A plug-in Mini

Andrew Hopkins

The Mini is simultaneously celebrating its 50th birthday and its transformation into a vehicle fit for the age of CO2-free mobility. The Mini E is powered by an electric motor with an output of 150 kilowatts (204 horsepower) and a maximum torque of 220 newton metres. This virtually noiseless and emission-free powerplant drives the front wheels via a single-stage spur gear. The Mini E accelerates from 0 to 62mph in a respectable 8.5 seconds; its top speed is electronically limited to 93mph.

The Mini E as an everyday runabout is part of the BMW Group's overall long-term strategy. Under the working title of 'project i', the German parent company is developing innovative forms of mobility to satisfy the traffic requirements of major conurbations. A globally unprecedented pilot project in the USA and two community projects in Germany involve the use of 500 electric Minis manufactured at the main works in Oxford and in Munich.