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EVs & Mobility

This article was published on January 25, 2022

Mini joins the EV restomod craze with reversible conversions

Convert your classic Mini into an EV... and back

Mini joins the EV restomod craze with reversible conversions
Ioanna Lykiardopoulou
Story by

Ioanna Lykiardopoulou

Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives. Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives.

During the past few years, there’s been a flurry of electrified classic vehicle unveilings from newly launched independent firms, such as LunazElectric Classic Cars, and Electrogenic, as well as an array from automotive giants.

The latest carmaker that’s putting an electric motor into a classic model is Mini.

Meet the Mini Recharged

The idea was born when the brand showcased a one-off classic Mini Electric at the New York Autoshow back in 2018. 

According to the company, the reactions were so positive that now a team of engineers at MINI’s Oxford plant have devised an EV conversion package for the iconic hatchback to create the Mini Recharged — available to customers who own a classic Mini.

Mini Recharged
A group of classic Minis under conversion at the Oxford plant (Credit: Mini)

The Recharged conversion replaces the combustion engine with a 90kW electric motor and a battery pack. The restomod can go from zero to 60mph in nine seconds and its range is good for about 160 kilometers.

Mini Recharged
(Credit: Mini)

While the retrofit is primarily mechanical with no alterations to the car’s exterior or interior design, each electrified classic Mini will receive a bespoke central instrument cluster — now displaying drive temperature, selected gear, range, and speed.

Mini Recharged
The original cluster (Credit: Mini)

Mini highlights that all changes are reversible. During conversion, the engine is marked and stored at the facility, which makes it possible to restore the classic Mini to its original condition at a later date. 

Personally, I don’t see the reason why one would want to reuse the original stinky engine, but I guess having the option to change your mind is a good selling point.

And perhaps that’s why Jaguar is following the same approach with its E-Type Zero Reborn.

Mini Recharged
The Recharged team (Credit: Mini)

With one in five new Mini models currently electrified, the company believes its Recharged program fits well into the brand’s future strategy, allowing classic Minis to have second, more sustainable life. 

And as for the Mini owners who’ll opt for the conversion package, they won’t need a new car registration and will be able to hit the low-emission driving zones of many large cities inside an iconic classic.

Yes, that’s pretty cool.

There’s no word on the price tag yet, but specialist conversion companies such as London Electric Cars are electrifying Minis for about $40,000. Given that the Recharged is an official factory conversion, I expect the price will somewhat be more than that.

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