Since I drive a Mini AND I wish we had a hybrid car, this could be a dream come true! My Mini is the best car I have ever owned….even better than the Audi I used to drive before I actually cared about miles per gallon. Its a go cart for the highway, it averages over 30 MPG now, it fits about 2.3 adults, and can carry groceries back from the store. Combine all that with hybrid or electric technology, and I wouldnt buy a different brand of car ever!
As much as I would like a hybrid, I am not sold on the looks of them, especially the Prius. My wife likes the way they look, I think they are sort of odd looking. But the idea is great, and I am sure that Toyota being the innovative company that they are, they will come up with something spectacular for their next model.
Back to the story at hand…there is a company called PML Flightlink that has created a hybrid Mini Cooper, with the electric motors in the wheels themselves. The car can run on electric all the time, it can run on electric switching to gas when it runs out of juice, and it can go 0-60 in 5 seconds. FIVE SECONDS. Thats Ferrari fast. In a Mini. Im sure this technology is at least a few years off from becoming mainstream and affordable, but the idea is incredible and if it takes off, it could revolutionize the automotive industry, just like the Tesla Electric Roadster will.
From the site:
“PML Flightlink and its partner Synergy Innovations recently unveiled an in-wheel, plug-in series hybrid conversion of a MINI at the British Motor Show, the MINI QED. The car, one of two the partners have so far produced, serves as a testbed and demonstrator for technologies the company, which designs and manufactures electric motors, joysticks and drive systems, hopes to commercialize.
The QED currently uses four 750 Nm brushless permanent motors in its wheels, a 21 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack and a 250cc two-cylinder, four-stroke engine as the genset. The QED supports an all-electric range of 200-250 miles and has a total range of about 932 miles (1,500 km). The car accelerates from 0-62 mph in less than 5 seconds.”
Read more about the project at Green Car Congress