BMW’s latest fully electric vehicle comes in the shape of the MINI Cooper SE. The electric hatch was unveiled in 2019 and goes on sale this year. We recently drove the new EV in Miami and you can see our review here and here. According to BMW, the new MINI Cooper SE is already a successful car for the brand with over 8,000 orders worldwide.

Continue Reading Below

“[] we are winning over customers with attractive new models,” says Oliver Zipse, BMW Group CEO. “The new MINI Cooper SE was released just a few days ago. We have already received more than 8,000 orders. Most of the people who placed these orders did not previously drive a MINI. This shows that the MINI Electric has captured the spirit of the times and is perfect for urban areas.”

2020 MINI Cooper SE test drive review 24 830x553

The MINI Cooper SE has a 184 hp (135kW) electric motor that makes 199 lb-ft of torque and is the same motor used in the BMW i3. The MINI Cooper SE, however, will be typical MINI and front wheel drive versus an i3 which is rear-wheel drive. Being a pure EV, means the center of gravity is lower and as such compared to a typical MINI Cooper, the center of gravity drops by 30mm. The car has a 50-50 weight distribution in-line, due to the battery packaging.

While the BMW i3 runs the 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds, the MINI Cooper SE does it in 6.9. Top speed on the MINI Cooper SE is 93 vs. 98 mph in the i3.

MINI’s battery technology is also inherited from the i3, but instead of the latest 120Ah pack, the Cooper SE gets by with a 94Ah modified in a T-shape to fit the car’s layout. Therefore, the MINI Cooper SE has battery pack of 32.6 kWh and 28.9 kWh net.

2020 MINI Cooper SE test drive review 40 830x553

The official EPA rating puts the MINI Cooper SE at 110 miles while the latest BMW i3 at 153 miles.

As far as charging goes, the MINI Cooper SE has a J1772 plug-in charge port which can deliver up to 11 kW Level 2, as well as a CCS DC port with charging at speeds of up to 50 kW.

On the DC Charger, the MINI Cooper SE is capable of going from nearly empty to 80 percent in about 35 minutes. It takes 1.4 hours to a full 100 percent state.

When plugged into a 11 kW charger, 80 percent gain from about flat occurs in 2 and a half hrs. The 7.4 kW Wallbox will charge it to 80 percent in 3.2 hours. 100 percent charge comes in after 3.5 hours and 4.2 hours, respectively.

If you only have access to a regular home plug, then charging to 100 percent will take around 24 hours.

In the United States, the MINI Cooper SE is priced at $29,900, which is on par with the Nissan Leaf. But despite the longer EV range, the Leaf is not considered a premium product. There is also the more range-generous Chevy Bolt (259 miles), but that comes with a heftier price tag – $36,600. BMW’s i3 is even more expensive with the BEV 120Ah version kicking off at $44,450.

Now, if you deduct the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit for Electric Vehicles, along with EV credits from several states, you can have the MINI Cooper SE for under $20,000. And that’s one of the most compelling reasons to own a MINI electric car.