The Mini Cooper SE Electric is a subcompact hatchback that’s based on the third generation Mini Hatch.
It was first released in 2020 and is one of the more affordable Electric Vehicles (EV) on the market today.
The Mini Cooper Electric retains the same retro-inspired styling and go-kart-like handling that the Mini brand is known for.
In this article we’ll take a closer look at the average lifespan of the Mini Cooper SE Electric.
Here is the short answer to how long the Mini Cooper Electric lasts:
Even with the Mini Cooper Electric’s small battery and short-range, it should be able to last anywhere from 200,000 – 250,000 miles. In normal driving conditions, you can expect to get around 10 – 15 years of service out of it before needing a new battery.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Mini Cooper Electric?
The useful service life of any EV is usually dictated by the lifespan of its battery. Replacing EV batteries can be very expensive and most people will just write off the vehicle instead of paying for a new battery.
The Mini Cooper has the same EV tech that was used in the BMW i3, and battery replacements for the i3 currently cost around $15,000.
Modern EV batteries should be able to easily last over 1,500 charge cycles. With the Mini Electric’s 110-mile range, you can probably get around 200,000 – 250,000 miles out of the battery pack before it needs to be replaced.
BMW also uses active liquid cooling and advanced battery management systems to minimize battery degradation and prolong the Mini Cooper Electric’s lifespan.
The Mini Cooper Electric’s high voltage battery comes with an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty. In some states like California, the EV battery warranty is increased to 10-years/150,000-miles.
The Mini’s EV powertrain should also be pretty robust since it’s based on the i3 which BMW has been developing and updating since 2014.
Lots of older versions of the BMW i3 that came with an even smaller battery than the one that’s currently found in the Mini Cooper Electric have also easily gone over 150,000 miles.
There’s also an older version of the Mini Electric called the Mini E which had a limited production run from 2009 to 2010. So this isn’t the first time they’ve integrated an EV powertrain into the Mini platform.
Another thing to keep in mind is that EV powertrains require significantly less maintenance so you shouldn’t have to worry about expensive repairs associated with BMWs and Minis.
Common Problems of the Mini Cooper Electric
The Mini Cooper Electric has been out for a couple of years now and it hasn’t had any major or widespread issues yet.
Aside from the limited range, most Mini Electric owners don’t really have any complaints about their vehicle. It’s been praised for its excellent build quality and software issues that usually plague new EVs are pretty much non-existent.
If you’re looking for reasons to dislike the EV version of the Mini, here are a few that come to mind.
Unpredictable Range Estimates
The most common issue people have had with the Mini Cooper Electric is the accuracy of predicted range displayed on the dash.
It’s been referred to as a ‘Guess-O-Meter’ or GOM because it grossly underestimates the car’s available range especially once you set a destination on the navigation system.
Even if you know that the car’s fully charged and it has enough range left in it to make the trip, the dash will tell you that you have insufficient range.
The battery gauge is quite accurate though and most owners just rely on that to predict how many miles they have left.
Relying on the car’s range estimates can be confusing and jarring for new drivers though, but you just need to get used to its quirks or ignore it completely.
Lack of Modern EV Tech
If you’re expecting the Mini Cooper Electric to be like a Tesla with the bodywork of a Mini, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
The Mini doesn’t have all the fancy tech that you’ll find in a Tesla or even a Nissan Leaf which now features semi-autonomous driving as an option.
It also doesn’t stand out as an EV with its more traditional and familiar styling, but this is actually a plus for a lot of people.
But despite its limited range and lack of tech that you can play around with, the Mini more than makes up for it when it comes to the fun factor and build quality.
It’s definitely not for everybody, but if all you’re looking for is a reliable and zippy city commuter, the Mini Cooper Electric fits the role really nicely.
What is High Mileage for a Mini Cooper Electric?
A Mini Cooper Electric with 80,000 miles is already a high mileage vehicle.
The Mini’s bumper-to-bumper warranty only goes up to 4 years or 50,000 miles and there’s a chance that the previous owner is trying to get rid of the vehicle because they don’t want to deal with the potential repairs.
Although it’s true that EVs require less maintenance than an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle, they still use a lot of regular car parts for critical systems like the suspension, brakes, steering and climate control. Especially in the case of the Mini Cooper Electric which uses exactly the same platform as its ICE counterpart.
One upside to using a shared platform is that parts will probably be more widely available. Aside from cheaper third-party replacements, you can probably even find used parts from junkyards and salvage vehicles.
But your main concern should be the EV powertrain. At 80,000 miles, a Mini Cooper Electric will only have a handful of years left in its high voltage battery warranty.
If you’re planning on keeping the car for a long time, you need to be looking at lower mileage vehicles with excellent battery health. Since the battery is so small, any signs of premature degradation can significantly affect the car’s range, overall usability, and remaining lifespan.
However, if the price is right and the vehicle is in great condition, a higher mileage Mini Cooper Electric can be a great deal.
An even better deal would be a CPO vehicle from a Mini dealership which comes with its own warranty.
When buying a used Mini Cooper Electric, always consider the following:
- Assess the battery’s health: Used EVs won’t have the same battery capacity or range as brand new ones — unless the battery pack was just recently replaced. The dealership should be able to give you a detailed report on the battery’s health.
- Maintenance history. Check that the car was properly serviced and that the owner can provide evidence of this.
- Battery Warranty: Double-check the battery warranty, you should be able to verify this with Mini’s customer service department using the vehicle’s VIN number.
- Inspect the interior: this can often give a good idea how well the owner really cared for their vehicle.
How Long Does the Mini Cooper Electric Last Compared to Other Electric Vehicles?
In this section we’ll compare the Mini Cooper Electric to similar EVs.
Mini Cooper Electric vs. Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf has been sold since 2010 and a heavily updated second generation model was first released in 2019.
The Leaf is more practical than the Mini Electric because it has four doors and a roomier interior.
The Leaf’s larger battery and increased range give it a higher expected lifespan of 200,000 – 300,000 miles.
- Kelley Blue Book’s consumer rating index gave the Nissan Leaf a reliability rating of 4.5/5. It doesn’t have ratings for the Mini Electric, but the ICE-powered Mini also got a 4.5/5.
- Edmunds consumer reviews gave the Leaf an overall rating of 4.5/5 which is much higher than the gas-powered Mini’s score of 3/5 from 1 reviewer.
- RepairPal gave Nissan a reliability rating of 4/5 which is higher than Mini’s overall rating of 3/5.
- The base model Leaf has a slightly larger battery and better range than the Mini. The SV Plus model has double the battery capacity and range, but it’s also more expensive.
First gen Leafs had issues with battery degradation because they were only passively cooled. This has been significantly improved over the years and it’s proven to be a very reliable platform.
The Leaf doesn’t have the fun factor or the heritage of the Mini, but it’s definitely a very competent and practical daily driver that you can also take out on longer trips.
Related: How Long Will a Nissan Leaf Last?
Mini Cooper Electric vs. BMW i3
The BMW i3 first went on sale in 2014 and was the first vehicle sold under the BMW i sub-brand.
The Mini Cooper Electric replaced the i3 in BMW’s EV lineup when it was discontinued in 2021.
The BMW i3 has proven itself to be a very reliable vehicle and its expected lifespan is around 200,000 – 300,000 miles.
- Kelley Blue Book’s consumer rating index gave the BMW i3 a reliability rating of 4.6/5. It doesn’t have ratings for the Mini Electric, but the ICE-powered Mini was given a 4.5/5.
- Edmunds consumer reviews gave the i3 an overall rating of 4.3/5 which is higher than the gas-powered Mini’s score of 3/5 from 1 reviewer.
- RepairPal gave BMW a reliability rating of 2.5/5 which is lower than Mini’s overall rating of 3/5.
- The final iteration of the i3 uses a larger battery and offers more range than the Mini Cooper Electric.
Although the i3 and Mini Cooper Electric use the same EV tech, the i3 was designed to be an EV from the very beginning.
The i3 is also more comfortable and more spacious than the Mini Cooper Electric. It also has great driving dynamics, but it can’t match the Mini’s iconic chassis.
The extra range of the i3 makes it the more practical vehicle overall. And despite BMW’s poor reliability ratings, lots of i3 owners have driven their vehicles past 150,000 miles using the original battery.
Mini Cooper Electric vs. Fiat 500e
The Fiat 500e was sold from 2013 to 2019. A second gen model was introduced in 2020 but it’s only available in Europe.
Like the Mini Cooper Electric, it combines retro styling with modern EV tech.
The Fiat 500e has a smaller battery and even less range than the Mini Electric so its expected lifespan is only around 150,000 – 200,000 miles.
- Kelley Blue Book’s consumer rating index gave the Fiat 500e a reliability rating of 4.6/5. It doesn’t have ratings for the Mini Electric, but the ICE-powered Mini was given a 4.5/5.
- Edmunds consumer reviews gave the Fiat 500e an overall rating of 4/5 which is higher than the gas-powered Mini’s score of 3/5 from 1 reviewer.
- RepairPal gave Fiat a reliability rating of 3.5/5 which is higher than Mini’s overall rating of 3/5.
- The first gen 500e’s has less than 100 miles of range, but the second gen model is available with a larger 42 kWh battery and more range than the Mini.
The 500e is smaller overall than the Mini Cooper Electric so it’s got less space inside.
It’s also very nimble, but it’s not as fast as the Mini in a straight line. This doesn’t matter much though, since it’s supposed to be a small city vehicle and it’s quick enough for what it is.
For longer commutes with lots of highway driving, the Mini Cooper Electric’s extra range makes it a better daily driver.
|Mini Cooper Electric||Nissan Leaf||BMW i3||Fiat 500e|
|KBB Consumer Rating||4.5/5*||4.5/5||4.6/5||4.6/5|
|Edmunds Consumer Rating||3/5*||4.2/5||4.3/5||4/5|
|RepairPal Brand Reliability||3/5||4/5||2.5/5||3.5/5|
|Battery Capacity (kWh)||32.6||40 – 62||21 – 42||24|
|Electric Range (miles)||110||149 – 226||81 – 153||80|
|Expected Lifespan (miles)||200k – 250k||200k – 300k||200k – 300k||150k – 200k|
*Ratings are only available for the gas-powered models
Is the Mini Cooper Electric Reliable?
Although the Mini Cooper has been available for a couple of years now, there haven’t any complaints so far regarding its reliability.
Aside from minor issues with the car’s range estimates and nitpicks about certain design choices, there are no software glitches to speak of which is quite rare for a relatively new EV model.
This is likely due to the fact that it’s built on the third-gen Mini platform which has been around for roughly a decade, so BMW has had plenty of time to work out all its kinks.
The same goes for its EV powertrain. It’s not as cutting edge as some of its rivals, but it’s been thoroughly tested in the BMW i3 which bodes well for its reliability.
Unfortunately, it’s not a very popular vehicle so it tends to be overlooked by reviewers and major publications.
If you look through dedicated forums like MiniF56 and MiniEVForum, owners have nothing but praise when it comes to the Mini Cooper Electric’s overall build quality and reliability.
These types of forums are usually notorious for amplifying the severity of minor issues, but there just doesn’t seem to be any complaints with the Mini Cooper Electric.
How Reliable Is Mini Compared to Other Car Brands?
According to Consumer Reports, Mini ranks at a respectable 10th position out of 28 car manufacturers for reliability.
The Best and Worst Years of the Mini Cooper Electric
The Mini Cooper SE Electric went on sale in 2020, so there aren’t too many differences between model years yet.
Worst Model Year
2020 is the first model year of the Mini Cooper Electric and it’s likely to suffer the most from early build quality issues — especially as time goes by.
Subsequent model years also introduced more standard features, options, and aesthetic updates.
Best Model Year
The 2022 Mini Cooper Electric is the best model year so far because of its updated front end and additional standard features which include:
- 8.8-inch touchscreen
- Heated steering wheel
- Lane departure warning
Mini Cooper Electric Pros & Cons
- Quick and zippy driving characteristics
- Plenty of standard equipment
- Affordable price
- Quirky styling
- Limited driving range which will make it impractical for many people
- Small rear seat
- Overactive traction control
- Lacks adaptive cruise control
What About Recalls for the Mini Cooper Electric?
The Mini Cooper SE Electric has only had 1 recall so far for a passenger seat belt issue.
You can check if your Mini Cooper SE has been subjected to a recall campaign by entering your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on the Mini recall site or the NHTSA recall database.
It is important to note that recalls are manufacturing faults repaired at no charge to the consumer.
Recall campaigns for every model year:
- 2022 Mini Cooper SE Electric: 0
- 2021 Mini Cooper SE Electric: 1
- 2020 Mini Cooper SE Electric: 0
Related: How Long Do Mini Coopers Last?
Mini Cooper Electric Model Year List
The Mini Cooper Electric was first sold in 2020 and is still in its first generation.
Not much has changed since its debut except for a couple of additional standard features and some styling updates.
First Generation (2020 – present):
- 2020 Mini Cooper SE Electric
- 2021 Mini Cooper SE Electric
- 2022 Mini Cooper SE Electric
- 2023 Mini Cooper SE Electric
Is the Mini Cooper Electric Expensive to Maintain?
Maintenance and repair costs for the Mini Cooper Electric should be negligible while it’s still on its 4-year/50,000-mile warranty.
Although Mini doesn’t offer a separate powertrain warranty like other EV manufacturers, the EV components should be relatively maintenance-free as they’re adapted from the very reliable BMW i3 powertrain.
The recommended service interval for the Mini Cooper Electric is only once every two years. Even then, it only needs new cabin filters and a basic inspection of the brake fluid, coolant levels and tires which shouldn’t cost much.
In general, the Mini Cooper Electric should be significantly less expensive to maintain compared to its gas-powered siblings. And you don’t have to worry about typical Mini and BMW engine problems.
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
The Mini Cooper Electric’s factory brake pads should be able to last over 100,000 miles.
It comes with regenerative braking so you can slow the vehicle down without touching the brake pedal which significantly reduces the wear and tear on the brake components.
If you regularly drive it on salt-ridden roads, the brake rotors might start corroding much sooner.
You can prevent excessive rust issues by washing the vehicle regularly and stepping on the brake pedal from time to time to wipe off the corrosion while you’re driving.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
The Mini Cooper Electric’s stock tires should be able to last around 30,000 to 50,000 miles.
EVs produce a lot of instantaneous torque which wears down the tires much faster. But the Mini Cooper Electric isn’t as heavy as other mainstream EVs so it’s going to be a little easier on the tires.
Tire wear is also dependent on various factors such as driving habits, climate, and road conditions.
- Rotate your tires regularly to ensure even tire wear.
- Check your tire pressure every few weeks to make sure they’re not over or under-inflated.
- Check your wheel alignment every 6 months.
How Long Do the Transmissions Last?
The Mini Cooper Electric doesn’t use a traditional transmission and just uses a set of reduction gears to deliver power to the front wheels.
It doesn’t need different gear ratios so there aren’t any gears banging against each other at all times and is much simpler overall.
This means that any transmission-related components should last the entire lifetime of the vehicle and getting 500,000 miles out of them is not that unlikely.
How Long Will the Mini Cooper Electric’s Motors Last?
The Mini Cooper Electric has the same updated motors used in the final iteration of the BMW i3.
These drive units are extremely reliable and should be able to last the entire lifetime of the vehicle.
They have less moving parts and are subjected to less heat and friction compared to a regular gas engine, so there’s less wear and tear on the components.
In most cases, the vehicle will need several battery changes before the electric motors start showing signs of failure.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
The Mini Cooper Electric doesn’t require any spark plugs because it doesn’t use an internal combustion engine.
How Long Do Mini Electric Cooper Batteries Last?
The Mini Cooper’s EV batteries should retain 70% to 80% of its original capacity after roughly 10 years.
It uses the same battery tech as the BMW i3 which is made by Samsung SDI. In ideal conditions, Samsung expects the batteries to deliver up to 4,600 charge cycles. If we multiply that with the Mini Cooper Electric’s estimated 110-mile range, it can theoretically hit around 500,000 miles before it needs to be replaced.
Of course, real-world use is another matter entirely and reaching even half of this theoretical mileage is going to take some work.
Although some older BMW i3s have been able to go over 150,000 miles on their original battery, there are also lots of owners who are only getting a little over 70% of their battery’s design capacity just as their 8-year/100,000-mile EV battery warranty is about to expire.
Since the Mini Cooper SE Electric’s is quite small, losing just a small percentage of its original capacity will significantly affect its maximum range and overall usability.
To increase the battery’s lifespan, the Mini Electric uses modern battery management solutions like active liquid cooling to keep battery temperatures down. It also limits the available battery capacity to 28.9 kWh which is around 90% of the battery’s 32.6 kWh total capacity to prevent premature battery degradation.
If you want to prolong the life of your Mini Electric’s battery, here are some battery care tips:
- Avoid using or storing the vehicle in extremely hot temperatures
- Don’t let the vehicle sit unused for long periods of time
- When storing the Mini, slow charge it to avoid draining the battery
- Avoid regularly draining the battery to 0% or charging it to 100%
- Charging up to 80% is recommended
- Minimize the use of DC fast chargers at public charging stations
What is the Range of the Mini Cooper Electric?
The Mini Cooper Electric is rated for a combined city/highway range of 110 miles.
However, lots of Mini owners have been able to get over 140 miles on a single charge while driving in ideal conditions.
EV batteries perform at their best when the outside temperature is around 70° Fahrenheit or 21° Celsius. In colder climates, you’ll get significantly less range especially when you turn up the heat.
Extremely hot weather won’t really affect the car’s available range, but it does increase the chances of battery degradation which will reduce your battery capacity and range over time.
You’ll also get more range if you’re just driving conservatively around the city compared to when you’re driving on the highway at higher speeds.
Related: How Long Will a Kia EV6 Last?
How Long Does the Mini Cooper Electric Take to Charge?
|Charger Type||Range per Hour of Charge (miles)||0 to 100% Charge|
|Level 1/120V||3 to 4||12 to 24 hours|
|Level 2/240V||25 to 30||3 to 5 hours|
The Mini Cooper Electric can quickly charge back up from 0% to 80% in roughly 36 minutes when plugged in at a DC fast charging station.
Charging to a full 100% will take longer because the charging rate slows down after 80% to protect the battery from heating up too much.
What About Insurance Costs?
According to Insuraviz, the average insurance cost for a Mini Cooper is around $1,550 per year or about $129 per month.
Insurance costs can vary from person to person, so be sure to shop around to find the best possible deal for your Mini Cooper SE.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Mini Cooper Electric
- Practice smooth and safe driving habits.
- Use regenerative braking to extend range and battery life.
- Charging every couple of days is better than charging every day to keep it topped up.
- Keep up to date with factory-recommended maintenance.
- Use quality parts and fluids.
- Keep on top of repairs to prevent them from developing into larger problems.
- Regularly wash your Mini to remove dirt and grime to protect the paint and undercarriage from rust.
- Keep your Mini stored in a garage to protect it from extreme heat.
- Read the owner’s manual to learn the location of important components, what your Mini Cooper needs and in what quantities, and to understand the symbols and dashboard warning lights.