Classic Mini EV Conversion Kit Could Be Affordable
EV conversion specialist Electrogenic developed a drop-in kit for the classic Mini models, offering a 60-hp motor and a 20-kWh battery.
The kit, designed to fit into the engine bay and be installed by a mechanic, will give the Mini a range of 80 miles in town.
The EV conversion specialist is focusing on developing kits that can be installed by any qualified mechanic, and are meant for daily drivers as a way to keep them on the road.
UK-based EV conversion specialist Electrogenic is perhaps best known for its Land Rover Defender conversions, which seek to turn diesel SUVs typically in farm use into EVs on a modest budget, and ones that can be performed simply by a qualified mechanic. But that's not the only model the EV swap cottage industry is focusing on as plug-and-play EV conversions begin to go mainstream.
The specialist firm revealed details for an EV swap at the other end of the size spectrum, dropping details of a conversion program for the classic Mini models, which were produced in the UK through the 1990s and remain affordable, daily-driven classics.
"We've converted a number of beautiful Minis over the years to electric drive, and have seen significant demand for a solution that's both easy to fit and budget-friendly," says Steve Drummond, Co-Founder, Electrogenic. "Our new drop-in kit meets those requirements perfectly; it's cost effective and simple to install, yet still delivers superb electric performance, thanks to our latest-generation EV powertrain tech."
The drop-in cassette-style conversion kit planned by Electrogenic pairs a 60-hp, 100-lb-ft water-cooled electric motor with a 20-kWh battery designed to fit underhood, sitting on a replacement front-subframe, which avoids upsetting the handling characteristics of the classic British Leyland models. A charge port is integrated into a replacement front grille, avoiding an installation route to the gas cap and other related high-voltage plumbing.
Just like the Defender kit, Electrogenic's conversion for the classic Mini is designed to be installed by just about any mechanic, with all parts made to fit existing hardware, including wiring for the accelerator and dashboard.
The kit gives the Mini a range of 80 miles in town, making the classic Mini a fairly logical proposition for ZEV zones in cities like London. So the future depicted in Gattaca is not far off, it seems.
The company plans to offer the kit in the UK for £15,000, which translates to about $18,950. The kit should be available for export once sales start, so stateside Mini owners might be able to get it shipped here.
"It turns the iconic classic Mini into an ideal modern city machine, one that's perfect for zipping about town cleanly and reliably—and sure to bring a smile to the faces of drivers and pedestrians alike," Drummond added.
The kit will be one of the most affordable from the EV conversion specialist, which had focused on much more expensive models early on.
Will many owners be tempted to convert their daily-driven classic Minis to electric power, or is this trend further in the future? Let us know what you think.