The MINI electric – the MINI Cooper SE in Europe – has now garnered 78,000 potential buyers ahead of going on sale officially in March 2020.
It’s four months since the MINI Electric was revealed as MINI’s first proper production electric car, and it looks very promising in a ‘fit for purpose’ kind of way.
MINI hasn’t gone down the route of maximum batteries for maximum range, but tried to strike a balance between cost and range, just as Honda has done with the Honda-E.
That means a modest 32.6kWh battery delivering power to a 181bhp electric motor borrowed from the BMW i3, enough to scoot to 62mph in a decent 7.3 seconds.
A modest battery pack means a modest range of 124-144 miles, but it also means a charge to 80 per cent will take a reasonable 35 minutes on a 50kW charger (and 2.5 hours on an 11kW charger).
Logically that’s more than enough range to cover most buyers’ needs on a daily basis, it’ll charge at home in a few hours and, if you venture further afield, you won’t be spending too much time waiting for your electric MINI to charge, assuming you can find a working 50kW charger en-route.
MINI has taken a bit of a risk by opting for a smaller battery pack, but that doesn’t seem to be putting buyers off, buyers perhaps feeling that if any car suits an EV powertrain it’s a MINI and encouraged by the relatively modest £24,400 price after grant.
That was already starting to look the case back in August when MINI revealed that 45,000 people had signed up for an electric MINI, and that’s now risen to 78,000.
There’s no guarantee all those 78k potential buyers will go on to put down hard cash, but it’s a significant chunk of interest and certainly seems enough to vindicate MINI’s ‘Modest Battery, Modest Price’ route.