2020 Mini Electric: price, specs and release date
Mini’s all-electric hatchback features a high-tech interior and 144-mile range...
On sale March 2020 | Price from £24,400 including government grant (£27,900 without)
Mini decided to tread lightly when launching its first electric car. So lightly, in fact, that this Mini Electric’s first ninja-like steps were taken in 2009, when a small fleet of electric Minis were trialled in cities across the UK on a subscription basis. Then, in 2017, the Mini Electic concept car previewed the car’s radical styling. And now, finally, here’s an all-electric Mini hatchback you can put on your driveway.
Although toned down significantly from the conceptual version, elements such as its bulbous front grille, sporty front and rear bumpers, bespoke badging and geometric alloy wheels aim to make the Mini Electric stand out from the crowd. It sits 15mm further off the ground than the regular Mini hatchback – a move necessitated by its battery pack – but the car’s lower body cladding has also been extended to mask the extra height.
2020 Mini Electric power and range
Underneath, the Mini Electric gets a 33kWh battery pack and 181bhp electric motor. On the WLTP test cycle the Mini Electric can cover 144 miles between charges – more than the upcoming Honda E, which can cover 125 miles, but less the new Vauxhall Corsa-e, which promises 211 miles.
Drivers can choose from three driving modes – sport, green and a more balanced middle ground – as well as two levels of regenerative braking. The 0-62mph sprint takes 7.3sec, and the Electric’s top speed is limited to 93mph. Charging from 0-80% takes 35 minutes using the sort of public charger you’ll find at a motorway service station, or 2.5hrs from a wall box.
Our driving impressions of a late-stage Mini Electric prototype have already shown that it offers the same engaging drive of regular Minis, with handling that inspires confidence and well-controlled body roll. We came away thinking that this all-electric Mini was just as much fun to drive as its combustion-engined siblings.
2020 Mini Electric interior
Inside, the Electric will be familiar to anyone who’s sat in a current Mini hatchback, but new features include a 5.0-in digital dashboard and an electric handbrake – both of which will filter through to other Mini models in time. The digital dashboard is all-new for Mini, and although it’s not as configurable as what you’ll find in Volkswagen or Audi models, it does show you essential information including speed, the battery’s charge and remaining range. There’s also the same iDrive-based infotainment system (up to 8.8in depending on spec) that you’ll find in current Minis, which is a doddle to use.
Space-wise, the Mini Electric is identical to the existing Mini three-door hatchback, so expect rear passengers to have more room than they would in an Audi A1, and for a large shopping trip to pose no trouble for the boot.
Mini wants to make electric car ownership as hassle-free as possible, so there will be just three trim levels for the Electric – though their names are yet to be confirmed – and no options. As standard you’ll get cloth seats, dual-zone climate control, LED lights and cruise control. Go one step up the ladder, as Mini expects most buyers will, and you get part-leather heated seats, keyless entry, a centre armrest and rear parking sensors, while top-end cars come with a panoramic roof, and an upgraded Harmon Kardon stereo.
And if you don’t want your Mini to look overtly different to the standard hatchback, you don’t have to, because you can swap some of the Electric’s more striking elements – those wheels, for example, or the yellow exterior detailing on its side mirrors – for standard Mini wheels and colours for free.
2020 Mini Electric price
Prices will start at £24,400, including the government’s £3500 electric vehicle grant, which makes the Mini Electric substantially cheaper than BMW’s i3, and only slightly more expensive than Renault’s Zoe.
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The best and worst electric cars
Can't wait for the Mini Electric to go on sale? If you're thinking of going green right now, then you'll want to know which electric cars should be on your shortlist, and which are more trouble than they're worth. Well, below and over the next few pages we've done the hard work for you, and sorted the best from the rest. Read on to find out which are our favourite electric cars.
10. Hyundai Ioniq
The Ioniq is really three cars in one – it's available as a conventional hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and as a fully electric car. The latter we're including here has a range of 174 miles, and enough torque to make acceleration feel brisk around town. The interior is smart, too, and our recommended Premium models get sat-nav and heated front seats as standard.
9. Tesla Model X
On paper, Tesla's all-electric family SUV seems to be the dream all-rounder, combining the luxury of a Range Rover Sport with the green credentials of an electric car. In practice, its low running costs and practical interior are hard to fault, and even entry-level versions aren't short on pace, but parts of its interior do feel a little low-rent.
8. Volkswagen e-Golf
Unlike purpose-built electric cars such as the BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf, the e-Golf is based on a conventional hatchback. However, this is no bad thing, because it means it has all the good points of the regular regular Golf, along with greatly reduced running costs. It's just a shame its Real Range is so limited.
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