What is the new MINI Electric and how much is it?
It’s been 60 years since the first Minis were made in the UK. This iconic little car has been through various transformations over the years, but now BMW has got its eyes set firmly on an all-electric future.
Built in Oxford alongside its non-electric counterparts, the new MINI Electric is MINI’s first all-electric vehicle. It starts at an affordable £24,400, after the government’s plug-in grant of £3,500 has been applied, rising to around £30,000. This puts in the same price bracket as conventional top-spec models.
Set for release early next year, this emission-free MINI has garnered 40,000 ‘registrations of interest’ according to Auto Express, and already looks set for a smooth ride to success.
The rise and rise of electric vehicles
In the UK, the number of plug-in vehicles has surged from 3,500 to more than 220,000 in the last five years. Manufacturers are seeing the shift from petrol to electric – Jaguar reported that more than 10% of its global sales in June were all-electric, despite flagging sales overall.
According to BMW’s Oliver Zipse, we’re “entering an era in which electric cars will become a normal choice”.
Government legislation, set to come into effect from 2021, now places the onus firmly on car manufacturers to build and sell zero-emission cars.
What are the benefits of electric cars?
EV owners cite many reasons for going electric, including a desire for greener travel and a less polluted commute or school run.
There are also big savings to be made, and not just in emissions.
Less fuel, cheaper servicing and no road tax all add up, while lease options are comparable with fuelled vehicles. Leasing also helps consumers or business owners make the most of new developments in EVs, without being lumbered with older models for long periods of time.
As the infrastructure catches up with the growing trend for fully-electric cars, the stress of planning longer journeys around charging points could soon be a thing of the past. EV charging sites are up 57% on last year, and the sale of new petrol and diesel cars could be banned from as early as 2030.
For the motor trade industry, the writing’s on the wall: we’re facing a plug-in revolution.
What are the new MINI's standout features?
If you’re thinking about adding EVs to your fleet or servicing electric cars at your garage, you should consider getting to know the new electric MINI. BMW believes it offers the best trade-off between price, range and handling.
Drivers can choose from four different driving modes: Sport, Mid, Green and Green+, taking the MINI Electric from speedy to environmentally-sound at the push of a button.
The MINI Electric is also great for urban drivers. Rapid charging capability means the car can be at 80% charge in 35 minutes. Peter Schwarzenbauer, the man in charge of MINI, believes that many of his customers will be able to “drive all week on a single charge”.
In looks, this MINI is an understated take on electric vehicles. On the body, only the optional yellow detailing and subtle use of the electric logo set the MINI Electric apart from the MINI Hatch. (And don’t worry – if yellow’s not your thing, it can be changed to grey at no extra cost). Like other MINIs in the range, there’s still plenty of scope for customisations to make your model truly unique.
Inside, it’s one of the lightest EVs around, thanks to the lightweight German-made 32.5kWh battery. Don’t expect sluggish handling, either. While it’s not as fast as MINI’s first hybrid car, the Countryman Cooper SE, it’s still powerful enough, at 135kW and 184bhp and with a maximum speed of 93mph.
According to David George, MINI UK Director: “Over 0-30mph the MINI Electric is faster [than the Cooper S], which will give it that nippy electric car feel – which we'd expect to sit well with Mini's characteristic go-kart handling.”
Changes to the transmission haven’t affected interior or boot space, but there are a few techy updates inside, including the new 5.5-inch display, in addition to the central 6.5-inch touchscreen display, which will help drivers plot the greenest route to their destination. The new MINI Electric will also support Apple Car Play.
So far, so good. But what about range? Here’s where the MINI Electric might struggle against its rivals. BMW says you’ll be able to go ‘at least’ 122 miles before needing to plug in but, as Car Buyer points out, that’s significantly less than the Peugeot e-208, which can cover over 200 miles between charges.
When can you buy the new MINI Electric?
If you want to make sure your MINI Electric is among the first to hit the streets, you can pre-order now via the MINI website. Deliveries are expected from March 2020.
Could EVs benefit your business?
If you’re thinking of switching your petrol or diesel company cars to electric models, it could make financial sense. As Buyacar explains, EVs have the lowest rate of company car tax and leased electric cars are fully tax deductible.
Fewer moving parts on EVs also mean simpler servicing, which is great for fleets, garages and dealers.
Does Mini Cooper make a hybrid?
The MINI Cooper SE Countryman is MINI’s first and only plug-in hybrid option. Switching seamlessly between petrol and eDrive, it can keep going for 25 miles on battery power alone.
Compare motor trade insurance
Whether you’re a full-time trader, a garage owner or valeter, you need comprehensive cover for your business, vehicles and staff. Here at Insurance Factory, we can help you compare quotes on a range of motor trade insurance, so you can choose the one that suits your business requirements best.
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