Mini Cooper EV's Range Matches Its Size
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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