Mini Cooper SE will offer South Africans a hipster EV

Mini Media

Mini has announced a new Cooper SE derivative powered by batteries.

The BMW sub-brand has realised that its customers are environmentally aware and wish transition from conventionally fuelled vehicles to a cleaner option.

Evolved from the company’s current three-door Cooper hatchback, the all-electric SE version does not look radically different in appearance. Most notable are its aerodynamic wheels and slightly altered grille, which has been filled in with a plastic moulding.

Powering the Cooper SE is a 32.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which spins 135kW and 270Nm from its electric motor. Those outputs must mitigate a Mini which is 145kg heavier than its internal-combustion engined siblings.

Despite the weight burden of those batteries, this new electric Mini is quick. It runs the benchmark 0-100kph sprint in only 7.3 seconds and top speed has been limited to 150kph to preserve battery capacity.

Mini Media

How far can it go?

As with all new electric cars, range is the issue and Mini claims a driving endurance of 270km for the Cooper SE. Analysts calculate that to represent a real-world driving range of about 180km.

Recharging the batteries from a conventional wall socket will require three and a half hours. If you have access to a 50kW fast-charging station, you can replenish 80% of the battery capacity in only 35 minutes.

Although the Cooper SE is not a dedicated electric vehicle platform and will have inevitable design compromises, Mini’s engineers have done a credible job of not reducing the car’s luggage capacity. This is one of the primary issues with re-engineering a conventional vehicle platform to run on batteries – the usually take the place of some of your boot space.

With ambitious global marketing plans, South African followers of the Mini brand have been included to have option on its new battery-powered car.

The company has confirmed that it will be reserving a consignment of its Mini Cooper SE production for South African distribution. The first of these all-electric Minis are expected to be delivered to local customers by early 2021.

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