Mini Cooper SE Iconic & Overcoming Range Anxiety

Brian Trampler proves that you don’t need to sacrifice choosing your dream car over getting an electric vehicle. Sometimes, you can get an electric version of the car you want! For Brian, that was the Mini Cooper which also comes in an electric version. Brian purchased his Mini Cooper SE Iconic on April 2, 2020 from the Schomp MINI dealership in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. He took advantage of the $4,000 (2020) state tax credit and the $7,500 federal tax credit, making his car the lowest cost brand new EV on the market, and $20,000 cheaper than some gas-powered cars! He’s driven his car almost every day since and has designated it as his “primary around town car,” due to its affordability with charging costs compared to gas expenses, its convenience, and its fun factor. 

Brian loves this car because it drives exactly as a gas-powered Mini does, but without any of the harmful emissions or gas costs. It has the exact same body and features aside from the internal combustion engine, and shares an electric drive system with the BMW i3. Brian has test driven many Mini’s in the past and was getting ready to purchase one a few years ago, but when Mini announced that there would be an electric version, he opted to wait for the electric car to be released. His Mini Cooper SE is fun to drive, compact, has all the same standard safety features as other non-electric Mini’s do, including Active Brakes, Dynamic Stability Control, Cornering Brake Control, Head-Up Display, Adaptive Cruise Control, Crash Sensor System, and a Rollover Protection Bar. It’s also equipped with seat warmers, which makes it warm during the winter. 

Before his Mini, Brian was driving a Toyota Prius. The biggest difference between the two are maintenance costs and the batteries of the cars. While the Prius has an electric battery, it is still a hybrid, meaning that Brian still had to get more maintenance done for the car, like oil changes. With his Mini Cooper EV, he won’t have to go in for maintenance until the end of next year for smaller, more affordable touchups. The Mini Cooper EV is completely battery-electric, so Brian never has to pay for gas. He charges at home with a Level 2 charger that goes from 0 to 100% in 4 hours. 

We also spoke with Brian about range anxiety, the fear that a vehicle has insufficient range to reach its destination. Some EV drivers or prospective EV owners may be concerned about range anxiety when the battery charge is low because charging your car may not be as accessible as filling up at a gas station. When asked about range anxiety, Brian stated never having experienced it, even though his car gets an average range of 120 miles, which is on the lower range of electric vehicles. With advanced planning, Brian has driven to Breckenridge and back from the Denver Metropolitan area. He’s also driven many back canyon roads and made 100+ mile road trips with charging only at his destination. He’s also used DC fast chargers on his trips, which can get an 80% charge in half an hour. Brian recommends planning your trip if you know you’ll be driving long distances and remaining knowledgeable and realistic about your car’s range. In addition, utilize ChargePoint to find free charging stations on the way!