Mini Cooper SE electric car orders open and the affordability is still shocking

For just over $30,000, you can own an EV. And that's before any tax credits, too.

With 110 miles of range, it won't go as far as rivals, but it's affordable.

We've known the Mini Cooper SE's specs, its price and more for a while now, but the time has come to open the order books.

Mini said on Tuesday that anyone can now place an order for the Cooper SE, the company's first electric car. Mini shared that it's received 15,000 expressions of interest ahead of accepting orders, which isn't a bad figure for an electric car.

Perhaps the affordability has something to do with it. The 2020 Cooper SE starts at $30,750 after an $850 destination charge. That's also before any federal, state or local tax credits. Mini is just now in the EV game, so it can offer 200,000 federal tax credits in the amount of $7,500.

A handful of other states also offer tax credits and local credits can offset the purchase price even more. If you live in Colorado, congratulations, you can drive off in a Cooper SE for as little as $19,250 before tax and all the other fine-print stuff. As of next year, the state will dish out $4,000 in a tax rebate for those who purchase an EV.

In some ways, the Cooper SE seems like a homecoming for the brand on paper. The company known for its light, nimble cars has consistently churned out larger, more spacious models to appeal to the growing popularity of crossovers and SUVs. The Cooper SE is a pure Mini with two doors, 181 horsepower and a staggering 199 pound-feet of torque delivered instantly to the front wheels.

All said and done, the electric Mini should be a hoot to drive with 110 miles of range from its 32.6-kilowatt-hour battery.

There are different trim levels, of course. Step into the midtier Signature Plus trim and you'll face a $34,750 price before any tax credits. The base model is already pretty well equipped with heated seats, a 6.5-inch display with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and smart keyless entry. However, the costlier trim adds a Harman Kardon audio system, larger wheels and a moonroof among other thigns.

The top trim is the Cooper SE Iconic with an 8.8-inch display, leather steering wheel, head-up display and wireless phone charging. It starts at $37,750. Still, with just the federal tax credit, the most luxurious model remains a hair over $30,000.

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