Battery-electric Mini Electric has 232km of range
Mini has been teasing the public with an all-electric variant of its iconic city car at motor shows for some years now, but today was the launch of the production-ready Mini Electric at the world premiere in Rotterdam. It promises up to 232km of WLTP range for a starting price of €32,500 (in Germany). Online reservations start now and first deliveries are expected at the start of 2020.
The Mini Electric, or Mini Cooper SE if we go by its full name, has a styling that shows subtle signs of its green credentials. Or should we say yellow, as that’s the chosen colour for the horizontal bar in the grille and for the wing mirrors. There’s also an E-badge in the back.
This Mini Cooper SE isn’t Mini first foray into electric mobility. In 2008, Mini launched the Mini E, the first battery-electric car of the Mini Group. It was produced in limited numbers but it provided the group with useful insights into this new technology.
Two years ago, BMW added a plug-in hybrid Mini Countryman to the Mini lineup, the first electrified Mini car in series production. Today, the Mini Cooper SE turns a new page in the Mini book with a fully electric version. Because of the symbolic nature of this new vehicle, Mini went for the three-door variant, even though the five-door is the more practical one. “We want to get to the heart of the brand, to the most iconic shape,” said Pieter Nota, Member of the Board, BMW AG in charge of customer, brand and sales.
In WLTP kilometres, this electric Mini can cover 232km. “More was possible - you can always add batteries - but we believe this is enough for the typical use case for this vehicle. We also wanted to reach a certain price point,” explained Mr Nota. It also means the boot space is in no way affected as the batteries are tucked away under the vehicle floor.
The 135kW motor produced 270Nm of torque. Charging the batteries can be done at a 50kW fast charger, where you get to 80% in 35 minutes. Charging at a 11kW charger takes 2.5h to 80% and 3.5h to 100%. One pedal driving is possible in two distinct settings.
Prices start at €32,500 in Germany (without incentives). In Belgium, you can have it from €33,200, in the Netherlands from €34,900, in Norway from NOK245,900, in Spain from €33,950 and in France from €32,900. Deliveries should start at the end of this year and Mr Nota affirmed he does not expect battery supply issues, though he declined to give sales targets.
Contrary to cars like the BMW i3, the Mini is not a dedicated electric vehicle, as it is based on a combustion-engine car. Mr Nota confirmed more cars will be available with a choice of diesel, petrol or battery-electric variants in the future, but some dedicated BEVs will remain in the product portfolio. By 2023, BMW wants to have no fewer than 25 electrified vehicles. Of those 25, many will be plug-in hybrids, as is the case today. In 2018, BMW was already the overall market leader in electrified vehicles.
In some markets, customers can reserve their Mini Cooper SE starting tomorrow, in others, registrations started a few weeks ago. Mini expects the electric car to be highly successful, and it is not planning any particular fleet offers or deals with leasing companies at this stage.
Image: Mini Cooper SE as unveiled in Rotterdam on 9 July 2019