mini electric
The Mini Electric recently debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Source: BMW

Pricing and specifications for the all-electric Mini Cooper SE are now out in the US, and it will sell for less than some of the cheapest electric vehicles on the US market, including the Nissan Leaf.

Starting at $US30,750 ($A44,599), the all-electric Mini Cooper SE will offer up to 270km of driving range (WLTP), a top speed of 150km/hr and 270Nm torque, and is built using the BMW i3 drivetrain.

Standard features in the US include LED headlights and fog lights, a 6.5-inch display with navigation and Apple CarPlay, heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, and active driving assistant with forward collision warning. Two additional trims will be available in the US.

Charging on AC out and about or at home can be done at up to 7.4 kW, and DC fast charging to 80% charge can be done in 35 minutes.

The all-electric Mini Cooper SE. Supplied
The all-electric Mini Cooper SE. Supplied

A compact but feisty three-door EV offering from German carmaker BMW (have you seen it pulling this Boeing?), it has been confirmed for a mid-2020 release in Australia.

Pricing for Australia has not yet been released, but the pricing in the US suggests it could compete with the current price pace-setters in Australia, the Hyundai Ioniq and teh Nissan Leaf.

There are currently only two new electric vehicles available that start from under $A50,000 – the Hyundai Ioniq, with its lower specced Elite model starting at $A44,990, and the 2019 Nissan Leaf, which starts at $49,990.

On Monday new pricing for the Hyundai Ioniq fastback was released as the South Korean carmaker introduced the 2020 model which has a longer range and a bigger battery, as well as a new price of $A48,490 before on-road costs for the Elite trim and $A52,490 for the Premium trim.

A straight conversion from USD to AUD (as noted above at $A44,599) would bring the electric Mini around the same price as the 2019 Nissan Leaf and the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq once the GST is added.

Of course this doesn’t take into account import costs and the lesson learned from guessing the price of the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq (which it was thought could start as much as $A59,000), or the Model 3 (which was originally suggested at $A60,000) – shows how wrong guesstimates can be.

Considering the electric Cooper SE is a three-door small hatchback, when compared to the Nissan Leaf 4-door large hatch and Hyundai Ioniq’s fastback, will BMW will price to fit in the electric Mini Cooper SE below these two?

The Mini Cooper SE is part of a long line of iconic cars under the Mini brand, and as such will command a fandom who want an electric vehicle that harks back to the original Mini or perhaps prefer a funky design that stands out from the crowd.

It has has already attracted a great deal of interest in Europe, with BMW saying in August that 45,000 pre-orders – twice that of i3 sales in Europe – had been received.

electric Mini Cooper SE interior
Source: Mini

Announcing US pricing, Michael Peyton, VP for Mini in the US said in a statement that, “U.S. pricing of the new Mini Cooper SE was set to establish this new battery electric as a true class leader in making premium electric mobility more accessible to a broader range of customers.”

“We at Mini are pleased to offer more people the ability to experience a drive charged with passion in the form of the Mini Cooper SE, an EV that is built “for the drive”.”

The Mini is aimed at the premium market , although the use of the BMW i3 drivetrain – which is shall we say, not the most up-to-date bit of kit on the market – suggests that it is more of a placeholder until BMW creates something more on the cutting edge (it announced in June a partnership with Jaguar Land Rover to address this).

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