Even if a Mini is a third car for most owners, as Mini spokesman Andrew Cutler told me, the limited range and rough ride quality limit it to duty as a city car or suburban runabout, as long as you have access to a plug and live in a sunny area with few potholes.
The Mini Cooper SE three-door hatch uses a 32.6-kwh lithium ion battery to power punch it’s way to 110 miles. In sport mode, its 199 pound-feet of torque can spin the front wheels off the line, and the thrust is gut-dropping and grin-inducing. Mini quotes a 0-60 mph time of 6.9 seconds, but the first 30 mph is particularly fun.
Crowning a winner in this test would be much more difficult if there weren’t such a large disparity in range and practicality between the two.
The Renault is slightly more expensive, but it’s hard to argue with its larger boot, better rear-seat access and much more practical range. The MINI is more fun to drive and has brand cachet on its side, but it’s best reserved for those who don’t need their electric car to do much more than a week’s worth of inner-city commuting or shopping on a single charge…
Note: The Mini Electric is marketed as the Mini Cooper SE in some markets.
That’s impressive for a car with a 110-mile EPA range rating. It seems that in pretty much any case, other than perhaps driving in the very cold winter months, the Cooper SE should get more than 100 miles of range in almost any driving condition.
If there one thing I think we proved with this trip is that the DC fast charge infrastructure is really coming along, especially on the coasts. It’s going to take more time for it to be robust in middle America, but there are signs that it’s improving there as well.
We drove the shortest range EV available today from New Jersey, through Deleware, Maryland, and Virginia to get to North Carolina, and did it without any difficulty. Yes, it took long because we needed to stop four times which added about 3 hours to what would have already been 7-hour drive.
By the end of 2021, the company intends to have more than one million vehicles with all-electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrains on the roads. At that stage, the BMW Group will offer five all-electric series production vehicles. Alongside the BMW i3, demand for which increased for the sixth year in succession, production of the all-electric MINI Cooper SE* was commenced at the Oxford plant (UK) towards the end of 2019. The BMW iX3 will go into production this year at the plant in Shenyang, China, followed in 2021 by the BMW iNEXT in Dingolfing, Germany, and the BMW i4 at the Munich plant – all of which will be equipped with fifth-generation electric drivetrain technology.
By 2023, the BMW Group will already have 25 electrified models on the roads – more than half of them all-electric. The key to achieving this objective is having intelligent vehicle architectures that, with the aid of a highly flexible production system, enable a model to be powered fully electrically, as a plug-in hybrid or with a combustion engine. With these prerequisites in place, the company is in an ideal position to meet demand in each relevant market segment and offer its customers a genuine power of choice between the various drive types. By 2021, demand for electrified vehicles is predicted to double compared to 2019. The BMW Group then expects to see a steep growth curve up to 2025, with sales of electrified vehicles growing on average by more than 30 per cent p.a.
In its announcement, BMW also targeted a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions by this year.
The BMW Group is continuously working to reduce the CO2-emissions of its new car fleet. The company has always lived up to its voluntary commitment and will achieve the CO2 fleet target for its European new car registrations also this year. This is around 20 percent below last year´s target. One third of that step can be achieved by further improvements to conventional drivetrain systems and two-thirds by the growth in the field of electrified vehicles. The BMW Group’s endeavours to meet future mandatory CO2 and fuel consumption limits are therefore based on the combined impact of Efficient Dynamics technologies – which have been deployed by the BMW Group since 2007 – and the ongoing electrification of vehicles.
BMW took a 3-door Mini Cooper, and dropped an electric drive and batteries in it. It saves on the development costs. It’s a well loved and proven design. It doesn’t scream that it’s an electric car. It has ok range for a city car and decent performance. And, at least in the UK, it can be purchased for less than it’s gas powered cousin.
Autocar gets behind the wheel of the new 2020 Mini Electric, the battery electric vehicle from MINI that will compete with the new Honda e. Is it too much money and have too small a range? Or does it have the charm and driver appeal you’d expect of a MINI.