Mini Cooper EV's Range Matches Its Size

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Mcs Mcs on Dec 12, 2019

    "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:

  • Tedward Tedward on Dec 13, 2019

    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.

  • Spamvw Three on the tree, even Generation X would have a hard time stealing one of those.
  • ToolGuy This trend of cyan wheels needs to end NOW.
  • Kwik_Shift Interesting nugget(s) of EV follies.
  • SaulTigh I've said it before and I'll say it again...if you really cared about the environment you'd be encouraging everyone to drive a standard hybrid. Mature and reliable technology that uses less resources yet can still be conveniently driven cross country and use existing infrastructure.These young people have no concept of how far we've come. Cars were dirty, stinking things when I was a kid. They've never been cleaner. You hardly ever see a car smoking out the tail pipe or smell it running rich these days, even the most clapped out 20 year old POS. Hybrids are even cleaner.
  • Inside Looking Out Just put ICE there. Real thing is always better that simulation.