BMW Group has announced that it sold 10,000 units of the MINI Electric (MINI Cooper SE) worldwide this year. The company is interested in launching the first MINI electric car in India, but it is concerned about the charging infrastructure.
The Mini Cooper SE or simply the MINI Electric, unveiled last year, is not a long-range EV, as it is built mainly for city driving. So, a proper charging network is a must-have to enjoy ownership without range anxiety. Speaking to financialexpress.com recently, Vikram Pawah, President, BMW Group (India), said that the company is watching the EV policy framework and the EV charging infrastructure to decide its EV launch plans in India. “We will bring these (EVs) to India when we are sure that a customer can drive, let’s say, from Delhi to Jaipur uninterrupted,” Pawah said.
BMW Group has not introduced the i3 here for the reason that there is no widespread charging infrastructure, despite having showcased it at the Auto Expo 2018. The company introduced India’s first hybrid electric sportscar (the BMW i8) as well as India’s first plug-in hybrid car (BMW 7 Series PHEV) and has mostly stayed ahead of the curve in launching electrified vehicles.
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Francois Roca, head of Mini in Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, had talked about launching the MINI Electric in India last year. Below is what he had told ETAuto.com in November 2019:
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.
The MINI Electric is available as a three-door hatchback. It has a Lithium-ion battery pack with a net/gross energy content of 28.9 kWh/32.6 kWh. There’s a single motor driving the front wheels, with 135 kW (184 PS) and 270 Nm. A nought to 100 km/h sprint takes 7.3 seconds, and the top speed is limited to 150 km/h.
The MINI Cooper SE has a maximum charging rate of 50 kW. India doesn’t have fast chargers with a peak power of more than 50 kW anyways. Fully charging the MINI electric car’s battery pack can take as much as 12 hours (with a 2.3 kW AC charger) and as little as 1 hour 24 minutes (with a 50 kW DC charger). A full charge gives a range of 235-270 km as per the new WLTP test cycle.
As for the MINI Cooper SE features, LED headlamps, 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, heating with heat pump technology, electric parking brake, 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 5-inch digital instrument cluster, etc. are standard. 17-inch alloy wheels, 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and wireless smartphone charging are available optionally. In some markets, its ‘Corona Spoke’ wheels were renamed to Power Spoke wheels in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the UK, the MINI Cooper SE costs GBP 27,900 (INR 26.74 lakh) and competes directly with the Honda e. In the similar price range, one can also get a Kia Soul EV, Hyundai Ioniq Electric and the Hyundai Kona EV.
MINI Electric car FAQs
When will the MINI Cooper SE launch in India take place?
BMW Group has not confirmed the Mini electric car for India but has said that it is interested in launching EVs in the country.
What will be the MINI Electric price in India?
If launched, the MINI Electric could cost around INR 45 lakh (ex-showroom) in India.
Featured Image sourced from MINI Thailand Facebook page.