By Tony Winterburn • 29 March 2021 • 23:50
MOTORING SPECIAL: Introducing The New Mini Electric. image: BMW media
Introducing The New Mini Electric.
BMW’s Mini Electric is, at a basic level, a three-door Mini. Its lithium-ion drive battery does nothing more serious to impact on practicality than very marginally raising the height of the car’s rear seat cushions.
Under the bonnet is housed an identical 181bhp, 199lb-ft electric motor that powers the BMW i3S – except this time it’s powering the Mini’s front axle, of course, rather than the BMW’s rear one.
The ‘hybrid synchronous motor design, a BMW patent, delivers greater power density than most electric motors by combining within its rotor design the effect of permanent magnets with something called the reluctance effect, which cuts down on the need for heavy ‘rare earth’ materials like Neodymium within its construction. That, in turn, means the rotor can be lighter, and so it can spin faster and produce power over a greater range than most electric motors manage.
A critical component of the car’s powertrain is its drive battery, which is T-shaped and fits under the back seats and along the transmission tunnel. It is as large as the space for it allows to be carried within the Mini’s chassis allows and has a usable capacity of 28.9kWh.
However, this is not a particularly competitive figure in a market in which both the Renault Zoe and Peugeot e-208 offer close to 50kWh. The Mini’s engineers claim that the 144 miles the battery delivers will meet most daily motoring needs of Mini owners- with room to spare. Prices start from €18,683 to €36,000 with deals available.
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