Sixty years after the release of the first Mini, a revolution in car design at the time, BMW has launched the full electric version, with a range of up to 270kms, and a “waiting” list of customers that it says already tops 40,000.
The Mini Electric, officially known as the Mini Cooper SE, will be available next year in Europe (and likely not in Australia until 2021), and was officially unveiled by BMW in the Dutch city of Rotterdam on Tuesday.
It is the first established premium small car brand to go fully electric, the company says, and it is BMW’s first all electric vehicle since the launch of the I3.
“We are thrilled to already have over 40,000 customers who have registered their interest in the MINI Electric. So, you’d better be quick if you want one!” said BMW’s head of brand and sales Pieter Norta.
The Mini Electric will feature a 32.6kWh battery that – with an 135 kW/184 hp electric motor, and instant torque, will deliver a range of 235-270kms, and allow for acceleration from 0-60km/h in 3.9 seconds, and from 0-100km/h in 7.3 seconds.
The battery will be shaped in a “T” and lay deep in the chassis, delivering a low centre of gravity. Along with the smaller and lighter electric motor, the company says the Mini Electric will have “agile handling, making it supreme and easy to control even when cornering at high speed.”
It will have a sharing function that allows the owner to share the use of his Mini with family members, friends or other people by means of a smartphone which allows him or her to unlock and start the car.
The fully electric version of the mini follows the release of the plug in hybrid Countryman in 2017 (and in Australia in 2019). Reports suggest a price in England of £24,400, after a government grant of £3,500.
That translates roughly into $A50,000, but after delivery costs and on-roads, its retail price in Australia is likely to be more than the $57,000 (before on roads) for the recently released Countryman plug in hybrid.
Production of the Mini Electric will begin in Oxford in November this year.
“We have been accepting orders from all over the world for a few weeks now, and we are doing our utmost to ensure that our customers do not need to wait too long,” said Bernd Koerber, the senior vice president, Mini.
“We have decided against one single launch date for all markets. The first vehicles will then be delivered as early as possible.”
The Mini Electric takes BMW deeper into e-mobility and it has promised that half of its models will be electric by 2023, two years earlier than planned,