Mass Market Mini BEV Finally Arrives

After a decade of global trials of an all-electric Mini, the first mass market BEV has been revealed at its Oxford plant in the UK.

Planned for deliveries in the first quarter of 2020, the new Mini Electric is expected to draw on the extensive trials begun by the brands owner, BMW, starting with the Mini E way back in 2009. It claims to draw on the brand’s original qualities from the first car, designed by Sir Alec Issigonis, that rolled off the line at Oxford to provide affordable motoring to the masses.

Its battery pack has 12 modules of lithium-ion cells arranged in a T-shaped unit in the vehicle floor between the front seats and below the rear seats, providing a battery capacity of 32.6 kWh. The motor is synchronous electric motor developed by the BMW Group and provides a maximum output of 182bhp and maximum torque of 199ft-lbs. Claimed performance is a sprint time to 62mph from standstill in just 7.3 seconds nearly as rapid as the brand’s ICE powered entry performance model, the Mini Cooper S. However, top speed limited to 93mph.

Power electronics are shielded by a reinforced bumper carrier and the motor support frame, while the high-voltage battery is protected by a solid base plate. With an unladen DIN weight of 3,009-lbs, the Electric is 320-lbs heavier than the current Cooper S 3-Door with automatic transmission. In accordance with new European Union law, the car is fitted with acoustic pedestrian protection for low speed driving.

The car offers as standard four driving modes Sport with the most direct steering and rapid power delivery, Mid for less aggressive steering, Green for more gentle acceleration and Green+ featuring some comfort functions, such as air conditioning, being limited or deactivated to save further power and increase range.

The Mini Electric comes with both home and public charging cables as standard, designed for AC and DC charging using Type 2 and CCS Combo 2 plugs. Above the car socket, a charge level indicator displays orange for start of charge, pulsating yellow light for active charging and green for a fully charged battery. At a 50kW DC fast-charging station an 80% charge is reached from zero in 35 minutes.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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