Cars

A classic electric Mini adventure

Electrogenic has chosen a motor which produces 60bhp and 100lb ft of torque, which ought to be plenty enough to retain the Mini's trademark nippiness, even with the inevitably extra weight of the EV kit compared to the venerable A-series engine

Electrogenic describes its electric conversion of classic Mini as 'plug and play'
Electrogenic describes its electric conversion of classic Mini as 'plug and play' Electrogenic describes its electric conversion of classic Mini as 'plug and play'

After the £250,000 electric conversion of a classic Range Rover from Inverted which we looked at here, it's time for something more affordable, writes William Scholes.

'Affordable' is a relative concept in the world of electrified classics, but £15,000 - plus the inevitable VAT - puts this Mini 'plug and play' kit in an entirely different league to the offerings we've seen from Inverted (the aforementioned Range Rover) and Lunaz (who've given collectors' Rolls-Royce and Bentley models battery and electric motor conversions).

Even so, an original Mini in good condition is already an appreciating asset. Electrogenic's kit sounds very simple to fit. According to the Oxfordshire company, it's merely a case of removing the car's front subframe and engine assembly, and bolting in a new subframe already fitted with an electric motor and battery.

"Fitting can be carried out by any qualified mechanic," promises Electrogenic. "The package is sold as a pre-tested, fully assembled kit – entirely incorporated into a replacement front subframe.

"The installer simply bolts in the new subframe assembly and wires up the throttle and dashboard – that’s it.

"The charging socket is also incorporated neatly into the new subframe assembly, so there’s no high-voltage wiring at all."

And, if you later decide you would rather enjoy your Issigonis Mini with its petrol engine, the conversion is easily reversible.

Electrogenic has chosen a motor which produces 60bhp and 100lb ft of torque, which ought to be plenty enough to retain the Mini's trademark nippiness, even with the inevitably extra weight of the EV kit compared to the venerable A-series engine.

As with most EVs, the Mini gets a single fixed-ratio transmission, which will surely give it even more vim and responsiveness.

The battery is a 20kWh unit, said to be good enough for around 80 miles of range. The charging port is accessed via a new grille. And if you want more range, there's the option of an extra battery pack for the boot.

Electrogenic has developed expertise in electrifying iconic classics, including the Porsche 911, Land Rover Defender, Jaguar E-Type and even the - oft ignored - Triumph Stag, which bodes well for the Mini.

Steve Drummond from the company reckons the drop-in EV conversion is a game-changer.

"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," he says.

"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.

"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.”

The Electrogenic kit is due to be available from this autumn - giving you time to source a petrol-powered Mini of your own to convert. It's also worth pointing out that, with a brand-new electric BMW Mini costing just shy of £30k, you could have a very fine 'old' EV Mini indeed for similar money. Makes you think, doesn't it?