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  • Mini Introduces Perpetual Motion System

    Posted on April 1st, 2009 ninarussin

    System extends electric car’s range to hundreds of miles on a single charge

    Mini E

    Mini E

    Today Mini announced that it is experimenting with a magnetic propulsion system that could extend the electric car’s range to hundreds of miles on a single charge. The technology is similar to the magnetic tow system developed jointly by BMW and NASA.

    Magnets in the Mini’s wheel hubs power the car. The battery fires the ignition and starts the vehicle moving. Then magnets first attract and then repel each other to push the car in the desired direction: either forward or reverse.

    “This has to be the ultimate range extender,” said professor Lirpa Loof, head of magnetic attraction technology for Mini. “Anyone who has played with magnets as a kid… will understand precisely how this technology works and the kind of performance we are talking about.”

    One challenge the development team faced was controlling the car’s velocity, since the speed at which magnets attract and repel each other is instantaneous. Development vehicles have a top speed of 250 miles-per-hour.

    The Mini E production car takes about three hours to charge. The car has a range of 156 miles in the lab: in normal driving conditions, its range is between 100 and 120 miles.

    If the magnetic propulsion technology makes it to production, Mini owners could travel across the United States on a couple dollars worth of electricity.

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