April 15, 2010, 5:00 PM ET Wall Street Journal By Jonathan Welsh I recently road-tested the Mini E, an electric version of BMWâ€™s Mini Cooper, and wanted to like it. But while it worked well and was ideally suited my suburban driving, I wasnâ€™t clamoring to keep it when the weekend test period ended. As with many electrics, something seemed to be missing. What is it about electric vehicles that makes them difficult for some drivers to embrace? Well, the batteries are expensive, charging them takes a long time and they donâ€™t have the go-anywhere range of gasoline-powered vehicles. But I think the real deal breaker is that they lack the sound, vibrations and even the smells that make internal-combustion engines seem warm and alive. The Mini E accelerated well and drove much like its gasoline-powered counterpart, though the added weight of its batteries too the wonderful edge off the regular Miniâ€™s â€œgo-kart handling.â€ At first the lack of sound from under the hood was a treat, giving the car a high-tech, efficient feel. But once I started hitting potholes and choppy pavement I found the Mini, like most electrics, isnâ€™t really quiet. Its underpinnings hum, groan and bump â€” sounds usually masked by purr of an engine. Over the past couple of years I have driven a few electric cars and even ridden an electric motorcycle. All were technologically interesting and environmentally compelling, but none made the right sounds. Obviously this is something drivers can get used to, and I can easily imagine owning an electric car within the next few years. But I also understand consumersâ€™ apprehension.