles. Round trip runs must be within range, which make the Mini ideal for runs to airports and between locations in Manhattan and Bergen County, N.J.

The Mini E is the beginning of Limo Express' journey to balancing luxury expectations with green alternatives.


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