The electric Mini Cooper SE charging options can a bit complicated for first time electric car owners. While the range may only be 110 officially (we’ve seen 125 in our testing), its ability to charge quickly helps ownership use-cases.
The Cooper SE is based on, and dimensionally almost identical to, the MINI Hardtop 2 Door launched in 2014. The MINI Cooper SE has been engineered to be electric. Modifications include a height increase of 18 mm (.7 inch) to accommodate floor mounted battery packs and a new, more efficient, HVAC heat pump to maximize range during colder weather. Despite these modifications, the MINI Cooper SE has the same overall shape and identical interior dimensions and cargo space as the internal combustion MINI Hardtop.
The MINI Cooper SE comes standard with AC Charging at up to 7.4 kW, which allows for a 100% charge at home in as little as 4 hours, as well as DC Charging at up to 50 kW, which allows for charging at public stations in as little as 40 minutes to achieve an 80% charge, and utilizes the SAE Combo fast charging standard. From the outside you will immediately notice the new EV Specific Filler Flap with LED status indicator for when the vehicle is in charge mode. The MINI Cooper SE also includes a programmable locking feature that can prevent the charge cord from being unplugged when charging and can automatically unlock when fully charged to allow others needing charge access to the charger. The MINI Cooper SE also comes standard with a two-mode regenerative braking system to help maximize the recharging of the battery while also meeting your personal driving style preference.
In our experience with the car we preferred the more aggressive re-gen, but we’d recommend you try both and find a setting that best suits your driving style.
How does it all work? In our time with the car it was all rather seamless. That said making sure that you plan ahead on longer trips and plan for a bit of downtime while charging is mandatory in setting expectations for yourself and your passengers. For normal commuting it’s rather irrelevant as charging at home or in a parking garage will likely be all you need.