The desire to drive a stylish car that is both aesthetically pleasing and good for the planet has finally been realised. Mini Cooper has heeded the call and released an electric vehicle.
Keeping to its iconic design, the first all-electric Mini Cooper SE is dynamic and nearly silent, bringing drivers a whole new driving experience. The car is powered by a 96-cell 32.6 kWh lithium-ion (gross capacity) battery pack situated under the vehicle’s floor.
The electric Mini can be driven almost entirely with one pedal, for both accelerating and braking. The motor is directly coupled to the wheels. When you lift your foot off the pedal, the car slows down faster than a petrol-powered car would. You will also be putting power back into your battery every time you come to a stop.
The near-silent vehicle may be a tricky transition for those only used to driving petrol cars. Mini had to install a noise-emitting acoustic protection to alert pedestrians and other drivers of its presence. ‘There’s no need to rev your motor and apart from a faint hum when you accelerate, the only noise comes from outside. And only then at speed,’ said the company.
‘BMW’s reborn city car consistently sells strongly, offers rock-solid residual values, and drives with a slightly cartoonish but ultimately endearing vim. It’s the sort of car owners give names to. It’s cute and well-put-together enough that the premium prices have never been a barrier to its rampant success. And now, there’s one that you plug in instead of fill up.
‘Driving the front wheels, there’s a single electric motor, dishing out 182bhp – the same power as a 2.0-litre petrol-powered Cooper S. The Mini Electric is heavier however: 145kg heavier than a Mini Cooper S with the automatic gearbox. But, the torque is instant, the centre of gravity is lower, and Mini has worked tirelessly (using battery intel harvested from the BMW i3) to package the cells into the three-door hatchback’s shell. So, while it’s hardly the most spacious car in its class to start with, Mini can and does proudly claim that the legroom and boot space hasn’t been swallowed in any way by pesky batteries,’ says Top Gear about the electric vehicle.
The all-electric vehicle comes in the Cooper SE Trim S and Trim L models, which are both a 3-door hatch.
There are a few minor difference between the two vehicles, such as the wheels and tyres, colourway and upholstery.
COOPER SE TRIM S
- Wheel type Alloy Alloy Wheel size 16″
- Wheel style name: MINI Electric Revolite Spoke (1NR)
- Tyre size 195/55 R16
- Comes in Moonwalk Grey metallic
- Upholstery: Cloth Double Stripe Carbon Black/Carbon Black
COOPER SE TRIM L
- Wheel type Alloy Alloy Wheel size 17″
- Wheel style name: MINI Electric Power Spoke 2-tone (1NV)
- Tyre size 205/45 R17
- Comes in White silver metallic
- Upholstery: Leather Cross Punch Carbon Black/Carbon Black
For other differentiating factors, click here.
- 32.6 KWH battery capacity (nominal, 28.9 kWh)
- 2.5 hrs 80% SOC (11 kW, AC)
- 35 minutes 80% SOC (50 kW, DC)
- 3.7 KW standard cable included
Owners of the electric Mini won’t need to install a complex charging unit at home, as the car can be charged in any household power socket. The charging cable and adapter is included. The option to buy a Mode 3 cable is available too, which will allow you to charge wherever you park. The car charges in approximately 15 hours.
‘Our surveys show us that the average commuter uses less than 20% of the MINI Cooper SE battery per day. Even if you use your normal domestic electric socket, this 20% is charged in approximately 3 hours,’ says the company.
MINI Cooper SE*: Energy consumption in kWh/100 km combined: 17,00 Fuel consumption in l/100 km combined: 0, CO2 emissions in g/km combined: 0.
The Mini Cooper SE retails for R642 000 and is available in South Africa.
Picture: Mini Cooper