A cunning plan to combine charging options could help counter range anxiety for the Mini Electric
If you’ve got designs on buying a Mini Electric then your decision-making might have just been made easier, especially when it comes to charging.
That’s thanks to a new scheme which will allow Mini E owners to use a range of different charging options using just one account. It was revealed alongside a new version of the Mini E at the iconic car’s birthplace of Plant Oxford in the U.K., and it’s the kind of simple solution that could actually make a huge difference when it’s time to give the battery more juice.
The first formative ‘Mini E’ trial began way back in 2009 and one of the main challenges, both then and now, is persuading people that recharging battery-powered cars doesn’t have to be the chore it can so frequently be.
In fact, recharging an electric car can be one of the most tedious things about owning one, especially in the U.K. That’s where the new Mini Electric scheme comes in, giving owners a much more convenient option, particularly when it comes to tackling longer journeys.
Mini’s plan is to offer multiple charging point options using just one account setup, with charging providers including BP Pulse, Ionity, Charge your Car, Osprey, ESB Energy, Instavolt, Chargepoint and Source London all signed up so far.
The fact that you won’t need multiple accounts, or lots of apps, should streamline the process of charging — and that can only be a good thing.
In another nod towards the different ways people are approaching car ownership, Mini will also be offering a ‘sharing’ option. This will let you share your Mini with up to 10 other users. The idea could prove to be popular, particularly with the likes of businesses that need to allow colleagues to share vehicles quickly and conveniently.
And, if you’ve got a growing family and several members have driving licences, then they’ll be free to book their journey slot and use the car, all of which can be done via the supporting app. It sounds a bit like car rental, without the hassle.
On top of the common-sense charging idea, the refreshed Mini Electric comes in a trio of packages, Level 1, 2 or 3 as well as a Collection edition, billed as the ‘Designers Choice’ model. It’s got some cool additional features that make it a step up from the Level 3 model.
Cosmetically there’s Island Blue metallic paint, a multi-tone painted roof, black mirror caps, funky 17-inch Electric Collection alloys and lots of those piano black exterior touches, all topped off with Collection graphics on the bonnet and doors.
The interior also gets some tweaks, with Black Pearl/Light Grey upholstery, aluminum interior trim flourishes and a Walkmappa steering wheel. Meanwhile, the infotainment department and driver information works that little bit better, too.
All Mini Electric models share the same 135kW (184 hp) motor and, as you’d expect from the car, it’s still got the same great handling. While the range is up to 145 miles you’ll be hard-pressed to get that in real world terms, particularly because the Mini Electric frequently goads you into pushing it aggressively around bends in the road and, perhaps, using the accelerator with more enthusiasm than you’d like to.
Admittedly, top speed is only 93 mph, but it’s how you get there that’s the real fun bit. It’ll do 0-62 mph in 7.3 seconds, but even that seems to happen faster than you expect too.
Find a 50kW fast charger at the end of your journey and you’ll be able to get the battery from nothing up to 100% in 1 hour 24 minutes. Just over half an hour is enough to get the range up enough to get you to your next port (or point) of call.
Meanwhile, the Mini Electric will take just over 3 hours to charge on a 7.4kW home wall charger. If you’re not blessed with one of those, it’ll take 12 hours at 2.3kW if you just plug it in via regular socket, making overnight the obvious time to carry out a proper job.
There’s a long way to go in terms of better infrastructure for charging EVs, and how well that works also depends on your location. However, an incentive like the Mini one that makes the charging options simpler to get your head around is a definite step in the right direction.