British firm Swindon Powertrain has developed an electric conversion kit for the classic Mini.
Available to order now and scheduled to ship in December, the kit includes one of Swindon's own electric motors (with peak output of 160 horsepower), mounted to a Mini front subframe with purpose-designed brackets. A CV joint housing that connects to the original Mini driveshafts is included, along with an application specific differential (an open diff is standard, but a limited-slip diff is available).
Customers have to add a battery pack, motor controller, DC-DC converter, and an onboard charger—all of which Swindon offers—individually to complete the setup. Swindon offers a 12-kilowatt-hour battery pack for the Mini conversion.
Classic Mini with EV conversion kit from Swindon Powertrain
The price of these components starts to add up quickly. The basic kit (including the motor and drivetrain components) is listed at £8,850 ($11,535 at current exchange rates), but the battery pack is £16,000 ($21,0330, the motor controller is £3,860 ($5,074), and the onboard charger is £1,950 ($2,563). That adds up to more than the cost of a new 2020 Mini Cooper SE.
Granted, it's a lot cheaper than buying a complete car directly from Swindon. The company unveiled its conversion last year, with a price tag equivalent to about $88,000. That version had a 110-hp motor, 24-kwh battery pack, and a few modern upgrades like USB ports and heated front seats, plus optional features like air conditioning, power steering, and navigation—luxuries that would have been unimaginable to the first Mini owners.
Swindon is one of a number of companies selling specialized kits to electrify classic cars, while Mini itself converted a classic model in preparation for the introduction of the Mini Cooper SE. French startup Transition One is even offering kits for ordinary economy cars.