By Khulekani Dumisa
The BMW Group has extended its electric portfolio locally by introducing the Mini SE. Joining the I3, the Mini Cooper SE retails from R642,000, making it the most affordable electric vehicle on sale in South Africa.
Apart from the attractive price for an electric vehicle locally, the Mini Cooper SE is likely to find itself many homes in Mzanis based on its looks which largely echo those of the Mini 3 Door that it is based on.
The Mini Cooper SE sets itself apart with an expressive design that is underscored by Energetic Yellow accents. The accents are found in a number of places including the closed radiator grille, mirror caps, tailgate and side scuttles.
Standard features included signature Mini LED headlights, two-zone automatic AC and a 6.5-inch infotainment with navigation. An 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment is available as an optional extra. At the centre of this fully digital screen, the road speed is shown in figures with a peripheral scale band. The speed band is also displayed in the light ring of the central instrument – in red (SPORT mode), white (MID) or green (GREEN and GREEN+), according to the mode selected. You can also personalize your Mini Cooper SE by choosing from a number of available packages.
The Mini Cooper SE makes a decent 135 kW of power and 270Nm of torque from its electric motor. This allows it to accelerate from zero to 60 km/h in 3.9 seconds and from a standstill to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds. The range is a decent 217 kilometres meaning a round trip from Johannesburg to Pretoria is possible on a single charge.
To address your concerns about the longevity of the technology, the Mini Cooper SE comes standard with an eight-year/100,000km battery warranty.
Charging options include charging at home using the standard charging cable or the optional Mini Wallbox. The Mini Cooper SE consumes 17kWh per 100km and if the cost of electricity is 75c/kWh, then it would cost around R12,75 to run a MINI Cooper SE for 100km (or R28 for a full “tank”, assuming the battery is depleted).
Charging at all BMW and MINI-branded public chargers, using the standard MINI charging card is, however, free of charge. Allow 35 minutes for a charge from 0 – 80% using a 50kW fast charger, and two-and-a-half hours using the 11kW charger.
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