The MINI COUNTRYMAN Plug-In Hybrid: The Complete Guide For Ireland

mini countryman electric PHEV
Price: From € 44,986
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: SUV (Crossover)
Battery size: 10 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 50 - 52 km
Tailpipe emissions: 40 - 46g (CO2/km)


Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:


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The MINI COUNTRYMAN Plug-In Hybrid


The iconic MINI internal combustion engine (ICE) car was manufactured by a UK based company, the British Motor Corporation (BMC). In 1996, the company was acquired by the German automotive company BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG), headquartered in Munich. The production of the classic petrol MINI stopped in 2000.

BMW is well known for its portfolio of luxury vehicles to include the famed Rolls-Royce luxury cars. The group also manufacturers a number of cars under its BMW brand, to include battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The BMW i3 EV is an excellent example of a successful pure electric car. The MINI electric vehicle (EV) portfolio includes both, battery-electric vehicle (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) models: 

The MINI Countryman (ICE) was first launched in 2010. The second-generation MINI Countryman was introduced in 2017. The new Cooper SE ALL4 plug-in hybrid was launched in June 2017. It is iconic, it is fun and it is environmentally-friendly. The MINI plug-in hybrid compact SUV is a perfect family car for those keen to lower driving costs, without compromising on performance. The MINI PHEV has a 10 kWh onboard EV battery, which is reasonably standard for a PHEV of this size.

The EV battery can be charged from 0% to 100% via a dedicated EV charger in two hours. Though the EV can be charged using a 3-PIN domestic plug, we at e-zoomed discourage the use of a 3-PIN domestic plug for charging an electric vehicle (EV). The EV does not offer DC charging.

Given the WLTP certified emission-free electric range is 52 km, and most commutes are short, there is much scope for taking advantage of electric driving to save money. However, expect the real-world electric range to be closer to 45 km. The EV range is impacted by a number of factors, to include: driving profile, speed, load, regenerative braking, road condition, weather and a lot more. The EV is well placed for city and town driving i.e. its compact size makes manoeuvring and parking easier in congested urban centres. Having said that it is just as appropriate for motorway driving.

The Mini Countryman PHEV pairs a 1.5-litre (3-cylinder) petrol engine with an electric motor, powered by an onboard EV battery. The automotive manufacturer claims a fuel economy up to 1.9 l/100 km for the electric vehicle (EV). Of course the real-world fuel economy will depend on a number of factors, but none as influential as using the e-mode.

Bottom-line, to increase the fuel economy of the electric vehicle and lower the driving costs, the PHEV should be driven as much as possible on the pure electric mode. It is also far cheaper to drive on electric mode, compared to using the combustion engine. Depending on where the EV is charged and the cost of charging, driving an EV costs between 5 and 10 cents per km.

The performance of the electric SUV will not disappoint! The four-wheel drive Countryman Plug-In Hybrid can achieve 0-100 km/h in 6.8 seconds. The hybrid drivetrain delivers a maximum power of 220 bhp (torque 385 Nm), sufficient for city and motorway driving. The top speed is 196 km/h. Do keep in mind that the additional weight of the onboard EV battery does impact the overall performance of the vehicle. Like other EVs, the Countryman plug-in benefits from instant torque and delivers a smoother and quieter drive, compared to the conventional combustion engine variant.

Despite the compact size, the electric car has a decent practicality proposition on offer. The five-door SUV can comfortable seat 5 adults, though the rear may feel a little snug. The boot space has been impacted due to the onboard EV battery, but still offers a cargo volume up to 405 L. The PHEV has been awarded a Five-Star NCAP safety rating.

The plug-in hybrid is also an option for company-car drivers, given the reduced tailpipe emissions (46g CO2/km) of the hybrid, compared to the conventional petrol variant. Bottom-line, electric driving is good for the environment and the wallet!


PROS CONS
Good looks and exterior styling (iconic)Limited cabin space (small boot)
Smooth ride and transition between combustion and electric (eDrive). PHEV praised for reliabilityExpensive compared to alternatives
High quality interior and standard equipmentLimited visibility (rear)

Gallery


The MINI COUNTRYMAN Plug-In Hybrid (credit: MINI)


At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body Type:SUV (Crossover)
Engine:Petrol-Electric
Available In Ireland:Yes

Variants (2 Options)
Classic (from € 44,986)
Exclusive (from € 48,186)

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 10 kWh
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger 3.7 kW (0% – 100%: 2 hrs)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:40 – 46g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 150,000 km

Average Cost Of Residential Charging
Battery net capacity : 8.8 kWh€ 2.10
Battery net capacity : 11.6 kWh€ 2.78
Battery net capacity : 12.0 kWh€ 2.87
Battery net capacity : 13.10 kWh€ 3.14
Battery net capacity : 14.10 kWh€ 3.37
  • Note 1: The average cost of residential electricity in Ireland varies depending on the region, supplier and type of energy used. An average for Ireland is 23.97 cents/kWh.
  • Note 2: Not all EV manufactures make available the data on net EV battery capacity, and in a number of instances the EV battery capacity advertised, does not state if it is gross or net capacity. In general, usable EV battery capacity is between 85% to 95% of the gross available capacity.

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
  • Note 1: SoC: state-of-charge

Dimensions
Height (mm):1559
Width (mm):1822
Length (mm):4297
Wheelbase (mm):2670
Turning Circle (m):11.4
Boot Space (L):405

MINI COUNTRYMAN Plug-In Hybrid
EV Battery Capacity:10 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):50 – 52 km
Electric Energy Consumption (kWh/km):15.6 – 15.4
Fuel Consumption (l/100 km):1.8 – 1.9
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger 3.7 kW (0% – 100%: 2 hrs)
Top Speed:196 km/h
0-100 km/h:6.8 seconds
Drive:Four-wheel drive
Max Power (HP):220
Torque (Nm):385
Transmission:Semi-Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Unladen Weight (kg):1,790
Colours:9
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

History Of Electric Cars: Quick Facts


An electric vehicle (EV), also referred to as a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) is not a new invention or even an invention of modern times. Indeed, EVs were first developed more than a 100 years ago in the 19th century. Inventors from various countries, to include European countries and the United States, were the first to invest in electric motors and batteries. The first practical electric cars were built in the second half of the nineteenth century, with the first US electric car introduced in 1890.
Electric vehicles came into prominence in the early 1900’s, a time when horse-drawn carriages were the primary mode of transportation. Archived black and white photographs from that period show famous avenues like Madison Avenue in New York city filled with horse-drawn carriages. In stark contrast, a similar photograph taken a decade later of Madison Avenue showed not a single horse-drawn carriage. Instead the avenue was filled with motor vehicles, a new invention. It was the beginning of man’s love affair with cars that has lasted more than a century and still going strong. 
However, the uptake of electric vehicles in the early 20th century was short-lived, as gasoline powered vehicles propelled by internal combustion engines (ICE) become the preferred mode of transportation. Bottom-line, manufactures chose internal combustion engines over electric cars in the early 1900s for various reasons, to include, the costs and production volumes.  
It is not definitive as to where EVs were invented or to credit a single inventor. However, one known electric motor (small-scale) was created in 1828 by Anyos Jedlik, a Hungarian inventor, engineer, physicist and Benedictine priest. Hungarians and Slovaks still consider him to be the unsung hero of the electric motor.  
Shortly after, between 1832 and 1839, a Scottish inventor Robert Anderson created a large electric motor to drive a carriage, powered by non-rechargeable primary power cells. Through the 19th century a number of inventors were inspired to develop electric motors to include, Thomas Davenport, an American from Vermont credited with building the first DC electric motor in America (1834). Unlike many of his contemporaries and other trying to build electric motors, Davenport did not have a background in either engineering or physics. In fact, he was a blacksmith. 
Move forward a few decades and at the end of the 19th century, William Morrison created what is believed to be the first practical electric vehicle. Morrison, another American from Des Moines, Iowa, was a chemist who became interested in electricity. He build the first electric vehicle in 1887 in a carriage built by the Des Moines Buggy Co. His first attempt was not a great success. In 1890, he attempted again, with more success. 12 EVs were built using a carriage built by the Shaver Carriage Company.
The batteries were designed and developed by William Morrison. The vehicle had 24 batteries with an output of 112 amperes at 58 volts that took 10 hours to recharge. Available horsepower just under 4 horsepower. The vehicle could accommodate 6 individuals and had a top speed of 14 mph (22.50 km/h).
Morrison’s success led to others also developing large-scale practical electric cars. At the turn of the century cities like New York had 60 electric taxis. The first decade witnessed strong popularity for electric vehicles. However the popularity was short-lived as internal combustion engine (ICE) gasoline powered vehicles replaced the early electric vehicles. Henry Fords success with the then ubiquitous Ford Model T was the ‘beginning of the end’ for electric vehicles. The Model T was cheaper than the prevailing electric cars (US$ 650 Vs US$ 1,750) and could be manufactured at scale.  As they say — the rest is history. 

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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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