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The Mini Cooper SE Is Now The Cheapest EV In South Africa

BMW South Africa has been really good at promoting electric vehicles (EVs) in South Africa. Since 2015, when they brought in the first-generation BMW i3 with a 60 Ah battery, they have consistently updated the i3 offering and added new versions of the i3

Image courtesy EVRT.

BMW South Africa has been really good at promoting electric vehicles (EVs) in South Africa. Since 2015, when they brought in the first-generation BMW i3 with a 60 Ah battery, they have consistently updated the i3 offering and added new versions of the i3 — that is, the 90 Ah and 120 Ah versions.

BMW South Africa also introduced plug-in hybrids of several models, including the BMW X5 xDrive45e that comes with a 24 kWh battery pack, giving an all-electric range of about 80 km. Very impressive for an SUV of its size. Plug-in Hybrids have always sparked interesting debates worldwide, including here on CleanTechnica, but many view them as a stepping stone to full electric mobility in vast countries such as South Africa where the public charging infrastructure is still growing. Another popular plug-in hybrid in South Africa is the BMW i8 Roadster. In fact, the i8 is South Africa’s all-time top selling plug-in hybrid.

The new BMW iX3 is also coming to South Africa. With its 80 kWh battery and a real-world range that is close to 400 km (250 miles), the iX3 should be popular in South Africa. It has a 210 kW motor, giving 400 Nm of torque. The iX3 shares the same platform as the plug-in hybrid, the mild hybrid, and the fossil fuel X3 models. The iX3 will be built at the BMW/Brilliance Automotive joint venture plant in China, where BMW has been producing many units of the X3. BMW also produces the X3 in Rosslyn, Pretoria, South Africa. Since they share the same platform, we hope in the long run BMW can start to also build the iX3 in Pretoria. Further, we certainly hope BMW will also bring in the new BMW iX.




BMW is continuing to lead the way in South Africa. It has added another all-electric option, the Mini Cooper SE. The Mini has always been a popular brand in South Africa, and there is hope that this new all-electric version will take its place in the hearts of the staunch Mini fans of South Africa.

The Mini Cooper comes in as the cheapest EV you can buy in South Africa. It starts at R642 000 ($42,000). Not cheap, especially considering its real-world range of just over 200 km, but it is the cheapest EV available right now down there. It comes in just a bit cheaper than the BMW i3, which you can get for around $49,000, and far cheaper than the Jaguar I-PACE, which costs about $111,000.

South Africa, unfortunately, still imposes higher import duties on EVs. Petrol and diesel vehicles from the EU have a customs duty of 18 percent, while for electric vehicles it is 25 percent. Then there are the Ad Valorem Customs Excise Duties and VAT. Reducing import duties would certainly help drive more adoption of clean electric vehicles.

A vehicle below R500 000 ($30,000) would be a good start for the country. In the meantime, this Mini EV is a welcome addition to the range of models available in South Africa. We should certainly start to see more EV models from other OEMs on South African roads very soon.

Here is a video of Shaun from evCrowdRoute checking out the Mini Cooper SE:

All MINI images courtesy of Shaun from evCrowdRoute.

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Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since. At university he continued to explore materials with applications in the energy space and ending up doing a PhD involving the study of radiation damage in High Temperature Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactors. He has since transitioned to work in the Solar and Storage industry and his love for batteries has driven him to obsess about electric vehicles.


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