plug and play | 

MINI goes for electric dream but the 233km range gave me anxiety

It was quite a change from the norm to get behind the wheel of an all-electric model a couple of weeks ago.

The MINI electric

Robbie Farrell

MINI - Electric Collection

IF you are a regular reader of these pages then you will be well aware of my love affair with the MINI brand.

I have been a huge fan since I was a rugrat and have owned classic models in the past.

But when it comes to the little pocket rocket, for me it has to be fast and furious and have a powerful petrol engine that packs a punch.

So it was quite a change from the norm to get behind the wheel of an all-electric model a couple of weeks ago.

At first glance, the new MINI Electric Collection really sets the scene for the first purely electrically powered model by the British premium brand.

The MINI Electric's look is loosely based on its extremely attractive three-door hatch sibling.

However, due to the positioning of the battery pack under the floor, the electric model sits slightly taller (18mm) than the hatch - not that you would even notice the difference.

The most noticeable differences are that the electric model comes with MINI's all-new bright yellow 'E' badging on many parts of the vehicle.

MINI Electric 2021

The wheels are a slight giveaway that it's an electric vehicle as they feature three specific holes that are supposed to represent the shape of a three-pin plug - very clever eh?

On the road, the MINI electric is extremely fun to drive and has all the handling prowess of it petrol or diesel Cooper S siblings. As with all MINIs it handles superbly around town and you can certainly knock a fair bit of sport out of it.

However, there is a downside to it in my eyes as it comes with a very small battery pack (32.6kWh), which MINI claim will give you a range of up to 233km.

That's definitely not enough in my eyes to warrant switching over from a petrol/diesel model.

The MINI Electric's interior is very stylish

It's range anxiety Grand Central station for me, considering new models rolling off the shelf are offering close to double those figures.

MINI counteracts those figures by saying that the smaller battery takes less time to charge (four hours from a 7.4kW domestic wallbox) or up to 80 per cent in just 35 minutes using a rapid DC charger.

Personally, for the moment anyway, I would prefer to stick to my beloved petrol model and wait until the MINI Electric is fitted with a higher-capacity battery, maybe in a few years' time.

Prices for the new MINI Electric start at €35,715, while prices for the petrol three-door hatch start at €22,675.

Today's Headlines

More Motoring

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices