The Mini, the little and unexpectedly delightful to drive automobile that arose from the United Kingdom's late 1950s fuel crisis, is experiencing yet another change. Climate change, as well as BMW's ambition to go all-electric by 2030, are driving it this time.
Mini is no stranger to battery electric vehicles; the Mini E pilot program began in 2008. Since its release in 2020, the Mini SE electric vehicle has been in high demand. They aren't, however, the future. Both the Mini E and the Cooper SE are excellent cars. They're basically retrofits for automobiles with internal combustion engines. Mini, like nearly every other carmaker, is developing a dedicated electric platform for future vehicles. The main focus isn't so much on range as it is on how it drives. It must drive like a Mini Cooper.
When it comes to the appearance of future electric Minis, the company stated that they will be "certainly more of that modern interpretation of what consumers have seen and expected from us." It was all about that minimalism and simplicity in the early years.
Future Minis will include an electric convertible that advances technology while keeping the brand's heritage and identity. Today, the business is figuring out what that future-yet-brand-centric EV would look like and how it will evolve in the future. Tesla has never had plans to compete in this space of providing small, sporty, compact EVs.
Mini EV Interior
More exciting is the potential for something completely unexpected, especially in a world quickly being populated by electric SUVs and crossovers. The company also said they working on making a small-format vehicles, which are very very Mini.
The transition to electrification may herald in a new micro-vehicle market in the United States for enthusiasts of the pre-BMW Minis, which are exceedingly small. The company may also design and sell an electric Mini that is larger than the current model. It's unclear what "larger" Mini refers to. Mini is in a unique situation. Its vehicles' personality — tiny, lively, and primarily urban — fits exceptionally well in an EV package.
The Mini SE (an electric vehicle crammed into a gas-powered car) serves as a taste of the company's future. Despite its ridiculously short range of 110 miles in a world where more than 200 miles is the standard, the first year of manufacturing was sold out. According to Mini, 80% of individuals who purchase the vehicle are new to the brand.
One thing determines the brand's success as it navigates the environment catastrophe. The way its electric vehicles drive and look. Efforts appear to be a slow burn towards a looming deadline because the specifics of how the Mini migrating are still being formulated.
It makes sense from a manufacturing standpoint to be able to serve two different types of consumers, but this method is intrinsically limited. Unless the battery's efficiency improves, the Cooper SE's biggest flaw isn't going to get any better. It's unclear if this will happen anytime soon because the powertrain was adapted from the now-discontinued BMW i3.
The Cooper SE has a lot to admire, especially if you like Mini's style of whimsy. Even if you aren't, it's difficult to overlook how consistently enjoyable the automaker's vehicles are to drive.
Nonetheless, the current car's conversion to EV and its limited range make it difficult to market, especially in an era when sporty BEVs with ample battery life aren't as uncommon as they were even a few years ago. Mini, a brand that draws heavily on its history to drive its design, may have an all-electric future ahead of it, but its current efforts feel behind the competition.
Current Mini SE Specs
- Top speed: 93.2 mph / 150 km/h
- Acceleration from 1 to 100 km/h: 7.30 seconds
- EPA (Electric car range and efficiency): Range 110 miles / 177km
- WLTP (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles test procedure): Range 140 miles
- Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery 350.4 volts