MINI has today unveiled its first fully electric model – the MINI Electric. Production at the Oxford plant will begin in late 2019, with first deliveries in March 2020.
This looks to us a very promising EV.
This looks to us a very promising EV. The first full EV from Mini that compliments the Plug-In model.
A reasonable electric drivetrain pack comprising 30 KWh Lithium Ion pack with BMW electric motor that gives 0-60 in just over 7 seconds. Not as fast as some EVs such a Telsa Model 3 and more in line with Nissan LEAF that also gets to 60 in just over 7 seconds.
The price is super competitive at £24,400 on the road after the Plug-In grant. And the might of BMW finance is offering a PCP payment plan from £299 / month.
Order now for delivery in March 2020.
Every inch a MINI, with performance close to the hot-hatch MINI Cooper S, it is temptingly priced and demand is expected to be strong. Order books open today at MINI retailers and on the MINI UK website.
Characteristic MINI design
The MINI Electric is based on the same body shell as the 3-Door Hatch, with a number of specific differences. An embossed MINI Electric logo appears on car’s side scuttles, as well as on the tailgate and front radiator grille.
The front grille features the hallmark hexagonal shape but is closed, as the car requires less cooling. This also contributes to excellent aerodynamics, as do the enclosed undercarriage, the rear apron and the special 17-inch MINI Electric Corona Spoke 2-tone wheels, which are optional.
The charging plug is located above the right-hand rear wheel, where the petrol filler would normally be.
Boot volume can be compromised in electric cars but the MINI Electric retains the full MINI Hatch 211 litres, expanding to 731 litres when the rear backrests are folded down.
The battery pack has 12 modules of lithium-ion cells arranged in a T-shaped unit in the vehicle floor between the front seats and below the rear seats, providing a battery capacity of 32.6 kWh.
The motor is the latest, powerful version of the synchronous electric motor developed by the BMW Group and provides a maximum output of 184 HP and maximum torque of 270 Nm. As a result, the car accelerates to 62mph in just 7.3 seconds with top speed limited to 93mph.
The power electronics are shielded by a reinforced bumper carrier and the motor support frame, while the high-voltage battery is protected by a solid base plate. With an unladen DIN weight of 1,365 kilograms, the MINI Electric is only 145kgs heavier than the current MINI Cooper S 3-Door with Automatic transmission
In accordance with new EU law, the car is fitted with acoustic pedestrian protection for low speed driving, with a distinctive sound created especially for the car generated via a speaker system.
Even more dynamic
Electric drive takes the trademark MINI go-kart driving feeling to new heights, thanks to new suspension technology designed for this model. With a centre of gravity that is at least 30 millimetres lower than in the MINI Cooper S and the reduced weight over the front wheels thanks to the electric motor, close to perfect weight distribution helps the new MINI Electric achieve exceptional driving dynamics.
The MINI Electric has an innovative Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system which gives excellent traction at set-off and outstanding driving stability in brake energy recovery mode, as well as when accelerating out of tight bends.
Four driving modes
The car offers as standard four MINI Driving Modes – selected via a switch located on the right-hand side of the toggle bar. SPORT mode has more direct steering and a more rapid power delivery. The MID setting has less aggressive steering while GREEN mode features more gentle accelerator actuation. In GREEN+ mode, some comfort functions such as air conditioning are limited or deactivated to save further power and increase range.
A toggle switch to the left of the start/stop toggle provides the choice of intense or low-level power regeneration– regardless of the MINI Driving Modes to allow the driver to choose the best setting for their own style of driving. This recharges the battery when the driver lifts off the accelerator, preserving energy, and acts as a braking force.
New digital dashboard
The new MINI Electric has a new digital dashboard with a 5.5-inch colour screen behind the steering wheel. Road speed is shown at the centre in figures with a peripheral scale band, as well as information on the charge level of the battery, the selected MINI Driving Mode, the status of the driver assistance systems and check control messages.
In addition, details of the available range, current drive power, outside temperature, time and mileage are displayed, with traffic sign detection reports and directions from the navigation system.
If the vehicle is connected to a power socket or charging station, it’s possible to read off the time, outside temperature, available range and the charge status from the new dashboard. Charge completion time is also displayed and the colour of the panel changes depending on charge status.
The MINI Electric comes with both home and public charging cables as standard, designed for AC and DC charging using Type 2 and CCS Combo 2 plugs.
Above the car socket, a charge level indicator displays orange for start of charge, pulsating yellow light for active charging and green for a fully charged battery. At a 50kW DC fast-charging station an 80 per cent charge is reached from zero in 35 minutes.
The new digital dashboard provides information on the current flow of energy and the range, as well as offering ways of increasing range by deactivating comfort functions or boosting energy regeneration. On the navigation map, a circle that indicates the car’s range can be shown. When the route guidance starts, it displays the fastest and shortest route and also suggests a GREEN route involving the lowest level of power consumption.
The standard Navigation includes a 6.5-inch touchscreen in the central instrument panel. This allows MINI Online and Apple CarPlay, as well as offering Real Time Traffic Updates (RTTI) which updates the navigation system automatically and displays details of battery charge status and range. In addition there is a map view which shows public charging stations in the local area and remote services allows the driver to control the charging process via a connected mobile phone.
The exterior mirror caps are finished as standard in Vigorous Grey and optionally in yellow, as is the horizontal blade on the front radiator grille. Regardless of the trim level selected, all exterior finishes can be combined with roof and exterior mirror caps in body finish (not available with the body colour White Silver metallic), or in black or white. Customers also have a choice of alloy wheels in 16 and 17 inches, including the new, model exclusive Corona Spoke alloy.
Dual zone automatic air conditioning with separate ventilation and temperature control for the driver and front passenger as standard. The heater is particularly efficient, using 75 per cent less energy than a conventional version.
Pricing and trim levels
There will the three trim levels, beginning with the standard trim, with a lease price starting at £299* and list price of £24,400 OTR, after the government plug-in car grant has been applied.
The mid-level offers a cloth/leather-look upholstery, additional exterior body colour and wheel options, as well as adding rear Park Distance Control (PDC), Rear Camera, Seat Heating, Driving Assistance Pack and Logo Projection. The mid-level style MINI Electric is available at £26,400 OTR including the grant.
For customers looking for a premium driving experience, the top level offers the following on top of the mid-level trim: front PDC, Park Assist, Harmon Kardon sound system and Head-up Display. It also adds a Panoramic Sun Roof, Matrix LED’s and provides an upgrade to the 8.8” infotainment touch screen. Wireless phone charging is also included, in addition to MINI Yours Leather Lounge upholstery, a choice of five alloy wheels and six exterior body colours. The top style MINI Electric is available at £30,400 OTR including the grant.
Orders are being taken from today, with first deliveries in March 2020. Customers wishing to book a production slot can place a £500 deposit either with a MINI retailer or online at www.mini.co.uk.
Made in Oxford
MINI unveiled the new MINI Electric at the Oxford plant, the home of the brand where the very first Mini was built 60 years ago.
Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Production – and previous plant director of Oxford – Oliver Zipse said, “We are entering an era in which electric cars will become a normal choice for our customers. The MINI Electric will kick off our new model offensive for fully electric vehicles. By 2023, two years ahead of schedule, we will have 25 electrified models on the market. More than half of them will be fully electric”.
The MINI Electric will be fully integrated into the production process at Oxford, running down the same lines as all the conventional models.
“This plant builds 1000 cars per day, with a new MINI coming off the line every 67 seconds, so the integration gives excellent production flexibility and allows supplies of the new model to be adjusted according to demand,” explained Plant Oxford managing director, Peter Weber, “This is such a proud moment for every single one of our team.”
David George, director of MINI in the UK said, “Now our customers can have everything they love about MINI, but with all the advantages of an electric car – lower environmental impact and running costs and they never have to visit a petrol station again”.
Research published today by What Car? magazine and supported by MINI showed that more than 1.5 million UK households which are perfectly suited to running an electric car, are not yet doing so. They have off street parking to allow easy at-home recharging and more than one car in the household, one of which never does more than 100 miles in a day. MINI’s own data shows that the average distance driven each day is 26 miles.
“We believe the new MINI Electric could be a tipping point for those who have been thinking about choosing an electric car, to take that step now,” added George. “We aim to introduce a whole new group of drivers in the UK to the fun and cost savings of electric driving, in a way only MINI can”.
Secretary of State for business, Greg Clark, welcomed the news, “Our automotive industry has long been a source of national pride, and the unique collaboration between Government and industry through our Industrial Strategy has helped put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacture of zero emission vehicles with one in five electric cars in Europe now built in the UK.
“The production of the electric MINI in the UK will play a key role in accelerating the adoption of cleaner, greener vehicles and I am delighted this modern British icon will be manufactured in Oxford”.
Of course Brexit may have other ideas on this. Look like a great start for the UK EV industry.
*Monthly rentals from £299 plus £4,000 initial rental for a 48 month Personal Contract Hire agreement.
Porsche released images from the Taycan testing
The first purely electrically driven sports car of Porsche, the Taycan, is currently completing its final test drives before it enters series production.
In Scandinavia, just a few kilometres away from the Arctic Circle, it is proving its potential in terms of driving dynamics on snow and ice. At the same time, Porsche engineers are taking advantage of the summer in the Southern Hemisphere. In South Africa, they are conducting performance tests, as well as final adjustments in terms of continuous performance and reproducibility. In Dubai they are carrying out hot-climate endurance runs and testing battery charging under extreme conditions. The 30 countries across the globe in which these comprehensive tests are being carried out have temperatures that range from minus 35 to plus 50 degree Celsius.
“After carrying out computer simulations and comprehensive bench tests early on, we have now reached the final phase of this demanding testing programme,” underlines the vice president of the model line, Stefan Weckbach: “Before the Taycan is launched on the market at the end of the year, we will have covered approximately 6 million kilometres across the globe. We are already very happy with the current status of the vehicles. The Taycan is going to be a true Porsche.”
The Taycan is going to be a true Porsche.”
Electric cars have to undergo the same rigorous testing programme as sport cars with combustion engines. In addition to displaying superior performance, this always includes proving unrestricted suitability for everyday use in all climate conditions. Particularly demanding features such as charging the battery or temperature control of the drive train and the interior under extreme conditions are additional aspects in the battery-powered models. Other typical Porsche development targets include circuit performance, multiple accelerations, as well as a range suitable for everyday use.
Facts from the Taycan testing phase.
Overall distance covered: Approximately 6 million kilometres, of which 2 million were endurance run kilometres
Countries: A total of 30, including the USA, China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Finland
Temperatures: From minus 35 to plus 50 degree Celsius
Air humidity: From 20 to 100 per cent
Altitude: From 85 metres below to 3,000 metres above sea level
Charging cycles: Over 100,000 using various charging technologies across the globe
Development team: Around 1,000 test drivers, technicians and engineers
Virtual drive through “The Green Hell”.
Test experts were able to build upon the comprehensive findings from the digital testing stage using digital prototypes. At present, computers are used to design the body, drive, chassis, electronics and overall vehicle of a new model and to simulate their functions – which includes how they work together. In total, the virtual prototypes of the Taycan have completed more than 10 million digital kilometres.
This meant that development engineers started driving a Taycan around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in a driving simulator at an early stage, so that they could test and evaluate its circuit performance. During this process, they focused on the electrical energy management, which plays an important role in achieving a sub-eight-minute lap time on the 20.6-kilometre (timed distance) Nordschleife.
Read more at Porsche Website:
Latest news from Mini is that the Electric Mini is still some way off.
While it’s not available to the public just yet, Mini invited a selection of automotive insiders out to Germany for a chance to give it a whirl. Their expert opinions are in – they answer questions like; what’s it like to drive? How does it handle? Does it feel like a MINI?
Read the best reviews below.
We will be at Goodwood next week to sample the latest EV products from Mini and others. There should be a bunch of Electric and Plug In motors on display. We hope to see the all new Porsche Taycan. Stay tuned.
MINI ELECTRIC. FEELINGS WITH KUBA PRZYGOŃSKI.
Watch Polish rally driver Kuba Przygoński, a member of MINI’s Dakar rally teams, take MINI’s first fully electric model for a spin.
MINI COOPER SE 2019 REVIEW: FIRST DRIVE OF ELECTRIC MINI.
“It launches, fast, and without a hint of wheelspin or, more telling, spot braking of either front wheel.”
NEW MINI ELECTRIC PROTOTYPE REVIEW.
“The Mini Cooper SE is still the best part of a year away, but it already feels ready to shake up the supermini and EV markets when it arrives.”
Auto Express, March 2019
MINI COOPER SE REVIEW: WE DRIVE THE ELECTRIC PROTOTYPE.
“The Mini Cooper SE is testament to how far battery technology has come in the last decade.”
CAR Magazine, March 2019
NEW MINI ELECTRIC PROTOTYPE REVIEW.
“As such, it’s a very agile car; perhaps more so than any electric vehicle currently on sale.”
Driving Electric, March 2019
8 THINGS WE LEARNED DRIVING THE NEW ELECTRIC MINI COOPER SE.
“It’s tangibly a Mini, which is great, and will no doubt benefit from the fact no other affordable, electric car handles particularly well”
Top Gear, March 2019
Fewer and fewer ICE-powered cars will be sold in the coming years.
After speaking to specialists from the auto industry, The Financial Times published a comprehensive report about the fossil-burning engine. Interestingly, several experts told the publication sales of ICE-powered vehicles peaked in 2018 which basically means it’s unlikely that more cars with ICEs will be sold within a year in the future.
Most of the large automotive manufacturers are already adopting electrification as a way to improve the efficiency of their cars. Still, the internal combustion engine will continue to play a major role in the industry within the next at least two decades but, looking at what experts say, it’s probably safe to assume the ICE’s peak is now a thing of the past.
“We will probably see the peak of combustion engine car sales in 2018 based on global sales through October, plus estimates for November and December,”Felipe Munoz, global automotive analyst for Jato Dynamics, told Financial Times.
As of January 2018, predictions were that the demand for ICE-powered cars will continue to grow until its peak in 2022. It turns out that the major drop in overall new car deliveries in the three largest regions in terms of sales, Europe, the U.S., and China, might have significantly changed the forecast.
UK Car sales fall 7% Y on Y
We know from the SMMT that UK new car sales are dismal for 2018 and follow a grim 2017. The SMMT said new and more rigorous emissions testing rules created supply problems and a backlog of deliveries as car manufacturers suffered delays in getting their cars approved.
From 1 September 2018, all cars sold in the EU are subject to the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), measuring all regulated emissions, as well as CO2 and fuel economy. These test are both more rigorous and should give real world data and need to be conducted for every model variant rather than a single example as previous test required. If you are BMW and need to test the new BMW 3 series you need to test every model with every engine configuration. So thats the Saloon in SE, Sport and M Sport with Plug In coming in July with a range of Petrol and Diesel engines. Grim work.
Last year, 2018 saw total UK sales of 2.37 million units a fall of 6.8%. The largest decline was in the diesel sector that fell 30% for the year. Anti-diesel rhetoric and negative fiscal measures took their toll, with December marking the 21st consecutive month of decline for the fuel type – despite new emissions tests showing diesels deliver in the real world. Growth in registrations of petrol (+8.7%) and alternatively fuelled vehicles (+20.9%) replaced some of the loss but not enough to offset the full shortfall as many diesel owners adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach, keeping hold of their older, more polluting vehicles for longer.
In the AFV sector, petrol electric hybrids remained the most popular choice, up +21.3% to 81,156 units. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) also recorded a strong uplift (+24.9%) over the year, though the figures suggest growth is slowing following the removal of the Government’s plug-in car grant for these vehicles in October.
Demand for PHEVs grew almost 30% in the first 10 months, but year on year increases fell to 3.1% and 8.7% in November and December respectively.
Pure electric cars, meanwhile, grew 13.8% in the year but, with just 15,474 registered, they still make up only 0.7% of the market. Given the reduction in government incentives, the pace of growth of plug-in cars is now falling significantly behind the EU average.
“When you look at 2018 since the summer, new car sales in all of the important markets are going down. Selling combustion engine cars to customers – this will not grow in the future,”Axel Schmidt, global automotive lead for Accenture.
In 2019, global vehicle sales aren’t expected to decline as electric vehicles are expected to quadruple their market share to about 1.6 percent. Even if overall sales increase through the next 12 months, deliveries of ICE-powered vehicles will likely fall, say specialists.
The impact of falling unit sales can been seen in the response from the largest global players such as GM who recently announced it’s shuttering five production facilities and killing six vehicle platforms by the end of 2019 as it reallocates resources towards self-driving technologies and electric vehicles.
The announcements should come as a surprise to no one, as they echo a similar announcement made by Ford earlier this year that it will exit all car production other than Mustang within two years. EXIT ALL CARS – FORD!
Why the sudden attitude adjustment toward cars? Well, both firms cite a focus on trucks, SUVs, and crossovers.
North American car production hit 17.5 million vehicles in 2016 and dropped marginally to 17.2 million in 2017. Interesting, but perhaps not significant.
More telling are changes in driver behaviour. In North America, for example, fewer teens are getting driver’s licences. In 1983, 92 per cent of teens were licensed, while by 2014, that number had dropped to 77 per cent. In Germany, the number of new licences issued to drivers aged 17 to 25 has dropped by 300,000 over the last 10 years.
Fewer ICE cars on the road within a decade
We are moving from a do-it-yourself (DIY) transportation economy to a sharing, or do-it-for-me (DIFM), economy. Many of us won’t like it — I honestly like to drive — but the numbers and the technology are there.
As safety technologies improve and societal paradigms shift, this evolution will gather momentum. Based on the young driver statistics above, it seems reasonable to anticipate a reduction in cars per capita of 20 to 30 per cent in the next decade.
Unions at GM and Ford are justifiably unhappy, but they shouldn’t be surprised. It is quite possible that we have reached peak car in North America and Europe.
Companies that want to succeed in this new environment will need to be different and better in some way. If car volumes drop by 30 per cent over the next 10 years, there’d better be something special about the car company that hopes to survive, let alone prosper — like better technology, better comfort, or better service.
If current trends continue, we can anticipate more shutdown announcements — like GM’s — from car companies and parts suppliers, as there won’t be room for all of them.
INFINITI will unveil its new QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 North American International Auto Show this month, previewing the brand’s electrified future.
The new concept represents INFINITI’s plans for high-performance electrified vehicles, offering complete range confidence, while signalling a new era for INFINITI design enabled by new technology. Infused with Japanese DNA, a refreshed form language hints at the potency and character of the brand’s future electrified powertrains.
Infiniti is rather late to the EV game, considering what its rivals, like TESLA, Porsche, AUDI are doing and the fact that parent Nissan has been making the Leaf since 2010. Infinitis is Nissan’s upmarket brand, just as Lexus is to Toyota.
As Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti has yet to build a pure EV, instead selling rather bland hybrid vehicles like the Q50 Hybrid. However, it plans to electrify its entire lineup starting in 2021, and said that half its vehicles would feature either a hybrid or a pure electric drivetrain by 2025. Unfortunately for pure EV lovers, many of those vehicles will pack Nissan’s e-POWER hybrid drivetrain, which uses a petrol engine to charge the electric batteries, and has no plug-in option.
Infiniti has just unveiled the QX Inspiration concept rather than a production car, that it will show off in detail at the 2019 North American International Auto Show later in January. The vehicle design, teased last month, represents the future (and platform) for Infiniti’s electrified program.
Development of new electric vehicle platforms enables the formation of spacious, lounge-like interiors. In the case of the QX Inspiration concept, the cabin has been hand-crafted using traditional techniques and a choice of materials inspired by a subtle Japanese sensuality. The new interior technology follows the Japanese hospitality principle of ‘omotenashi’, creating a welcoming environment, while assisting drivers and connecting occupants to the world around them.
Karim Habib, Executive Design Director for INFINITI describes the QX Inspiration as the beginning of a new era for INFINITI, and an illustration of where the brand wants to go. New technology gives the opportunity to evolve INFINITI’s design philosophy – and the new vehicle communicates the ‘serene strength’ at our core.
We will learn more after the full release at the Detroit show.
Tesla Model 3s are expected to land in Europe early in the new year. To increase awareness of the Tesla proprietary supercharging network Elon Musk revealed via Twitter that Tesla is planning a Supercharger expansion that will cover “100 percent of Europe…From Ireland to Kiev, from Norway to Turkey,” he added, in response to a tweet that some parts of Ireland are badly in need of Superchargers.
The automaker started preparing the Model 3 for European markets in November, displaying it in showrooms in various countries across the continent. That time, the company also said that the vehicle’s European version will come equipped with Combined Charging System (CCS) fast charging-compatible ports. In addition, Tesla said it will upgrade its existing Superchargers in the continent with CCS plugs before Model 3 arrives.
If the company plans to retrofit existing Superchargers with Combined Charging System (CCS) plugs, then the new installations might already come with them from the get-go. Since CCS technology is commonly used for EVs in Europe, people wondered whether Tesla intends to open up its network to other companies’ vehicles. Tesla’s head of global charging infrastructure, Drew Bennett, said the company has been talking to other automakers, but there are no concrete plans just yet.
The Combined Charging System (CCS) covers charging electric vehicles using the Combo 1 and Combo 2 connectors at up to 80 or 350 kilowatts respectively. These two connectors are extensions of the Type 1 and Type 2 connectors, with two additional direct current (DC) contacts to allow high-power DC fast charging.
As usual the EV industry is making charging systems and standards as clear as mud. The EC is trying to impose standards for manufactures and charging stations while the industry, especially Tesla is pushing high-speed charging as a proprietary and unique selling points.
The LA Car Show has just opened. One of the best events to see and touch the new models coming to you local showroom next year.
Here we can showcase a few of the main EV announcements:
In no real order we have:
New Kia Soul
Audi e-tron GT concept
BMW Vision iNext
Rivian Pick Up
Tesla Power Wall
Full write-up of the most important players to follow.
Plus expect the mainstream EV players to show the latest electric and plug-ins from:
VW with the e-Golf
Smart with the EQ ForTwo
Mini Countryman Plug In
Range Rover with Sport Plug In
Kia Optima PHEV
Fiat 500e Plug In
Plus new Non Plug In Hybrids from
Lincoln MKZ Reserve Hybrid
Lexus UX Hybrid