Would you electrify your classic Mini?

Mini Recharged

The electrification of classic cars is a tricky subject, but it also increasingly seems inevitable. This move already started a few years ago and Mini has been one of the early adopters to offer a battery-powered conversion of their classic cars. 

Words: Wilhelm Lutjeharms

Ripping out an internal-combustion drivetrain and installing the necessary EV tech is no easy project though, as you need to consider the age of these classic Minis. This is no modern electric car that has been designed from the ground-up to be ready to accept an electric drivetrain. When installing a heavy battery pack in the car, elements such as the strength of the chassis and how the suspension will cope are just two of the many factors that must all be considered. 

Mini Recharged

Based outside Oxford in the UK, this project at Mini Plant Oxford (where modern Minis are being manufactured) makes especially sense. Afterall, the UK government has put a policy in place that will prohibit the sale of new ICE (internal combustion engine) cars by 2030. 

The drivetrain for the Mini Recharged (the project’s official name) offers up to 90kW, while Mini claims a 0-100 km/h of around 9 seconds. The driving range is said to be up to 160km. Open the door and subtle updates are also brought to the interior. A central instrument cluster (as is the case with modern Minis) offers a temperature reading for the motor, the car’s speed, selected gear (drive, neutral or reverse) and your range.

Mini Recharged

With project Mini Recharged, Mini aims to offer owners the opportunity to also drive their classic in the streets of central London, entering low-emission or electric zones which would not have been possible if it was still fitted with its combustion engine.

Let’s be honest, apart from heading to the countryside in an original Mini, driving through London’s city streets (when it's not buzzing) also holds a level of appeal. 

Mini Recharged

The idea behind this project came to fruition when Mini unveiled a classic Mini Electric which they built in 2018 and presented at the New York Auto Show. According to Mini the interest was positive and the company decided to set up a team to offer the conversion as a product to classic Mini owners. 

Mini Recharged

Purists will, understandably, frown at this project. However, Mini further explains that the changes made to the car are all reversible – which is rather important for the car’s value and its level of collectability. The original engine of the car is marked and stored so it can be fitted again in the future if the client wishes to do so. No new vehicles will be manufactured for this project. All vehicles used are existing classic Mini vehicles. 

Currently this offer is available exclusively in the UK with each vehicle given an individual number. 

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