Not many cars debuting at the Frankfurt Motor Show these days have arrived at the event using their own power but the Mini Cooper SE is one of them.
Mini’s first mass-produced EV drove from BMW Group’s home in Munich to the exhibition grounds in Frankfurt/Main for its world premiere, covering 400 emissions-free kilometers (248 miles) in the process.
The Mini Cooper SE could not cover that distance using a single battery charge, however. The maximum driving range provided by the 32.6 kWh lithium-ion battery is 270 km (168 miles), so it had to stop along the way for a “refill.” The car “suggested” a fast charging station on the A3 motorway and that’s where driver Elena Eder, who is also the model’s project manager, chose to recharge the battery.
Replenishing the almost fully depleted battery to 80 percent of its total capacity took 35 minutes, extending the range with plenty of miles to cover the remaining distance to Frankfurt.
As you can imagine, Eder did not exploit the car’s 150 km/h (93 mph) maximum speed that much in order to extend the range. Finally, the Cooper SE rolled into Hall 11 of the Frankfurt exhibition center with sufficient charge still in its battery pack.
“Urban mobility is certainly the greatest strength of the Mini Cooper SE. But that doesn’t mean that electric driving fun is only suitable for short distances,” says project manager Eder. “The Mini Cooper SE can easily cope with lengthier journeys thanks to the option of using DC fast charging stations with a charging capacity of up to 50 kilowatts. A lunch break is all it takes to recharge,” she added.
The Mini Cooper SE will enter production at the Oxford plant in the UK in November 2019, with worldwide deliveries to follow shortly after. The electric city car is priced from £24,400 in the UK (including the £3,500 Plug-in Car Grant) and €32,500 in Germany (including taxes).