Mini looking to launch the Cooper SE electric car in India [Update]

The Mini Cooper SE or simply the MINI Electric, has gone on display at the 2020 Bangkok International Motor Show in Thailand. India could be among the next few Asian markets to receive to the new mini electric car.

The MINI Cooper SE went on sale in Thailand on 1 June 2020 making its premiere in the Asia Pacific region. The car received 25 bookings online in less than a minute. Being an electric car and an import, it doesn’t come cheap. Available in a single configuration, it costs THB 2.29 Million or INR 54.13 lakh (INR 54,13,715.72). The MINI Electric’s running cost is much lower compared to a MINI 3-Door. The official claim is that the cost per km for the electric hatchback in Thailand is 0.5 THB (INR 1.18), which means that it is 2.5 to 6 times cheaper to drive than a petrol or diesel car (THB 25-30 or INR 59.10-70.92).

Adaptive LED headlights, 17-inch Corona Spoke two-tone alloy wheels, LED fog lights, LED rear lights, a head-up display, satellite navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay, Harman Kardon sound system and leather upholstery are the equipment highlights of the Thai-spec MINI Cooper SE. In some markets, the ‘Corona Spoke’ wheels were renamed to Power Spoke wheels in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Image sourced from MINI Thailand Facebook page.

28 November 2019

Mini began selling its first-ever mass-produced electric car with the Oxford-built Mini Cooper SE this year, and the company is looking at expanding its availability across the world.

India is one of the proposed markets for the three-door hatchback, and the company is doing feasibility studies for it. Speaking to ETAuto.com, Francois Roca, head of Mini in Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, said:

If the market is ready to welcome electric mobility, we will be there. We have a plant in Chennai, this helps us to have, let’s say, a more approachable price tag or a different category of customer.

…But it’s very much linked to the ability of India to build infrastructure.

In the UK (RHD market), the Mini Cooper SE competes with the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, as well as the high-end BMW i3, VW e-Golf and the Tesla Model 3. In the similar price range one can also get a Kia Soul EV, Hyundai Ioniq Electric and the Hyundai Kona EV.

Mini Cooper SE interior
The Mini electric car offers a range of 235-270 km on a charge. The 184 hp/270 Nm electric motor provides a 0-100 kmph time of 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 150 kmph.

The Mini Cooper SE is powered by a 32.6 kWh battery and a motor that develops 184 hp and 270 Nm, giving it a range of 235 to 270 km on a full charge. The vehicle is charged via a conventional household power socket, the MINI ELECTRIC Wallbox or a public charging station. Its charging connection is designed for AC and DC charging using Type 2 and CCS Combo 2 plugs. Through fast-charging, 80 percent charge is achievable in 35 minutes. The electric Mini accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds with the top speed limited to 150 km/h.

Noteworthy features of the Mini electric car include LED headlamps, 16-inch alloy wheels, 2-zone automatic air conditioning system, 6.5-inch touchscreen that supports Apple CarPlay, DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system, Driving Mode with 4 settings and 211 litre boot space (expands to 731 litres when the rear backrests are folded down).

BMW has not introduced the i3 in India for the reason that there is no widespread charging infrastructure, Mini sold about 700 units in India last year and the introduction of the Mini Cooper SE electric vehicle would not bring huge gains for the company in the short-term.