The Electric vehicle (EV) industry has been facing a dilemma lately. With new models and startups popping up almost every month, it is becoming increasingly tough to find a fun and sporty EV that isn’t going to break the bank. Even more challenging is finding a convertible that is affordable because there aren’t many options. You might not have ever considered purchasing an electric convertible; however, you could change your mind as Mini hints about plans to launch a convertible version of its Cooper SE EV.
When we say EV convertible options were slim pickings, we mean it. Right now, the Tesla Roadster is the only true EV roadster with a detachable roof. The trouble with that is the car is expensive. The roadster costs between $200,000 to $250,000, plus another $45,000 for a down payment.
Even after you drive it off the lot, there are more expenses. Personal maintenance — if you know the ins and outs of car engines — isn’t something Tesla permits. They don’t sell parts to third-party mechanics or for personal use, forcing consumers to pay more for the Tesla-mandated maintenance. What if you can’t afford such a steep maintenance expense? Enter the Mini Cooper SE EV.
Mini held a campaign where a prototype of a Cooper SE Convertible made an extensive East Coast road trip to show an affordable EV’s reliability and fun factor. The company drove the vehicle from Burlington, VT, all the way to Greenville, SC, as part of a traveling showcase, “Mini Takes the States.”
The prototype borrows the body and detachable roof from the internal combustion Cooper S but uses the electric Cooper SE hatchback engine.
In terms of speed, it can go from 0 to 60 in 7.7 seconds, a slow time, but it’s believed that won’t be a sticking point with motorists who enjoy cruising.
How this potential Mini convertible EV stacks up against the competition will be interesting. The price is expected to be $29,000 to $30,000, similar to the current hardtop EV. The sleek interior is made from sustainable materials and uses a simplistic design that keeps the cost of crafting the car lower. In terms of mileage and range per charge, the Mini would be able to reach 143 miles before running low on battery. While not the longest distance, that should not detract from convertible lovers who want that sporty country-roads convertible.
Up against Porsche’s upcoming 718 EV, the Mini will be lighter and cost significantly less. As for Tesla, the roadster is expected to get a boost, literally, with the announcement customers will be able to add SpaceX boosters to the engine. These boosters will increase the price of the vehicle and maintenance.
Compared to Tesla and Porsche, Mini’s possible new convertible EV would appeal to those who aren’t looking for a super-expensive luxury car. It’s for those consumers who want a relaxing driving experience without costing heaven and earth.