herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Sleek and stylish, I'll give electric Mini green light

Is this the hottest electric car to hit the market? You can bet your electricity bill on it.

After driving the brand new Mini E, any doubts that electric cars are anything but stylish, can be dismissed.

As global warming is the topic du jour, 'eco friendly everything' has never been more in demand -- or looked sleeker.

I couldn't help but be attracted to silence, style and surprising speed of the new Mini.

Although still only in prototype stage, I was thrilled to get my hands on the car once again, after initially taking it for a spin when it was launched in October. And not much has changed -- I'm still enthralled.

The preconceived notions that electric cars cannot perform as well as a traditional engine are not applicable here, as it can reach up to 150kph.

However, speed comes at a cost. The faster the car goes, you can actually watch your battery life decrease before you.

The Mini E stays true to its name, it is mini in all in facets -- with a boot noticeably missing to make room for the battery.

And, of course, it faces the main hurdle all electric vehicles face -- the distance you can travel is limited by how much you have charged your car.

However, the majority of motorists may be able to make their peace with this minor limitation, as the car's night-time charge is estimated to cost €20 per month.

The average recharge, powered by an electrical cord which is connected to individual power stations set up by the company in your home, can take up to four and a half hours. One charge lasts for up to eight hours.

While there are only 615 of these vehicles circulating the globe in a series of trial runs, Irish motorists will have to wait four more years before they get their hands on the car.

The Mini E is expected to land in 2015, and with all the buzz surrounding the traditional Mini Cooper and an increasingly environmentally aware society -- expect a waiting list.

cmcbride@herald.ie

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