MINI is the latest manufacturer that will have a new, an all-electric offering for South African customers in the shape of the MINI Cooper SE with first deliveries scheduled for October.
The price might raise a few eyebrows. At R642 000 for the S trim level and R722 000 for the L trim level, MINI says it will be the most affordable electric vehicle (EV) in the country and that it is not the most expensive MINI available locally.
The only other offerings available locally are the BMW i3-series from the same stable which also includes a model with a “range extender” small petrol engine for back-up. BMW also have plug-in hybrids in the X5 and 7 Series ranges. Other full EVs are the Jaguar I-Pace and the Porsche Taycan with Toyota and Lexus offering a range of full hybrids.
MINI launched the new model with a number of demonstration models available for customers across the country. The model has a 200 km range on a full charge. Charging time ranges from as little as 30 minutes during regular commutes to a couple of hours, depending on the model and usage.
On the question if BMW considers increasing its electric charging points around South Africa maybe in conjunction with other manufacturers, a company spokesperson says they cannot speak on behalf of other manufacturers.
BMW said to Dealerfloor they would however welcome every competitor that can help to speed up the adoption of electromobility and draw attention to its benefits. In South Africa, BMW currently has around 60 ChargeNow charging sites, with a total of 104 chargers (six of the sites are shared with Nissan as part of the companies' original Memorandum of Understanding, signed in 2015).
There are five DC fast chargers at BMW i dealerships nationwide, and these ChargeNow stations can be accessed using a ChargeNow card at no cost to owners and drivers. The BMW Group’s pure electric models in South Africa – BMW i3 and, now, the Mini Cooper SE – are intended for use primarily in cities and suburbs, says the company in a statement.
The BMW Group delivered more than 140 000 electrified (pure electric and plug-in hybrids) vehicles to customers in 2018. A total of 145 815 electrified BMW and Mini vehicles were sold worldwide in 2019 – an increase of 2,2% over the previous year. By the end of 2021, they aim to have a total of more than one million electrified vehicles on the roads and expects electrified vehicles to account for between 15-25% of global sales before 2025, the company said in a statement.
Toyota has introduced the Agya, a product from its collaboration with part-owned Daihatsu, in the local market.
After a pandemic-related wait, Audi has finally launched the S7 Sportback to join the rest of the A7 range.
Renault added a new model to its Kwid line-up, called the Kwid Ultra. Only 100 units of this limited edition will be available.