Top electric driving tips, from MINI Electric drivers

The MINI Electric makes going electric easy. That’s why we asked some real MINI Electric drivers for their best advice for EV driving and charging...

MINI Electric

If you’re thinking about making the electric switch, there are a lot of new things to consider: from range to home charging, and on-the-go top-ups.

With up to 145 miles of range (WLTP) and rapid charging from 0-80% in as little as 36 minutes, the MINI Electric makes it simple to take the first steps on your electric journey – offering budding electric drivers plenty of EV bang for your buck. That’s why we spoke to three real MINI Electric drivers – Iola, Misty and Monwar – to get their impressions of the car and their favourite features.

Here, we’ve pooled together their top electric driving tips and charging advice to give you an even better idea of how the MINI Electric makes living the life electric easy.

Want to try the MINI Electric yourself? Take a 24-hour test drive

MINI Electric - Iola

Home charging made easy

According to RAC Foundation research, the average UK car spends 73% of its time parked at home. As a result, home charging makes most sense, ensuring that your car is fully charged and ready to go the next day. Our MINI Electric drivers agree. The MINI Electric offers plenty of flexibility for every home charging solution. It can be charged overnight in 12 hours using the 2.3kW flexible charging cable, or in as little as 3hrs and 12min using the optional interchangeable adapter and a suitable 11kW power source – such as a dedicated home charging point.

Misty: “It’s super easy to charge the MINI Electric at home. Living in a Grade II listed building, we can’t currently install a wallbox. But, as the MINI Electric comes with a simple three-pin plug, we can sling the cable through the window and still top-up when we get home, which works well. You could install a garden plug, but it’s really about what works best for you. The simplest solution is often the most effective.”

Iola: “I do most of my charging at home, because it’s significantly cheaper. I’m also able to track everything on the MINI Electric smartphone app, which gives me an even better idea of how much I’m spending to help control the costs.”

Monwar: “The MINI Electric cost me around £14 to run over a week using public chargers. But, with the benefit of cheaper overnight tariffs, home charging costs even less. Letting you choose the most affordable time to start the charging cycle makes a massive difference.”

Has the MINI Electric sparked your interest? Take a 24-hour test drive

MINI Electric - Misty

Top tips for on-the-go charging

Think on-the-go charging is hard? Think again. According to Zap Map, there are now 30,000 charging devices across the UK at 18,000 locations. Equally, MINI Charging makes paying for charging easy, offering access to around 15,000+ charging points across a range of providers with one RFID card or the MINI Charging mobile app.

Using the 11kW fast chargers typically found at long-stay car parks, supermarkets, retail parks and leisure centres, you can recharge the MINI Electric from 0-80% in around 2hrs 30min. Rapid 50kW chargers can top you up from 0-80% in around 36 minutes. According to our MINI Electric drivers, the secret is to fit charging around your day – called ‘grazing’ – with lots of little bits of charging quickly adding up.

Iola: “Plug in to top-up when you go food shopping, and you’ll never have to think about charging up for long periods. Many supermarkets have free charging for electric cars. Considering how quickly the MINI Electric charges, you’ll be surprised how much battery range you’ll come back to after a one-hour food shop.”

Monwar: “Once you spend time in an electric car, you’ll notice just how many public chargers there are. It’s so easy to grab a quick 15-minute top-up here and there. And it costs so little! The fact you can get a big boost of charge in that time is amazing. That’s basically a quick walk around the block, and all for around a fiver.”

Misty: “My top tip: find the public chargers that work best for you. Preferably those which are easier to operate, that you know many other people miss, and options that can be used without a membership. It’s also worth using the MINI Electric smartphone app to find chargers on your regular routes, in order to make the charging process as seamless as possible.”

Iola: “If you’re not someone who runs out of petrol, you probably won’t run out of charge! If you are worried about range, it’s worth looking at the distance of your average journey. A lot of people would be surprised at how many short journeys you do. A 145-mile range is plenty most of the time. And, when you need to go further than that in one go, there are charging stations everywhere.”

Misty: “It’s worth spending the time to find the right type of charging solutions for your needs: At home, public; it depends on your lifestyle. If you’re nipping in and out of town, like I do, there really isn’t a better car to do it in than the MINI Electric!”

Fancy getting behind the wheel of the MINI Electric? Take a 24-hour test drive

MINI Electric

Driving efficiently

Like you’d expect of any MINI, the MINI Electric has the sort of sprightly performance that makes every drive fun. With 184hp and 270Nm of instant and punchy all-electric torque, the MINI Electric can sprint from 0-62mph in just 7.3 seconds. There are also plenty of driving aids that enhance the MINI Electric’s impressive efficiency, helping you preserve more range for even more miles and more smiles.

Iola: “The MINI Electric’s regenerative braking function is one of my absolute favourite features. It’s a different way of driving, but you get used to it quickly, and the rewards are instant. Instead of using your brake, you simply lift off the accelerator to decelerate, and the regenerative braking puts energy back into the battery for later use. That means you get more range as you go.”

Misty: “It’s also worth using one of the MINI Electric’s eco-friendly driving modes wherever possible. I don’t think many people are aware that electric cars have multiple driving modes, and in the MINI Electric you have four to play with. I spend most of my time in Green or Green+ which maximises the MINI’s range, letting me go further, more of the time.”

Monwar: “The MINI Electric’s Green and Green+ Modes worked really well on some of my longer journeys, helping the car make the most of every bit of range. I’m always surprised by how far I can go on a single charge when I keep the MINI Electric in its most economical setting.”

Iola: “When driving the MINI Electric, you do become more conscious about how you’re using your energy – and I think that’s great. I think everyone should be more conscious about how they use their energy.”

Want to try the MINI Electric yourself? Take a 24-hour test drive

MINI Electric

Using in-car energy-saving features

The MINI Electric has features to maximise your range by making more efficient use of in-car technology. As air-conditioning is a particular culprit for affecting range, the MINI Electric smartphone app lets you ‘pre-condition’ your car remotely, while it’s still charging. That means you can pre-warm or pre-cool your MINI Electric so it’s the perfect temperature for your trip, giving you more miles to enjoy.

Iola: “I like to preheat the car in the morning before I get in, while the car is still charging. It gives me less reason to use the hot air function on the move, which makes the car much more efficient on the journey.”

Misty: “The preconditioning function is a great feature because the battery is already warmed up – making the car more efficient once you’re on the move. Less energy used, means more range and less money spent.”

Has the MINI Electric sparked your interest? Take a 24-hour test drive

MINI Electric

Top tips for longer trips

The MINI Electric smartphone app syncs with the in-car navigation – letting you pre-plan your journeys from the comfort of your couch. The result: you can find the most efficient routes, and the best charging options on your route (and at your destination) in advance, saving you time and hassle when you’re on the move.

Monwar: “A lot of people are very nervous about charging their car, but there’s no need to be – charging stations are everywhere now! I use the MINI Electric’s navigation system to help plan my longer trips and find charging points along the way, making the journey seamless.”

Misty: “If I’m planning to do a longer journey, I’ll use the MINI Electric smartphone app to check my route and see where all the public chargers are. You do have to plan ahead to a small degree, but the app is so easy to use that it doesn’t add much more time than checking potential delays on your route.”

Iola: “You should plan your journeys if you’re going further afield, but don’t let the planning put you off. There really are a lot more charging points in more locations than ever before which means you have plenty of opportunities to top-up as you go.”

Fancy getting behind the wheel of the MINI Electric? Take a 24-hour test drive