Electric Mini available next year

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/09/electric-mini-available-next-y.html


ICE cars are on their way out. They really, really are. According to Forbes, BI, and a number of other outlets the resale value of gasoline-powered cars has peaked and will approach that of scrap in the next 5-10 years.


Once Nissan and Tesla broke the ICE, so to speak, other manufacturers started following :slight_smile:



An electric Mini should get rid of these common issues:

  • Clutch Failure : This was a fairly common problem with first and second generation Mini Coopers. The usual cause was hard driving, and it could occur as early as under 20,000 miles.
  • Transmission Failure : The first generation vehicles were notorious for an automatic transmission that would routinely fail. A lawsuit actually forced BMW to offer a warranty specifically for the transmission. The coverage was for eight years or 150,000 miles, whichever came first.
  • Water Pump and Thermostat Housing Leak : The water pump leaking on the first two generations of Minis was a fairly common occurrence. They often had to be replaced at over 50,000 miles. The thermostat housing in the second generation models were made of plastic. This would naturally break down over time.
  • Radiator Support Problems : The radiator support is made of plastic and is located in a low spot on the front of the car. It is very delicate and can be damaged by hitting a low curb when parking. - AxleAddict

And of course the Supreme UnLeaded Gas problem goes away. Nice.


Holy crap. I thought I had it bad that my Fit’s first clutch gave out at 60,000 miles (seems they didn’t properly grease the throwout bearing at the factory). I’ve got about 140,000 miles on the second clutch now.


Not with me until the batteries are much better. Range anxiety is not my issue - load capacity is. Until there’s a decent sized estate car I can get a wardrobe in, and which comes with a spare wheel (I’ll accept a skinny, but will never accept a can of foam) I’ll be stuck with ICE.

Swore my next car would be a hybrid, (while charging points are so rare and range not suficient with a heavily loaded vehicle) but so far not found one that allows even the option of a spare wheel. That’s a deal-breaker.

They all want to save weight (to the extent of limiting carrying capability) to maximise range/minimise emissions, which is fine up to a point but not at the point that forces me to wait by the side of the road in a foreign country while a breakdown truck arrives with a spare tyre, because the tyre is beyond saving with a can of foam. And any tyre that CAN be saved with a can of foam is not getting foam put in it by me, as that act renders it urepairable if it is a mere puncture. I’m not shelling out for a new tyre every time I get a puncture (and round here I seem to get about one a year).


148-167 miles? How far is that? Who the heck uses miles?

Oh, 238 to to 268 km. So, about 250 km, give or take 10-15 kilometres. Seems reasonable.


As a Mini owner well aware of the host of problems with 1st and 2nd gen cars, that is an extremely odd list.

  • clutch - not seeing it, 107k into original clutch here. There was a clutch problem with early 2nd gen cars with limited slip diff, but nothing too unusual with 1st gen car clutches.
  • Auto transmissions - while none of the 1st gen autos were great, the Coopers came with a CVT that was a total lemon. 2nd gen cars had solid autos.
  • Water pump housings - first off there are completely different engines in 1st and 2nd gen cars and generally they don’t share the same maladies. First gen was an iron block derived from an old chrysler design, 2nd gen a new aluminum block based design co-developed by BMW with Pugoet. Several details such as these housings were done the way BMW typically did things, and suffered similar leaks and weaknesses as BMWs of the era. I had my pump replaced in the course of other work as it made sense to replace it when they were already removing it.
  • Radiator support - never heard anything about this. The cars are low - you will scrape them if you are not careful.

More obvious and well documented problems would be:

  • 2nd gen early cars had oil consumption problem which if not watched carefully could easily blow up your engine.
  • 2nd gen cars had a timing chain tension mechanism that was problematic, and was replaced on a recall. The replacement did not perform much better. Symptoms - rough sound upon start up that went away as car warmed.
  • 1st gen cars had a wide range of small problems that most dedicated owners would deny, but power steering fan, airbag light, domed strut crowns, and more would all ring bells for owners.

3rd gen brought better engines from the BMW stable, and I’ve not kept up with their ailments, but I’m sure there were many. I hope my next car is electric - I’m so over the maintenance routine.


Not sure it has anything to do with the quality of the batteries. Nissan, after all, has their production electric cargo van E-NV200 that can carry 705 kg after all.

They is probably just less demand for them.

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Well you may be right about demand, except that until there are electric load-luggers/people-carriers of a size we currently enjoy with ICE, people/families that use those won’t switch. Which suggests latent demand at a minimum.

And anyone with a family car full of kids will appreciate the immediacy of an on-board spare.


And there we go, the obligatory faux-confusion about units. Obviously you already know who uses miles. Obviously you also know how to convert them. Presumably any educated person can do it in their head, but anyone at all can type “148 miles in km” into google.

What purpose does this performance serve? Why does someone always have to do it?

(Also, apropos the subject matter of the article: yawn. BMW seems to be all about calling it in when it comes to EVs, after letting their strong-ish start with the i3 fizzle. And I wonder if they’re even going to sell the Mini EV in the USA… although since the range is stated in miles I suppose maybe they are, oh no I’ve given the answer to question 2 away.)

There are various BEV pickups said to be well on their way to production, e.g. Rivian. I haven’t followed them in particular since I’m not in the market for a pickup. (Is “pickup” the right word for people who call a station wagon an “estate”? I think so but I’m not sure.)

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We still use miles in UK, where there are a lot of Minis. It will go down a storm here.


Honestly? I live in Munich. Home of BMW. Germany doesn’t have miles. But I do see a lot of posts assuming miles are ubiquitous.

Consider this a reminder that only a minority uses miles these days.


It is. But I want a car. With 4-5 seats, the rear of which I can fold down to make a large load-carrier. We call them estate cars. Because we only use them on our estates, as opposed to only driving them to the station.


Everyone knows this. Nobody cares. What’s your position, that every article should use SI units only? (Why? See below.) That every article should use both SI and Imperial units? (With both U.S. and British variants in the case of volume?) That every article should use all known systems of units (there are others after all)? Maybe there should be a mandatory configuration setting to choose units, so nobody needs to be triggered by seeing something mildly unfamiliar?

The SI-only option has of course the same liability as the Imperial option does – they won’t be the native system of units for some readers. So, sez I, write the article however you want and assume your reader is intelligent enough to convert as needed.

Relax, have a beer. You live in Munich, there’s plenty to be had.


There should be an html attribute that specifies a value should be displayed in local units of measure.

Not that this the place for that. Anyone know if it exists?


Do you speak Esperanto too?


This is a great solution for making the most people happy.

Barring the people who definitely want half the people to be unhappy, even when it makes no difference to them.

Cue: Outraged defence of not pandering to other people and expecting them to just use whatever’s harder and less comfortable for them.


That’s because most of us are in unenlightened places that still use imperial measurements.


I remember when I had a car that kept getting a flat tire because the hubcap would spin and press on the stem (long dumb story). This flat tire (tyre, thai-er) thing for you must have a story behind it. What are you driving on? Do you feel you have more than your fair share of flats?

Also folks, just get a Chevy Bolt, long range, and cheaper now that they are discontinued. Sadly does not come with a spare, but they are super zippy.