It's the perfect tax-avoiding city runabout.
Right now, the Mini Cooper SE is the only fully-electric Mini on sale. Our spies have caught Mini testing the next-generation electric Cooper SE, so we know the company is sticking with it. Additionally, Mini said it is transforming into an all-electric carmaker in the early 2030s. But if you want an electric Mini and prefer the classic styling of the original, there are a few options. Based in the UK, Swindon, Powertrain can convert your classic Mini into an electric city runabout, but with a price tag of £79,000 ($101,788), it isn't cheap. Happily, there is now an alternative.
London Electric Cars is on a mission to prove that EV conversions "don't have to cost the earth" and is launching a classic Mini EV conversion kit with a starting price of just £25,000 ($35,366). That excludes local taxes, shipping, and the price of the donor car, but it's still a lot cheaper than Swindon Powertrain's classic electric Mini.
The base classic Mini conversion uses a 20-kWh battery and an electric motor sourced from a preowned Nissan Leaf, offering a range of 60-70 miles. This falls short of the Mini Cooper SE's EPA-rated 110-mile range, but it's suitable for driving in congested cities since the average car journey only lasts around five miles in London, according to LEC. If you need more range, London Electric Cars can install a larger battery pack at an extra cost. Type 1 and Type 2 public chargers are supported, or it can be charged from home using a domestic socket.
"As a classic car enthusiast and advocate for affordable and sustainable electric vehicle conversions, it made sense for us to focus on the original Mini. [Alec] Issigonis was one of the most collaborative and free-thinking designers, but also someone who knew how to stick to a budget," said Matthew Quitter, founder and managing director of London Electric Cars.
"With this EV conversion we wanted the classic Mini to be an affordable yet useful option for city dwellers, not just in our home town of London but all over the world to tackle traffic and help put a stop to pollution." Not only is it affordable to convert your classic Mini into an EV, but it's also cheap to run as the classic electric Mini is road tax, Congestion Charge and ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) exempt. LEC also estimates it costs as little as 5 cents per mile to run.
The UK is aiming to reduce CO2 emissions by 78 percent by 2035 and is banning the sale of new combustion cars from 2030, so don't be surprised if more owners start converting their classic cars into EVs to keep them on the road before it's too late.