Pioneering is closely associated with vision, focus, and patience. This is true with automakers that have pioneered the manufacture of Electric Vehicles. For others, the idea of manufacturing a mainstream electric car was not a venture worth throwing their full weight. Rather, it was interesting for most to try out a fusion of Electric and Gasoline, which gave birth to hybrid cars.
Mini was one of such visionary pioneer automaker to manufacture mainstream electric cars. If you recall, the brand leased the Hardtop-based Mini E electric car on a trial basis late last decade. This was to gather feedback on the usage of electric cars, which the BMW Group later used for the manufacture of i3. With the increasing usage of electric cars, Mini’s vision is now validated and they are now poised to launch a volume of EVs. First of such launch is happening this year 2019 and we’ve got insight on what it would look like.
As expected, Mini is using its signature Hardtop model for its first volume EV. But there isn’t much to distinguish the electric version from its gasoline-powered siblings, at least visually.
The car was previewed by the Mini Electric Concept unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt International Motor Show and is only the first of 12 electric cars the BMW Group will roll out by 2025. The production version will be badged a Cooper S E, positioning the electric Hardtop as a hot hatch as opposed to an eco-friendly model.
A key notable difference between the electric Hardtop and the internal-combustion models is the lack of exhaust pipes on the EV. The grille also appears mostly sealed, and in some of the shots, you can see an accent light running the width of the grille just like on the Mini Electric Concept. We can also see a distinct wheel pattern for the EV.
Mini remains quiet on specs, which is smart considering the pace at which technology is changing. We expect a single electric motor at the front axle and batteries located in the floor and beneath the rear seat. The range should be 200 miles or higher based on EPA testing.
The good news is that electric powertrains should enhance the go-kart feeling Minis are renowned for. The batteries in the floor further lower the center of the gravity and the low-end torque of an electric motor will ensure a level of responsiveness not possible with a gasoline mill. We can’t wait to take one for a spin.
Would this spin be happening in Africa as well, you may ask? Why is Africa being left out in the adoption of EVs? How can testing EVs in the continent and creating EV experience accelerate the adoption of EVs? Adoption of EVs in Africa has suffered a huge set back as a result of non-existing data in determining the possible impact of EV’s in the transportation and energy sector. By creating EV Experience through Mobility as a Service (MaaS) such data can be gleaned to measure impact while users enjoy the benefit of using EV’s. Such an experience would fuel the fast adoption of EV’s in the continent.
If only EV automakers would point their market searchlight towards Africa to pioneer use of EVs in the region, in partnership with Tech Startups providing mobility as a service in the continent, such as Gllyd Technology Limited, would they reap from Africa’s fast-growing mobility market.