$19K drop-in EV kit for vintage Mini coming to U.S.
Converting a classic car to battery power isn’t for everyone. Whether you can’t stomach the idea of removing a car’s beating heart and replacing it with batteries, aren’t keen on the electric driving experience, or simply can’t afford the conversion, there are plenty of barriers to entry.
Oxfordshire-based Electrogenic is at least lowering one of those barriers with its new, plug-and-play EV conversion kit for the classic Mini, available this fall. Even better, Electrogenic will sell the kit in the U.S. via its network of partners. With a target price of £15,000—as of this writing, $18,975—plus VAT you could never call it cheap, but compared to the thirty or forty grand that taking your car to a conversion specialist can cost, the DIY option might look a lot more tempting for some.
Electrogenic is very much one of those A-to-Z conversion specialists, and we’ve tried its wares in several cars now, including one of its Minis. The tech really works, and the battery-powered car is just as much of a hoot as a combustion-powered Mini, without the commotion of an old A-series thrashing away up front.
When Electrogenic calls the kit “plug-and-play,” it makes a convincing argument. The electric motor sits in its own subframe, so once you’ve removed the old engine and transmission wholesale on its original subframe, the new one slots straight into place. The swap is fully reversible, if you wanted to return the car to fossil-fuel power later down the line.
The use of a fixed-ratio, single-speed transmission also makes the result mechanically simpler than the last Electrogenic Mini we drove, which utilized a PSA manual gearbox. At 60 hp, power from the motor is on a par with that of a late, multi-point-injected Rover Mini, while a 100 lb-ft torque output (at the motor—the reduction gear puts more to the wheels, just as the lower gears in a regular transmission do) is a good bump over the 70 lb-ft in those late A-series.
The battery pack is small compared to those you’ll find in production electric cars, but its 20-kWh (also mounted on the subframe) is good for 80 miles around town. For comparison, the new Mini Electric we drove recently extracted a real-world 100 miles from 28.9 kWh. Electrogenic is planning to offer an extended range option, with an additional battery pack in the trunk.
The company says the kit can be fitted by any qualified mechanic, though we’re sure plenty of buyers will want to do it themselves and save a few.
Nice Minis aren’t cheap these days, so if you don’t already have a Mini to play with you’re looking at probably ten grand or more for a clean, non-rusty one from the 1960s. Add $19K for the kit—call it the best part of $30K so far—and then however many hours of either yours or someone else’s labor.
But if you’ve got the Mini and the means, Electrogenic is probably the most affordable way into a professionally executed electric-car conversion kit yet.
Via Hagerty UK