A number of firms have started to offer EV conversions for classic cars, though these tend to involve extensive rebuilds that push prices well into six-figure territory.
That's not the case with a new EV conversion kit developed by British firm Swindon Powertrain for the original Alec Issigonis-designed Mini.
Swindon's kit is designed to fit within the tight confines of the original Mini and comes with all brackets necessary for easy installation. The standard kit, known as the HPD E Powertrain, includes a 160-horsepower (peak rating) electric motor and transmission that mounts in the front sub-frame of the car, with drive going to the front wheels.
Buyers then need to add a battery, control electronics, and a charger, all of which Swindon offers. The company's battery designed to fit under the hood of the Mini is rated at just 12-kilowatt-hours. No range estimate has been mentioned.
Classic Mini with EV conversion kit from Swindon Powertrain
Mind you, once you add some necessary options, the price of the conversion exceeds the price of the modern Mini Cooper SE. Swindon charges 8,850 British pounds (approximately $11,535) for the electric motor and transmission. The battery is another 16,000 pounds, the control electronics another 3,860 pounds, and the charger another 1,950 pounds. Ouch.
The kit can be ordered via Swindon Powertrain's website and starts deliveries in December.
“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,” Gerry Hughes, Swindon's commercial director, said in a statement.
Mini itself rolled out an electric version of the original hatch in 2018 as part of the lead up to the launch of the Mini Cooper SE. While the automaker hasn't hinted at an EV conversion like the one from Swindon Powertrain, Volkswagen has started to offer some for its own classic cars.