This is the MINI Electric – a full EV version of the three-door hatch complete with a 124-mile range and three trim levels. Its arrival comes midway through the marque’s 60th anniversary of the original Mini from 1959, which also emanated from the current Oxford MINI plant. It’s on sale now with deliveries beginning in March 2020.
To be clear, the MINI E from 2009 was designed to help inform the production of BMW’s own ‘i’ range of plug-in vehicles. Only 600 test mules were built and none were sold to the public. As a consequence, the MINI E led directly to the development of the compact BMW i3 and the futuristic i8.
This week, further details and images of the MINI Electric were revealed. There are expected to be three trim levels but no details have been released on what they will be.
Turning out 181hp and offering a range between 146 – 168 miles, the MINI Electric aims to bring the model’s go-kart handling and premium city car vibe into a new age.
Offered as a front-wheel drive three-door hatchback, the MINI Electric adds a few cheeky touches to the MINI’s typically sassy style, such as yellow bars and accents around the car, a tell-tale E logo and a closed-over front grille. And the 16-inch rims have a memorable look featuring an attractively asymmetric design that recalls the power sockets from which the car will draw its electrons.
The small electric motor is located under the bonnet and the 32.6kWh, lithium-ion battery sits under the floor pan. It takes Type 2 and CCS Combo 2 charging plugs up to a maximum of 50kW, meaning you can get yourself an 80 per cent charge in about 35 minutes if you need to plug in on the go.
Performance is reasonable compared to its rivals – the MINI Electric will accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds, a touch quicker than the Nissan Leaf or Hyundai Ioniq. BMW MINI says that in a drag race, it'll keep up with most traffic things for the first 200-odd feet, thanks to 270Nm of seamless torque. Top speed is limited to a sensible 93mph.
There's configurable regenerative-braking, a nice new instrument cluster and four driving modes to let you balance your need for speed with your charge level. It's also said to handle like a MINI should, running the same suspension design as the Cooper S, with a lower centre of mass and 145kg more weight to keep the car flat in the corners thanks to that battery pack.
As always with a MINI, the Electric offers the familiar but smart cabin, a more premium experience than most of its rivals, and quite probably better-handling that those, too.
For company car users, the MINI Electric offers excellent tax benefits. Understandably, the more polluting the vehicle, the higher is its ‘Benefit-in-Kind’ (BiK) tax rate. For electric cars, the BiK rate is currently at 16 per cent for the 2019/2020 year.
However, the Government has announced it will slash BiK rates for zero-emissions vehicles down to nought per cent during the 2020-21 financial year, rising to just 1% in 2021-22 and 2% in 2022-23. This will apply retroactively to electric company cars already registered before the 6th of April 2020 introduction date for the new rates.
To register your interest in leasing the 2020 MINI Electric, please call our friendly and helpful sales team on 0161 826 9716.