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Going and slowing
Going and slowing
BMW boasts of the car's "fascinating launch capability." That's possible because electric motors produce maximum torque, or cranking power, right from the start without having to speed up first.

While the initial start may be quick, the Mini E will accelerate up to 62 miles (100 kilometers) per hour in 8.5 seconds, which is about average for a modern car.

The car's brake pedal is directly coupled to the accelerator pedal. As soon as the driver releases the accelerator, the electric motor immediately reverses and begins acting as a generator. This slows the car, like downshifting in a gas-powered car, while recapturing the car's momentum as energy for the batteries.

In city driving about 75 percent of all deceleration can be done without touching the brake pedal, according to BMW.

NEXT: Plugging in

Last updated October 20 2008: 11:35 AM ET
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