Mini Cooper SE (All-Electric) First Impression

The first time I drove an all-electric vehicle is when I drove the BMW i3 and that was about five years ago. My first impression at the time is that we’re not ready for EV’s in South Africa, I still don’t think we are ready today, but we are making progress with regards to the infrastructure of charging ports. Also at the time, there were several hybrids and not fully electric vehicles around compared to today, where you can only find the Jaquar i-Pace and BMW i3 if you are looking for the full experience of an EV. I was actually impressed with Jaguar having an all-electric in South Africa before other big brands such as Mercedes Benz, VW, Audi, Range Rover and Volvo.
The Mini Cooper SE still looks the same as any Mini Cooper with slight cosmetic changes, I find it interesting that Mini has taken this route to keep the design the same and just make it electric, a change of the design would’ve been nice. The front and rear bumpers have been updated as well as the LED lights. Anyways, you get the normal 4 seats and with an updated digital infotainment screen, which is better than the previous system. You also get a new dashboard that looks very cool and futuristic and it gives you all the information with regards to battery and battery efficiency. The model I am driving seems to have seats that are made from recycled material, which seems to be the trend for EV’s. The E in Mini Cooper SE stands for electric, of course, but the rest of the name is borrowed from the performance-oriented Mini Cooper S. The SE has just a shade less horsepower than the S, but that power is delivered instantly. One thing people are going to struggle with is getting used to the paddle of an EV – so when you are driving and lifting your foot from the paddle, usually the car keeps going while you rest your foot. When driving an EV, if you lift your foot the car slows down and stops eventually so basically you need to have your foot on the paddle at all times.

The Good

  • It’s a beautiful car, the design has kept the Mini Cooper tradition and this is a great addition to the family.
  • It’s fast and the power is instant which is great for those who love speed.
  • It hasn’t lost the go-cart feeling that Mini Cooper gives you on the road,
  • I can get a baby car seat easily installed for such a small car, which is surprising as I thought it would be difficult

The Bad

  • The model I am driving at full battery gets you 162KM which is not much and this means you will be charging every other day but you can get a bigger battery which is about 215KM which makes sense to me.
  • This model doesn’t have a wireless charging deck, I would expect it from an EV right?

ELECTRIC :ELECTRIC CONSUMPTION (NEDC COMBINED): 17,5 KWH/100KM. CO2-EMISSIONS (NEDC COMBINED): 0 G/KM 184 PS (135 kW)215 km electric range (WLTP)Starting Price is R658 000