The car of our future?

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Lois Sicking of Upland showed me a BMW Mini E, a vehicle she was test-driving as an engineer with the state Air Resources Board. It’s a zero-emission, all-electric car, much like the Mini Cooper in style but with no engine. We’re on Second Street in Claremont near Starbucks.

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The “gas” tank, with its “No Fuel” symbol, is where the car is plugged into standard household current for a recharge. Starting the car, which Sicking is doing below, involves pressing a button.

The car makes no noise. In fact, automakers are wondering if they should add a noise feature because pedestrians never hear the car coming. (I imagine one day we’ll be buying ringtones for our cars.)

You can read more about the car in Friday’s column.

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  • Ramona

    Ring tones for our cars? Heaven preserve us! If everyone has an individual (musical?) sound for our cars how will the kids know we’re not the ice cream truck.

    I think if such an option were available, I’d want my quiet car to sound like a diesel semi coming down the road. Bet folks would get out of the way then.

    I have a special love for the sound of semis, either starting, idling, or hauling. Or hitting the Jake brake. But that’s a tale for another time.

    Perhaps electric car manufactures could include cow bells. Or how about putting noise makers on the wheels like the playing cards we used to attach to our bikes so they would hit the spokes.

    Is the rear view mirror really yellow?

    Did you get to drive it? If not, why not?

    [I didn't ask and she didn't offer. But she did take a picture of me sitting behind the wheel. -- DA]

  • http://www.hughcmcbride.com hugh.c.mcbride

    Wow. From the photos, the design of this vehicle is wonderful — & the “no fuel” reminder is fantastic.

    Also *love* the idea of ringtone-like engine sounds for cars, & can only hope this will be a standard & customizable feature. “Born to Run” whilst cruising down the PCH, “Comfortably Numb” while idling in the inevitable traffic jam, “Another One Bites the Dust” when driving back from a Dodger playoff game … the mind just reels @ the possibilities :-)

    ["Whittier Blvd" when driving Whittier Boulevard... -- DA]

  • Chuck Weck

    Nice looking car and driver. This car is just what I want! I would be happy to be one of the testers.

  • Scott McGookin

    This is a very interesting article and I look forward to hearing / learning more about the technology and what other auto manufacturers are doing to “green” our planet.

    Thanks for the information.

    Scott McGookin
    Diamond Bar

  • missty

    Sorry but that is way U.G.L.Y!! I will stick with my regular BMW. But then again I don’t think I would ever buy an electric/hybrid type car of any kind.