Vattenfall to power electric car tests

Swedish energy group Vatenfall is joining with German carmaker BMW to launch a pilot project in Berlin next year to test the feasibility of electric cars, the companies announced on Tuesday.

BMW will provide 50 electric Mini models while Vatenfall Europe will establish a network of charging points throughout the German capital, a joint statement said.

“We want to know how many typical clients use an electric vehicle daily,” BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer said in the statement as the project was presented to the German environment ministry.

“We want to have a realistic view of the technology’s potential,” he said.

In July, Munich-based BMW said it would produce 500 electric versions of its Mini model, mainly for export to the United States where they were to be rented to the public.

German rival Daimler said in early September that it was teaming up with power company RWE to develop a similar project in Berlin that would be based on electric Mercedes-Benz and Smart cars.

That network is to comprise 500 charging stations installed by RWE, the second biggest German electricity company.