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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm creating this thread to track my experience of a Mini Electric (a.k.a. Mini Cooper S E), from ordering onwards.

The back-story

By way of background, I'm an inveterate petrolhead with 20 years of modest performance cars behind me. Earlier cars were hot hatches and coupes, just some of which are below:





Later, I managed to squeeze our family into cars like this supercharged Golf R32...



...although, in the end, this phase came to an end when my wife insisted we buy our main family vehicle in 2016:



This is where my brief history with Minis comes in! After purchasing the van, it was apparent that we'd need a car to run alongside it. From 2016-18, we ran a 2012 Cooper in BRG and, later, a 2013 Cooper S in Highclass Grey.

I really enjoyed these R56 Minis, but we all felt they were too small. On this basis, I ordered a high spec F54 Clubman late in 2018... but had to cancel the order shortly afterwards due to a family health crisis and needing a car immediately.

So, to cut a long story short, I am finally ready to order a new car again!

Why an electric Mini?

While I've usually had performance cars, our family is also very eco-aware. We cycle to work, walk a lot and do very little driving by most people's standards... but, speaking for myself, I want what limited driving I do to be an experience.

I still love cars and have been thinking about a switch to electric for at least 5 years. The hobbyist in me is excited to learn more about all the technical differences, battery capacities, charging systems etc!

I have therefore watched the electric Mini concept develop with interest. To me, it's one of the most desirable small EVs, with so much more character and quality than something like a Zoe, e-Up etc. Plus, I read one review that called the Mini a heat-seeking missile around town... which pretty much sealed the deal for me there and then.

Despite the size limitations we found with earlier Minis, I still think it'll match our needs well as an indulgent and fun runabout.

On that final note, it's my 40th birthday this year and I'd like a little marker of the occasion - something that I want to keep for years to come. So, a switch to electric power seems fitting for the occasion and appropriate to our way of living with the longer term in mind.

Can you buy a car during Corona?

Yes - I think.

Right now, we are in the middle of Covid-19 lockdown and mine's been an incredibly busy experience as I work for the NHS. Planning a new car is a bit of distraction therapy as I'm currently working 6/7 days a week.

Given that pricing for electric Minis is fixed, the only variable in doing a deal seems to be part exchange pricing. After some hunting around, my local dealer offered a reasonable price for my current car - which, to be fair, would be almost impossible to secure from any other source at the moment. Private sales and car buying services are out of bounds at the time of writing and don't look they'll recover quickly.

One thing to note is that my delivery is scheduled for July 2020, which seems rather optimistic. I do wonder whether I've got a cancelled order slot.

I've plumped for a Level 2 in BRG with white roof and mirror caps. The kids and I really liked those lovely "Electric" 2-tone polished wheels, but I reflected that they'd die a terrible death at the hands of my wife and our street's massive kerb stones - they look impossible to refurbish cheaply. So, the car will have more easily refurbished Tentacle alloys instead.

It should look like this when it arrives... complete with sunshine, cool people and an edgy urban backdrop of course:



Practicalities

We live on a street of classic late Victorian terraced houses, with no off-street parking. Ironically, it's urban users who arguably benefit the most from EVs but it's also where the infrastructure has the furthest to go.

Not much has changed in the last 5 years in terms of on-street charging options - except that, perhaps crucially, last year a 50kw public charger opened about 400m away from our house. With an 80% charge taking a very competitive 35 minutes or so in the Mini, this really helps swing things in its favour.

Otherwise, I'll see how "granny" 3-pin home charging goes. Several neighbours seem to get on fine with this and so I'm tempted to have an external 3-pin socket installed.

The car's 100-140 miles of range should cover most of our needs and we otherwise have the van of course, which has a 700-mile range for when that's needed. The Mini's size will be a real-life squeeze for us as the kids enter "tweenage" years, but realistically we will mainly be driving solo or with only one of the kids in the car with us at any one time.

But I'm convinced enough that the upsides are worth it and that we fit the usage profile well. I'm not sure we'd really choose to do 200+ mile journeys regularly in something like a Zoe or 208 anyway, while we've got the van.

Next steps

As I said earlier, I'm being told June or July for delivery. Who knows whether that's realistic, but I'll update here either way.

I'll try to focus on the bits that make it different from a dino-fuelled Mini as much as I can. :)
 

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BRG is a great colour :). Looking forward to hear what you think of it, and the real world range.
 

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Thanks for such an interesting post.

I ordered a Mini Cooper SE at the end of February.
I had just had a very significant bereavement in my life and needed something to help to take my mind off it all, and going through the car buying process helped a little. That was just before the virus business started with the lockdowns etc, and the delivery date was given as June 1st.
At the earliest I would expect 3 or 4 months to be added to that but the dealerships are shut and so is the factory, so one just has to wait and see.
Since I have the time I have reconsidered all the other EVs out there in my sort of price range and usage bracket and the Mini always comes out as my preferred choice. I have had two previous F56 Coopers, so know the brand...have they still not fixed the door seal rubbing the paint issue?!

It will be my only car except for an old friend of an MG Midget that I have had for decades, but obviously can not really cope with the demands of modern traffic.
I don’t anticipate needing more than possibly two 3-4 hour wall box charges each week to cover the sort of mileage I travel, and if I do need to do a longer trip, which will be rare, it is just a case of preplanning the top up charge facilities on route, or hire an IC car for as long as necessary.
I was surprised how cheap hiring a car can be if you shop around!

BRG and white is a great colour combination, I have always liked it.
My wife would have chosen Chilli red with silver wheels, and black roof, so I have gone for that.

Thank you for all the efforts that you brave people who work for the NHS are putting in on our behalf, very, very much appreciated and I hope you and your family are keeping safe and well.

Please keep us updated if you hear any more from Mini!
 

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To add to my previous post, I forgot to say the dealership I visited immediately gave me a long test drive and said I could have the car for a few days to give it a really good test, if I would let them know in advance. Never got round to it as the virus hit.
I was impressed on the test drive.
Very smooth and very fast off the line, great handling and beautifully finished, as my previous Coopers were.
I ordered the level 2 model which has got all the bells and whistles I would ever need.
The default setting for the regenerative braking is very effective and it makes it possible to hardly ever use the brakes in normal driving. However, apparently when you lift off the accelerator pedal the brake lights are activated and I don't know if there is an ability to "coast" without the brake lights lit.
In the less fierce regenerative mode the brake lights are not activated when you lift off the accelerator, I believe.
 

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First time Mini owner, just picked up the Mini SE in Signature plus in moonwalk gray with white roof. I had put down the $500 in January and was hoping to pick up a new Mini SE in April but then the whole world turned upside down and my Mini dealer in Los Angeles shut down. I got an email saying the production is on hold and that I can get the deposit back or stay on the list for hopefully a late 2020 allocation. I got a call from the dealer last week saying that he had a Mini SE but the ordering customer is stuck in Hawaii due to the Covid lockdown and can't take delivery until June or July so he had his blessing to sell it to another customer. I went in for test drive just to see how it drove and if I could fit ( I'm 6'2") as the color combo was not my first choice since I have two other gray color cars. I was sold on the test drive and asked if can order one for delivery in the color( Blue on white) that I wanted but due to the factory shut down and no visibility in allocation, he said it would be October at the earliest. I was going to order one and walk out since he said there are no other cars in Socal and that some units are moving with ADM's but when I asked for my deposit back to think about options as I'm in no hurry, he asked me to make an offer on this one and I agreed to take it if the destination of $850 was waived. So now I'm a very happy owner of a new Mini SE. First EV for me and I've already found that my 30mile one way commute with 20miles of hwy driving at mostly 75 to 85mph used up 25% charge, so it works perfectly for me as I have free Level 2 charging at work. Car is really fun, very well put together, and has everything you need except for automatic cruise control, which I thought I was going to miss. But with one pedal driving on the hwy, it's really easy to drive in traffic so it makes up for the lack of that feature. My friends all have Teslas, S, X and 3 and I've driven them all at high speeds and I don't envy them one bit. This has more style and fit and finish than all of those put together. I hate the big touchscreen minimalist interior in Teslas. This is the perfect commuter and intown runabout for city dwellers or as a 2nd car for suburbanites. Small battery means lower cost and less weight and I don't mind the old but proven I3 drivetrain as I hope with the minimal maintenance requirements for BEV's this will be a trouble free car for 8 plus years. The $7500 tax rebate makes this the value of the year.
 

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It's just the range puts me off-father in laws leaf did 160miles almost always and still got a bit of range anxiety occasionally!
 

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Range plus lack of charging infrastructure currently rules out a BEV for me.

Interesting piece on the VW ID3 in CAR mag - worth a read online. VW have bet the farm on BEV with ambition to electrify their entire range ahead of the rest, but success is gonna depend on the inconvenient truth regarding charging, a factor beyond the control of any individual car company, even one as large as VAG. The conclusion was that VW are jumping too soon...
 

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It's just the range puts me off-father in laws leaf did 160miles almost always and still got a bit of range anxiety occasionally!
Definitely not a car that suits everyone. It works for me as a commuter and another car for my wife to drive if have to take her SUV to do SUV things since my other car is a stick shift. I could never use this as an only car. It works brilliantly for what I need and it’s going to save me $2500 per year on gas. It’ll also save me from putting on boring miles on my sports car that I intend to keep s as long as I can drive it.
 

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I'll be interested to follow owner updates on the SE. I'm in the market for a regular S or JCW, and here in Australia the SE comes in around base JCW/fully optioned S money. I'd actually consider sacrificing a little bit of performance for the all-electric experience and novelty if it just had a bit more range, say 50% more. Main reason is I can only afford to run one car, and now and then I like to do a day trip up or down the coast, which is around a 200-250km round trip, mostly energy heavy highway work. That would basically max out the SE's range and require a stop and recharge along the way to iron out my range anxiety. And sadly Australia is not well serviced with rapid charging stations. :(

I feel like our infrastructure just lags too far behind to popularise EVs yet. If you could access a rapid charging station as easily as a petrol station, range anxiety would basically evaporate for most people, as you could just do a few short stops, grab a coffee and recharge along the way instead of having to potentially do a full 35 minute stop at the one rapid charger you can find at present.

How are the UK and the USA with infrastructure for EVs? I imagine it varies by location quite a bit.
 

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Also, and this may sound like a dumb question, but is it possible to lower the SE on lowering springs or coilovers? The reviews say the SE rides approx 18mm higher than the standard S, due to the batteries in the floor. That creates a noticeable extra wheel gap even the plastic wheel arches can't fully conceal. But would anything prevent you giving it a drop to lower it back to 'normal'? I presume you would just have a bit less ground clearance.
 

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Don't know about lowering the car. I can say that due to the low center of gravity, it handles like it's on rails already. It also rides pretty stiffly so I would make sure you can live with it first. If I had a choice between the SE vs JCW for nearly the same money like in Australia, I would take the JCW from what I've seen on Youtube reviews. The JCW looks like a riot, esp with the optional remote activated sports exhaust. The SE is great for it's narrow purpose but with the JCW you can have all the fun without worrying about range anxiety.
 

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Uk charging infrastructure is/was a bit messy with different companies charging (!) in different ways ie smart phone/ card etc. Motorway services are good-many have them but there are reports of blocking or them not working. Supermarkets are good if they have them-Tesco allow free charging-of course you shop there but father in law used to go do his shop have a coffee and come home topped up free of charge. Getting slowly better is my view but he did try to avoid charging other than at home!
 

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While waiting for the factory to build mine and having sold my old BMW, I am currently hiring this i3 at the moment. Took it for a long trip to the mountains this weekend and that worked very well I must say. The charging infrastructure here in Norway is world leading, I would believe. About 50% of all new cars sold here are electric now.

69391


In real life you would not start charing from empty, so usually I use about 15-20 minutes to fast charge it when on a trip like this. I think it also charges beyond 90% pretty quick. Usually I am about 99% when I get back to the car after a quick lunch or a short walk. :)
 

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As EV demand starts to pick up it seems that the charging points are getting congested? Perhaps a worry if low on "juice" or time.

TX.

Edit - UK specific.

Sent from my BBB100-2 using Tapatalk
 

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Hi from what was supposed to be the first customer delivery in Canada (COVID has other plans and it was just first to Ontario - BC got theirs first). Our first 100 are called “First Editions”. Mine (Ellie) was built Feb. 15.

I just had my vinyl installed yesterday, have some grey tail lights (hopefully) coming today, and will be starting my ceramic coating work on her

feel free to join us over on FB athttps://www.facebook.com/groups/electricMINI

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I think electric cars are fascinating but they are really not that environmentally friendly. They still produce particulates (about 50% of an ICE car), use exotic materials in their batteries (yes I know they can have a 2nd life as network storage batteries) and they still burn energy wherever the electricity is generated. As far as the UK is concerned its charging infrastructure is a bit of a mess with something like five or six different/systems and companies which seems extremely short sighted; there should be one system operated by one organisation. I am glad others are prepared to be 'early adopters' with this technology. Maybe in another decade they will have sorted the glitches out and refined the technology a little more, let's hope so.
 

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My decision was made almost entirely on the economics of ownership, Bev Tax credit, lower maintenance cost, hopefully better reliability than ICE Minis and free charging. I figureI’ll be driving for free by the eight year of ownership as the savings would have offset the purchase price by then. The driving fun and responsive ev power train makes it enjoyable as well. It’s perfect as a city car or a commuter if you have another ICE car for long range duties.
 

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No mass produced car can ever be environmentally friendly. The point is they are more environmentally friendly than ICE cars. There are even third life battery applications, and a lot of investment is going in to make them almost completely recyclable.

As the UK grid uses more renewable sources, even the generated energy they use produces less CO2 in its generation.

How do they produce particulates, when they are zero emissions? Sure a bit of brake dust, but not as much as ICE cars as they have regenerative braking, and the normal tyre stuff but that is a miniscule amount compared to the exhaust of an ICE car, certainly no where near 50%.

Totally agree, the UK charging infrastructure is a complete mess. Different connectors, different networks, all with their own subscriptions services etc. Pretty much no standards.
 
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