Australian drivers will have another fully electric vehicle to choose from come mid-2020, with Mini Australia confirming a release date for next year of the all-electric Mini Cooper SE hatchback.
The electric Mini joins a growing list of electric vehicles on the Australian market, and is one year ahead of expectations for the car that had its official debut overnight (Australian time) at the Frankfurt International Motor Show.
It is one of the first all-electric vehicles to be produced by BMW that will form the basis for the planned 3 million EVs it intends selling by 2025, and joins the BMW i3 and i3s, the i4 which we last saw in May in prototype format, the futuristic and autonomous BMW Vision i-Next as well as its plug-in hybrid cousin, the Mini Cooper SE Countryman ALL4.
“The MINI Cooper SE Hatch marks a new era for our brand in providing our customers with a progressive mobility solution wrapped in a package that is unmistakably Mini in its look, feel and the way it drives,” said Mini Australia GM Brett Waudby in a statement.
First details of electric Mini Cooper SE three-door hatch, which will have a 32.6kWh battery with up to 270km of driving range and deliver 135kW power output from its electric motor, were unveiled in July.
Further details now include a power consumption of 16.8–14.8kWh/100km, and battery placement in the floor for agile handling, and to ensure the same space in the boot as the e-Mini’s internal combustion engine (ICE) equivalent.
Standard equipment for the electric Mini Cooper SE include digital instrument cluster, electric parking brake, two-zone automatic air-con, heat pump-driven heating system, LED headlights, auxiliary heating and the ability to have the air-con while stationary plus internet-connected navigation.
A suite of driver assistance and equipment packages will be offered at time of sale to suit a range of driving needs.
Mini has not yet provided pricing and further specifications for the UK let alone Australia; these are expected closer to launch date with production for the UK expected to commence in November at Mini’s Oxford plant.
Despite this, it is understood that there are already as many as 45,000 registrations of interest for the electric Mini, according to comments made by project manager for the e-Mini Elena Eder in August.
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.