Mini wants the air recirculation control off most of the time. I agree generally, especially in combustion powered cars where carbon monoxide poisoning is always a danger.
But in the Mini E the story is a little different. First, the colder September weather now in the North East US means using the cabin heater. And I can stay warmer while using less power when the air is recirculating. Besides, the battery ventilation is always pulling air out of the cabin, even if only through air leaks when the air is set to recirculate.
Now I would like to use heat with the cabin air fan off, since the lowest setting is still too high for these 40 degree mornings. The battery fan draws enough air though the cabin ventilation vents. But the heater won't come on without the cabin air fan being on. So the next best way to reduce cold air ingress is to use the recirculation button.
Of course, Mini set it on a timer to turn off after 5 minutes or so. When I notice it getting cold again, I push it again.
There are conventional Minis where I work, so I'll have to ask if this functions the same way on the gasoline powered models which have waste heat to spare.
I would like to see a reversible air flow where battery heat could go into the cabin, but maybe that would not work. Maybe that was too much to get into a prototype. In any case, the heater load appears to be much smaller than I expected. I always assumed the heater in winter would be the Achilles' heel of electric cars. So far from my measurements (see earlier posting) the heater load looks small.
4 hours ago