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James May Isn’t Impressed by the All-Electric MINI Cooper SE, Prefers the BMW i3

Top Gear, The Grand Tour, Drive Tribe. James May’s resume may be interesting in itself, but his car collection is even better. For the time being, three automobiles stand out, starting with the Alpine A110.
Can we convince James May to buy a Mini Electric? 35 photos
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May’s favorite car of 2018 is a bit of a polarizing machine if you remember the engine comes from the Renault Megane R.S. and the Porsche 718 Cayman has the upper hand in many ways. On the other hand, the lightweight berlinette beggars belief in the twisties. It’s a really fun car!

James tells his Drive Tribe colleague in the video at the end of this article that the Alpine will probably be the last internal combustion-engined car he’ll sell before going all-electric. Speaking of which, the Alpine was followed in 2019 by two EVs: the Tesla Model S and Toyota Mirai.

Both have their weak and strong points, and for the time being, May can’t tell if BEVs or FCVs will prevail in the mid- to long-term future. Speaking of electrics, James is an early adopter if you remember that he bought a 60-Ah BMW i3 no fewer than six years ago.

When pressed about changing the i3 for the MINI Cooper SE, the one and only Captain Slow surely takes his time before giving an answer. Fast-forward to 8:47 and you’ll be treated to a harsh verdict on the British sibling of the i3. “I think is for old people” pretty much sums it up.

145 miles of driving range also translates to woeful usability in the real world, more so if you need to make an out-of-town trip on the motorway. The biggest problem with BEVs according to James is the lithium-ion battery, which is too heavy and takes too much time to charge to 100 percent.

Mazda understands the inherent problem of lithium-ion batteries, which is why the MX-30 compact crossover makes do with 35.5 kWh instead of 60 like the Chevrolet Bolt or 100 like the Tesla Model S. In addition to shorter charging times because of the relatively small capacity, the Japanese brand makes a case for the carbon footprint on a well-to-wheel basis.

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