It is essentially the Mini you know and love, with a green twist
With the global shift in promoting electric vehicles (EVs) over internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) by governments around the world, the introduction of the new Mini Electric could not have come at a better time.
Options took the car out for a spin and loved its nifty size, supercharged engine, and of course, the fact that it comes with environmental benefits.
The new model comes with a facelift compared to the original Mini Electric, which arrived in Singapore in August 2020.
The new Mini Electric comes with jaunty yellow-green trims on the side mirror, wheels, as well as the accent bar in front of the car. It also comes with a bolder, modern bumper, a yellow-green S badge on the front grille and side scuttles, as well as a Mini Electric logo at the back.
In addition, the new version comes with new LED headlights, which include a powerful Bi-LED light for low- and high-beam settings.
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What’s also new is the Mini app, which was introduced early this year and recently had an update. The app gives all Mini car owners a quick preview of the statistics of the car, including easy access to its status, functions and charging history.
The app also lets owners unlock the vehicle from the phone, and activate the air-conditioning to cool the car’s interior before unlocking the doors. This is in addition to navigation and map services, as well as offering directions to the nearest Mini service centre.
The car’s interior decor matches its exterior hues. This includes a digital instrument cluster that replaces the traditional tachometer, which is easy to read even when you are on the road
A first-time EV driver
As this was my first time reviewing a fully electric vehicle, I was slightly concerned at the thought of having to find charging stations should the car run out of battery.
My concerns were immediately allayed as a single charge of the Mini Electric can take you up to 232 km, which in theory, is around two days of driving between work and home, and then some, according to the people at Mini Singapore.
The Mini Electric also comes with its own charging station, or the Mini Wallbox. It is recommended that you use Mini’s installation service team to have yours installed at home.
For landed properties, the installation service is provided by Greenlots, who will send a team to the property to evaluate the infrastructure and carry out the installation. The cost of this is included in the car’s price.
For condos, installation would depend on the approval of the building’s management. Installation in HDB estates is not possible at this time. The owner will have to tap on public charging solutions.
However, for those who are unable to install the Wallbox, there will be a price reduction for the car. The team at Mini was not able to disclose how much exactly that would be.
If there is not enough charge to get to your destination, the Mini Electric will suggest charging spots along the route. The Mini navigation system will also provide you directions to all charging stations in the ChargeNow network.
The car’s regenerative braking function also channels energy that is otherwise wasted back to the battery so you can go even further with just one charge.
According to Mini Singapore’s website, which has a charging calculator, owners who drive around 42km every day should charge their car at least two times to at least 80% weekly, or charge to at least 21% daily.
With a Mini Wallbox at 11kW, AC, the car can reach a charge of 0-80% in approximately 2.5 hours, and 0-100% in around three hours. With a fast charger at 50kW, DC, the car can reach a charge of 0-80% in around 35 minutes.
The calculator also provides an estimate in terms of annual savings compared to a regular ICEV. For someone who drives 42km a day, he or she will enjoy around $2,313 in savings.
The look and feel
At first approach, the new Mini Electric came with no surprises. It is an adorable two-door hatchback with the iconic Mini shape that is easily recognisable anywhere. The yellow-green accents add character to the car’s silver exterior.
The drive itself is one of the smoothest I have had, out of my fledgling career as a part-time car reviewer, having test-driven a grand total of four cars, including a hybrid model.
The Mini Electric’s compact size at 3,850mm (length), 1,727mm (width) and 1,432mm (height) allows me to steer into tight spaces, while affording me sufficient legroom and boot space.
While navigating through the controls took some time, when we were finally ready to drive the car out of the showroom, the new Mini Electric simply took off, easily and seamlessly, as if gliding through water.
For those looking to turbocharge their drive, the EV does not stint on the engine power that all Mini fans know and love. With 184PS and 270Nm of torque, the new Mini Electric comes just behind the Mini John Cooper Works line for the Mini Three-Door, Mini Convertible, Mini Clubman and Mini Countryman models.
The car also has an acceleration time from 0km to 100km of 7.3 seconds, and a maximum speed of 150km/h.
Within, the car comes with a digital instrument cluster that replaces the traditional tachometer, which is easy to read even when you are on the road. The 5.0-inch screen provides details such as your revs per minute, speed, fuel level and navigation instructions.
A ride I would love to go on again
We took the new Mini Electric for a spin on the busy highways during peak hour and on the empty roads near the Seletar Aerospace area.
Beyond having the prestige of driving a Mini, the Mini Electric picks up speed pretty quickly, is easy to steer, and is a fun and breezy drive on the whole.
The car’s Driving Assistant is definitely a feature you want to have, when it comes to safety. The camera-based assistant warns you when you veer off-lane. It will also activate light city braking should you get too close to other cars or pedestrians. Beginner drivers seeking an easy drive will have no problems with this one.
Despite its two-door model, the car has four seats, which fits four people comfortably. The leather seats were comfortable, although I wish the car came with a function that saves my preferred seat adjustments.
The sunroof was an exciting feature, although with the hot afternoons, it can only be enjoyed mostly in the evenings.
New Mini Electric
$173,888 including COE
Motor function: electrical traction machine
Engine code: IB1P25B
Energy efficiency: 17.5 kWh/100km
0-100kph: 7.3 seconds
Top Speed: 150 km/h
All photos: MINI