After quite a lengthy lead-in (oh! The pun) period the electric MINI is now formally available as the least expensive of its kind on the South African market – starting at R642 000.
The new MINI Cooper SE is based on the MINI 3 door with an internal combustion engine. Its design is complemented by the accent colour Energetic Yellow that identifies it as the electric variant. These accents can be found in several places, including the closed radiator grille, mirror caps, tailgate and side scuttles.
Locally emission-free and almost noiseless, the electrically-powered MINI offers 135 kW/270 Nm and spontaneous power delivery. The high-voltage battery located deep in the underbody shifts the vehicle’s centre of gravity down considerably.
The vehicle’s resulting low centre of gravity and the suspension adapted to this specific model’s requirements assist the new MINI Cooper SE in achieving impressive agility and dynamic cornering performance.
The new MINI Cooper SE accelerates from zero to 60 km/h in 3,9 seconds and from a standstill to 100 km/h in 7,3 seconds. It has a claimed range of 217 kilometres between charges.
Features include an extensive range of standard equipment, model-specific display and control elements, and two-stage brake energy recuperation that can be configured using a toggle switch.
The all-electric MINI drivetrain consists of far fewer working parts than an internal combustion engine and, therefore, there are fewer parts that need to be repaired or replaced over time. As with the BMW Group’s BMW i models, the MINI Cooper SE comes standard with an eight-year/100 000 km battery warranty.
And how much would it, for example, cost to charge a MINI Cooper SE at home, either using the standard charging cable or the optional MINI Wallbox? The MINI Cooper SE consumes 17 kWh/100 km. If the cost of electricity is 75 c/kWh, then it would cost around R12,75 to run a MINI Cooper SE for 100 km (or R28 for a full ‘tank’, assuming the battery is depleted).
Charging at all BMW and MINI-branded public chargers, using the standard MINI charging card is, however, free of charge. Allow 35 minutes for a charge from 0 – 80% using a 50 kW fast charger, and two-and-a-half hours using the 11 kW charger.