There aren’t that many choices left for battery-electric vehicles made specifically for city or short-distance driving and commuting. With the Hyundai Ioniq Electric gone, your choices are down to the Nissan Leaf and the refreshed 2022 Mini Cooper SE. When it initially arrived, the all-electric Cooper S E was rated for 110 miles per charge but for 2022, that increases to 114 miles or 4 miles more than before. That doesn’t sound like much but any range increase is welcome.
Currently, the 2022 Mini Cooper S E has the shortest range of any battery-electric vehicle consumers can buy. Its closest competitor, the Nissan Leaf with the standard 40-kWh pack, is good for 14 miles per charge. A new entrant arrives later this year in the Mazda MX-30 EV, which is capable of traveling up to 124 miles per charge according to the WLTP cycle. That estimate may go down on the EPA cycle, which isn’t as optimistic. The Mini Cooper S E’s electric motor makes 181 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque, and it’s backed by a 32.6-kWh lithium-ion battery. It can DC charge at peak rates of up to 50 kW, allowing it to get to 80 percent in 35 minutes. A level 2 AC charger will get you a full charge in around 4 hours.
For 2022, the Mini Cooper S E received the same refresh as the internal combustion Mini Hardtop. That adds new front and rear bumpers, a new steering wheel design, and a revised enclosed grille. As before, you’ll be able to distinguish the all-electric SE model via the yellow S logo on the liftgate and its unique aero-focused 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels. It gets an 8.8-inch touch screen, lane departure warning, and a heated steering wheel as standard equipment. A special Electric Collection model joins the lineup featuring a multi-tone roof, special alloy wheels and graphics, Black Pearl light gray upholstery, piano black exterior trim, and aluminum interior inlays. You can get adaptive cruise control and automatic parking assist via the Driver Assistance package or as standard on the Iconic grade.
Pricing for the Mini Cooper S E starts at $30,750 for the base Signature trim. The most expensive Iconic trim will set you back $37,750. That makes the Cooper S E $3,375 more than the least expensive 2022 Nissan Leaf, which also gets more driver assistance features. For the price of Iconic trim, you can get the Leaf SV, which gets ProPilot Assist and a surround-view monitor. For an extra $625, you can get the range-topping Leaf SL with more features, more power, and a 215-mile range per charge.
In the same ballpark as the Mini Cooper S E is the refreshed 2022 Chevrolet Bolt, which starts at $31,995 and has a 259-mile range on a single charge. Even an optioned out 2LT trim still manages to stay under $37,000, meaning it’s less expensive than a fully loaded Mini Cooper S E. Where the Mini has a slight advantage is in tax credit availability. General Motors is no longer eligible for any federal tax credit while Mini is still able to benefit from the full $7,500 plus all the local incentives in the states that it is sold in.
The 2022 Mini Cooper S E is the first of a full range of EVs from the British brand as it fully embraces electrification. By the early 2030s, it intends to sell nothing but EVs and will launch an all-electric Countryman crossover in the coming years. If you can make the Cooper S E’s 114-mile range work, it makes for a fun daily driver because of its agile handling and instant torque.