The big problem for BMW's new electric Mini
Mini's first electric car requires customers to dig deep and compromise practical expectations.
The brand's first fully-electric car costs almost twice as much as its regular hatchback while offering less than one third its usable range.
The compact car brand revealed Australian pricing for its first electric car today, positioning the car at a steep $59,990 drive-away. That's almost twice the price of the same-sized Mini Cooper hatchback, a car that costs $30,750 plus on-road costs, or about $35,000 drive-away.
While a regular Mini offers about 750 kilometres of range from its 40 litre fuel tank, the Mini Electric has a claimed range of just 233 kilometres from its tiny 32.6 kWh lithium-ion battery.
That's considerably less than the 311km of Hyundai's Ioniq Electric or Nissan's 270km Leaf, both of which cost about $53,000 drive-away. Tesla's cheapest Model 3 brings 460km of claimed range for about $74,000 drive-away.
Mini's argument is that its little car is an urban runabout less likely to be used for long-distance driving. A compact battery also leads to relatively quick charging times, as it doesn't take long to fill up.
The Mini also brings a degree of funk comparatively plain models such as the Leaf can't match.
Based on the retro-styled Mini Cooper, the Electric brings fluoro yellow exterior highlights, along with interesting four-spoke alloy wheels. A premium Harmon Kardon stereo joins a head-up display, adaptive LED headlights, digital dash and leather trim on an impressive standard features list.
A claimed 0-100km/h time of 7.3 seconds makes the Mini quicker than the likes of the Leaf, but slower than the brand's four-cylinder hatchbacks.
Mini says the model can be ordered online, with deliveries beginning in August.
Originally published as Big problem for electric Mini