By on December 12, 2019

Mini

Few things combine funky and trendy quite like an all-electric version of the Mini Cooper. Such a model almost begs for images of sexy young urbanites embarking on free-spirited adventures as their equally good looking (and musically inclined) friends wave goodbye from the front steps of their Brooklyn apartment.

Well, barring activities of a sexual or criminal nature, those adventures will run out after 110 miles.

Carrying a starting price of $29,900 before destination and a federal tax credit, the 2020 Cooper SE arrives at dealers in March, promising gas-free living for those who find other EVs too… mainstream. Power will be plentiful — 181 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque trounces the three-cylinder powerplant found in the stock Cooper.

Zero to 60 mph will pass in less than 7 seconds, with a top speed of 93 mph assuring the little two-door electric can keep up with even the speediest traffic. However, until now, the model’s range carried a big question mark.

On the European driving cycle, Mini claims its Cooper SE will deliver somewhere between 146 and 168 miles of range. EPA figures, still not released, were obviously expected to fall below that, but Mini’s U.S. range estimate (noticed first by Autoblog) still comes as a bit of a shock. Even the low-end Hyundai Ioniq pushed its range from 124 miles to 170 for the 2020 model year. Nissan’s Leaf starts out at 151 miles.

The now-defunct Volkswagen e-Golf boasted range similar to that of the earlier Ioniq Electric. It just goes to show how quickly the industry is advancing in terms of energy density. High-end manufacturers and those looking to rival them have 300 miles in their sights. At the low end, 200 miles is seen as an acceptable balm for range anxiety. Hence the existence of the Nissan Leaf Plus.

Of course, the Mini Cooper SE did not start out as a clean-sheet EV design. Its battery pack (36.2 kWh) is T-shaped out of packaging necessity, and thus lacks the capacity of its competitors. Still, one can note that the older Ioniq EV’s battery was a 28 kWh unit.

Destined to be marketed to urban drivers, Mini no doubt hopes available charging infrastructure has grown to the point where range isn’t the topmost issue in buyers’ minds. If the owner has enough places at which to juice the thing, a range capable of covering even long daily commutes might be seen as acceptable.

Mini claims a 50 kW fast charger will get the Cooper SE’s battery to an 80-percent charge in 36 minutes.

[Image: BMW Group]

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10 Comments on “Mini Cooper EV’s Range Matches Its Size...”


  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I am not sure that 30k for 110 miles represents a very good value. Especially when one considers that during the winter months it will be sub 100 miles. Heat, as I am finding in my Volt, uses a lot of electricity.

  • avatar
    Robotdawn

    Not even two days round trip commute is not going to fly. Not sure if I would have considered it anyway, but at least it had (base sticker price) theoretically dropped into my acceptable price band.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    IDGI, why would “…activities of a sexual or criminal nature” affect the range? Lemme guess – You made the Kessel run in under 12 parsecs!

  • avatar

    Matt Posky, the Jaguar E-PACE is not an electric vehicle. You made the same mistake in the last Taycan article as well.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    This is still at the top of my list if the Fiesta ST goes back at lease end. With the tax credits it keeps me in the same ballpark. The performance is there too and it fits my purposes well (fun commuters with an F150 for long trips and work).

    None of the other EVs in this price range are much fun to drive in the manner that a hot hatch is considered fun.

    Likely another lease though.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    $22.5K after tax credit, and hopefully some nice cash on the hood too? Live in a state with decent state incentives and that is getting downright cheap for a dedicated commuter-mobile. Have something else for other than the commute. THIS is how electrics make sense to me currently.

  • avatar
    mcs

    “It just goes to show how quickly the industry is advancing in terms of energy density. High-end manufacturers and those looking to rival them have 300 miles in their sights”

    Currently, I think the next targets are actually in the 400 to 500-mile range. The density of batteries in terms of their weight is improving. A lighter battery means more range for a given capacity. The targeted 500 Wh/kg Tesla/Maxwell cells are half the weight of the current 250 Wh/kg cells. Cutting the cell weight in half for a car like the P100D that’s already at 373 miles should easily give it range parity with almost any ICE car.

    Here’s a good seeking alpha article on progress in battery technology:

    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4311959-battery-developments-coming-thick-and-fast-for-tesla

  • avatar
    tedward

    Look, AMCI undoubtedly did achieve the mileage that Porsche is touting here, but lets be realistic about what they do. Their role is specifically to provide testing data that’s of use to the manufacturer for advertising and training purposes. Think cheesy sales training videos or alternate talking points for efficiency claims (like this one). I don’t think they could be paid to lie outright, but they are certainly being paid to find a way to present their findings in a useful manner.

    If a study like that claims an interesting fact it should probably be presented with a very specific notation about this. It may be that there is a very interesting story there and the brand is correct, but I would never take that at face value without a lot of secondary sourcing.

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