The original Mini has to be one of the ripest classic cars for electric conversion, what with its original brief to provide city dwellers with practical transport. And while it still nails the fundamentals of that task 61 years later, with the likes of urban emissions limits to contend with, electric conversion ought to appear more and more appealing to owners and buyers alike. Certainly demand is said to be high, and has lead to one of the best-known specialists in the business, Swindon Powertrain, launching its smartly packaged Mini EV kit to the market – for £8,850 ex VAT.
That money buys you a stand-alone electric 80kW continuous motor, which has a 120kW peak, that can either be bought in isolation or with additions like a 12kWh battery pack and motor controller, costing £16k and £3,860 plus taxes respectively. Also available are an onboard charger and DC-DC converter, which together cost £1,950 plus taxes. It's a modular, customisable setup that anyone from a classic Mini enthusiast to a conversion business can make use of. Each part comes off the shelf and designed to work harmoniously with Sir Alec Issigonis’s original, as you’d expect, given this is a firm with extensive experience in engine and powertrain work that stretches back to the seventies.
In fact, like the firm's other EV conversion kits, no hard modifications are required at all to get the 70kg hardware to fit. The ‘HPD E Powertrain’ system mounts to the original front subframe via new brackets, with a supplied inner CV joint housing that allows the retention of standard Mini driveshaft assemblies. Buyers can swap a standard diff for an optional limited-slip item, should they want to maximise traction from the instantly responsive setup. Even the battery pack upgrade fits under the original bonnet in place of the petrol motor.
It seems the setup couldn’t have come any sooner, with Swindon Powertrain commercial director Gérry Hughes stating: “We’ve registered over 500 requests for more information on the HPD E system since it launched, many of which are classic Mini owners who are looking to convert their cars to run on electric power. We have tried to make our kits as easy to use as possible, re-engineering and re-designing the package so that it fits perfectly in a classic Mini, and offer our clients the ability to take just the HPD E Powertrain system or purchase extra, optional EV parts.”
1 / 10