Claims that electric cars cannot tow have yet again been blown out of the water, this time by the diminutive all-electric Mini Cooper which has been teased in a video by automaker BMW towing a Boeing 777F cargo plane.
Diminutive in size, perhaps – but not in torque and sheer capacity to prove electric vehicles have plenty of oomph and grunt.
Due to be released on to the auto market later in 2019, the Mini Cooper SE shares its electric powertrain with parent company BMW’s i3, delivering a decent 270Nm of torque.
The disparity in size is nothing to be concerned about – in the video, which was filmed in collaboration with German airline Lufthansa, the Mini Cooper SE (which is based on its combustion equivalent, the Cooper S) reverses up to the front of the Boeing and easily pulls the cargo plane a short distance.
While it’s not the first time a full-size aircraft has been towed by an electric car (in May 2018 Australia’s Qantas published a video of a Tesla Model X 100D pulling a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner), it is a good show of the abilities of electric cars can deliver with the instant torque afforded by electric drivetrains.
For the record, the Mini Cooper SE has less than half that of the Model X 100D, which delivers 660Nm torque.
Yes, granted, pulling aircraft of this size (the Boeing 777F has an unladen weight of 150 metric tons) will significantly reduce driving range – but then again most people are not going to be towing a cargo plane.
However, given the Coalition’s penchant for insisting that EVs will “ruin the weekend”, we would like to mention again that time Australian tech entrepreneur Simon Hackett used his electric car to pull – you guessed it – his Pipistrel electric plane.
It also seems from this video that Mini is readying itself for an official launch of the Mini Cooper SE – just last week another all-electric Cooper SE was captured driving around the streets of LA for a photoshoot.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.