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2020 Mini Cooper SE Electric delivers EV zip for short money

Spoiler alert: Mini's first production EV offers ultra-affordable fun, but it's no marathon runner.

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Chris Paukert
2020 Mini Cooper SE Electric
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Mini has finally gotten into the EV game with the 2020 Mini Cooper SE Electric.

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Powered by a motor borrowed from the BMW i3, this city car is both fun to drive and surprisingly affordable.

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There's a catch, of course. Range. The Mini SE is only estimated to get 110 miles of range on a charge, and that's a lot less freedom than nearly every other electric car on the market today has.

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This actually isn't Mini's first EV, but it's the first one you can buy. Way back in 2009, the automaker built hundreds of Mini E hatchbacks and leased them to select consumers and utility companies as part of a global test.

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Unlike the old Mini E, the SE isn't a two-seater. It seats four, and the battery pack doesn't intrude upon cargo space at all. 

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The Mini SE gets an oval-shaped, 5.5-inch digital gauge cluster to help keep tabs on everything from speed to state of charge and even select navigation and audio functions.

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Zero-to-60 mph happens in 6.9 seconds, splitting the time between the gas Cooper and Cooper S models. Top speed is modest but plenty at 93 mph.

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The BMW-sourced electric motor is good for 181 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque.

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The Mini SE gets its own T-shaped battery pack, rated at 32.6 kilowatt-hours.

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These funky, 17-inch asymmetric alloy wheels are the Mini SE's most distinctive visual feature, but they're also optional. 16s come standard.

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Yellow accents inside and out call out that this Mini is electric. If they're too showy for you, Mini says you don't have to order them.

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There's a hood scoop because... reasons. It's nonfunctional and blocked off.

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The SE gets its own unique smoothed-out grille for improved aero. There is a mailslot-size air intake, however.

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Keep clicking or scrolling for more images of the 2020 Mini Cooper SE Electric.

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