Currently reading: MINI Electric: why it's the ideal all-rounder
Blending head-turning looks, everyday practicality and an amped up twist on MINI’s iconic character, here’s why the MINI Electric is the dream everyday drive

The Mini Electric is the perfect car for commuting, busy evenings, weekends away and more. Boasting standout iconic style, city-friendly dimensions and an amped up twist on MINI’s renowned fun driving character, it now adds all the added cost-saving and eco benefits of going electric.

The big question, though: what is the MINI Electric really like to live with? How practical is it to use every day? Does it have enough range? What’s it like to charge? We’ve picked the big questions around electric driving (and more than a few myths that are well worth busting) and outlined how the MINI Electric conquers them all.

Want to try the MINI Electric yourself? Take a 24-hour test drive

How practical and fun is the MINI for everyday driving?

Whether you’re driving to work, doing the weekly shop, or going further afield, the MINI Electric drives just like a normal MINI. Thanks to a low-slung battery that keeps the car’s weight close to the ground, allied to 184hp and 270NM of all-electric torque, it also adds a special extra spark to that iconic MINI driving character.The MINI Electric’s stylish interior is also packed with tech that makes driving easier – whether it’s the digital cockpit and large central display that let you control your music, navigation and hands-free phone calls with ease, or the optional driving assists that include a rear-view camera and parking aids for navigating urban car parks, or Active Cruise Control that takes the stress out of motorway driving.

And when it comes to space, there’s plenty of room for all that life throws at you. Our What Car? road testers got three carry-on suitcases in the MINI Electric’s 211-litre boot, making it perfect for a weekend away or trip abroad. Need even more room? Folding the rear seats down reveals a cavernous 731 litres of versatile cargo space.

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Has the MINI Electric sparked your interest? Take a 24-hour test drive

Does the MINI Electric have enough range for my journeys?

When it comes to range, the MINI Electric has up to 145 miles (WLTP). That’s more than enough for pretty much every trip you can imagine. It’s just a matter of rethinking how much range you use, and where you use it.

We’ve become accustomed to predicted petrol and diesel range figures of 300 miles (or more). But how often do you actually use a full tank of fuel in one go – especially for everyday school runs, the weekly food shop, or even a weekend away?

Based on the average UK annual mileage of 7,800 miles, most drivers will do just 21 miles a day. The average UK commute is even shorter, at just 10.4 miles a day. With up to 145 miles of range (WLTP), you could do almost a full week of daily commuting on one charge in the MINI Electric. And, as you’ll almost certainly be parking your MINI Electric at home every night, that raises the next question…

Fancy getting behind the wheel of the MINI Electric? Take a 24-hour test drive

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How easy is it to charge the MINI Electric at home?

According to the RAC Foundation, the average UK car spends 96% of its time parked up, with 73% of this time spent at home (usually overnight). Equally, 73% of UK cars can be parked on a driveway or in a garage. That means that home is the place where charging makes the most sense.

The MINI Electric can be charged overnight in 12 hours from a 2.3kW home supply using the flexible charging cable. Using the optional interchangeable adapter, you can top up the MINI Electric’s battery from 0-80% in just 3hrs12min using an 11kW supply from a home charging wallbox.

So, get home, plug in, charge at cost-effective home energy rates overnight, and your MINI Electric will be fully charged and ready to go the distance when you get back into it the next morning. You’ll also lower the running costs of driving. Which brings us nicely onto…

Want to try the MINI Electric yourself? Take a 24-hour test drive

How much does the MINI Electric cost to run?

Home charging is incredibly cost-effective. For a typical UK driver doing 7,800 miles a year, home charging at the typical average daytime rate of 17.2p per kWh means that the MINI Electric will cost as little as £268 to run for the year, or 3.4p per mile. Charge overnight, when electric rates are even cheaper – or find a supplier with an EV-friendly tariff – and you can expect those costs to come down even more.

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On-the-go charging (we’ll come to that in a bit) does cost a bit more, but it’s still typically cheaper than petrol or diesel per mile. In fact, MINI reckons that the overall running costs of the MINI Electric average out to as little as 4p per mile – roughly 2x to 5x cheaper than cars with a petrol or diesel engine.

Picking a MINI Electric means plenty of other driving costs come down. The MINI Electric is VED-exempt in its first 12 months and subsequent years, saving you around £155 per year compared to a similar petrol-powered model.

For company car drivers, the MINI Electric currently has a BIK rate of just 2% for 2022, meaning drivers in the 40% tax bracket will pay just £244 per year, while drivers in the 20% tax bracket will pay just £122 a year.Finally, the MINI Electric is exempt from urban congestion or Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charges, letting you drive confidently into city centres without hassle or extra expense. But what if you want to go that bit further?

Has the MINI Electric sparked your interest? Take a 24-hour test drive

Is the MINI Electric good for long journeys, too?

As we’ve said, range is subjective. We often drive far fewer miles than we think – even on long journeys – which means that how far you can get with the MINI Electric’s up-to 145-mile range could surprise you.

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Take some typical journeys: Heathrow to Bristol (104 miles); Birmingham to Leeds (118 miles); Newcastle to Edinburgh (104 miles) or Manchester to the heart of the Lake District (115 miles). Equally, these are all journeys lasting two hours or more, during which it’s likely that you’d stop for a coffee break or lunch en-route. Which brings us nicely onto…

Fancy getting behind the wheel of the MINI Electric? Take a 24-hour test drive

Is the MINI Electric easy to charge on-the-go away from home?

Think finding a public charger is hard? Think again. According to Zap Map, there are nearly 30,000 charging devices across the UK at 18,000 locations. (For comparison, there are just 8,738 petrol stations). That means you’ve got plenty of ways to keep your MINI Electric topped up when you’re away from home.

The secret to making the most of on-the-go charging is to fit it around your day – finding the right charger to match your journey, your route and how long your car will be parked. This is sometimes referred to as ‘grazing’ for charge. Think of it like how you use your smartphone – plugging in at home for a long, slow overnight charge to fill the battery. Then, when you’re out-and-about, and you’re near a charger, simply plug in for a quick boost to keep the battery topped up. It all soon adds up.

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Almost 20% of the UK’s charging network is made up of rapid or ultra-rapid 50kW+ chargers that can quickly boost your MINI Electric’s battery from 0-80% in as little as 36 minutes, or can deliver a quick top-up boost of a few miles in just a few minutes. These tend to be located at service stations on motorways and major A-roads where you can pick up a coffee or lunch while you’re waiting.

Just over half of the UK charging network is made up of fast 7-11kW chargers that can recharge your MINI Electric from 0-80% in around 2hrs30m. These ‘destination chargers’ tend to be found in long-stay car parks, supermarkets, retail parks and leisure centres, so they’re perfect for delivering a healthy top-up charge while you enjoy a gym session, shopping and lunch with friends, a family night at the cinema or even parking overnight to stay at a nearby hotel.

Equally, don’t discount slow 3kW-6kW chargers. These tend to be based on-street, so they’re perfect for overnight charging when you’re visiting friends and staying away from home.

Even better. MINI Charging makes paying for on-the-go charging easy, providing access to around 15,000+ charging points across a range of providers with just one RFID car or the MINI Charging mobile app. You also get a year’s free upgrade to a BP Pulse subscription (normally worth £7.85 a month), giving you access to their 8,000+ UK chargers. MINI Charging is also valid in Europe, should you want to head across the English Channel.

So, with the MINI Electric answering all your questions (and busting pretty much all the myths) about making the electric switch, maybe it’s time to try it for yourself.

Want to try the MINI Electric yourself? Take a 24-hour test drive

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