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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 August 2019

Meet the Cooper SE: BMW unveils the first all-electric Mini Cooper

The classic British runabout is set to get even quieter, with models hitting the UAE market later this year

The march toward auto electrification continues with the news that the first fossil-fuel free Mini will be in the UAE by the end of the year in all its near-silent glory.

It’ll cost around $36,000 (Dh133,000) and, as the model was unveiled, brand owner BMW said the vehicles would continue to be produced at its UK plant in Oxford.

The car, which appears to be a polar opposite to the manufacturer’s recently released X7 petrol monster, will do 270 kilometres on a single charge. It’ll have a 181hp electric motor, and Mini promises that the new model will have the same go-kart feel of its petrol-powered cousins.

To protect pedestrians, the car will make a slight noise at low speeds – as required by fresh European legislation – so people can hear the otherwise-silent vehicle approaching.

The news comes in the same week that the final Volkswagen Beetle rolled off the assembly lines at Mexico’s Puebla plant, with the bug’s manufacturer saying the decision was taken as the company wanted to concentrate on developing electric vehicles.

It’s not just German car makers who are taking the leap into a battery-powered future, though – Jaguar Land Rover, a solid UAE favourite, has just announced plans to introduce a whole new range of electric cars, with the Jaguar XJ saloon being the first fresh face to roll off the production line. It’ll join the marque’s I-Pace pioneer, which was introduced in 2018.

Even Ferrari is getting in on the act, with the SF90 Stradale.

The new battery Mini will be in competition with the likes of VW’s ID.3 hatchback and Tesla’s Model 3. It is BMW’s second all-electric car after the i3 city runabout, which first poked its bonnet above the parapet way back in 2013.

The company plans to have around a dozen battery models on offer by 2023.

Updated: July 10, 2019 12:49 PM