Mini has unveiled its first fully electric car.
The Mini Electric is an EV version of the iconic three-door hatchback. It has a 32.5kWh battery pack and a range of 124 miles.
The car’s electric motor develops 181bhp and enables the Mini Electric to zip from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds. At full pelt it can reach 93mph.
In a rare piece of good news for the UK car industry, which has been rocked by closures and job loss announcements by Honda, Nissan and Ford since the 2016 Brexit vote, the Mini Electric will be built in Britain, at the company’s production plant in Oxford.
The zero-emission vehicle will be fully integrated into the production process, running down the same lines as conventionally-fuelled Mini models.
Order books for the electric Mini opened yesterday and parent company BMW says it has already received more than 15,000 expressions of interest for the car.
Prices start at £24,400 once the government’s electric car grant has been taken into account. That’s less than an equivalently equipped petrol Mini Cooper S.
When using a 50kW rapid charger it can go from empty to 80% battery in 35 minutes. Plug it into an 11kW home charger and you’re looking at 2.5 hours to get to 80% battery. Mini says it has gone for a smaller battery to save weight and retain the car’s go-kart like handling.
The standard car’s three driving modes – Green, Mid and Sport – are retained, while there is a new, more effective traction control system, which helps prevent wheelspin.
There will be three trim levels, priced at £24,400; £26,400; and £30,400 for the range topping model.
Deliveries of the Mini Electric begin in March next year.