Iola is a mum, a finance guru in the world of fashion, and a keen skater. She is all for expressing her individuality and unique sense of style. So when it came to choosing a car, she went for the MINI Electric. Whether it’s for a quick trip to the park to go skating, or a leisurely countryside drive around South Yorkshire where she lives, since switching to electric she's never looked back. She told us why she loves her MINI Electric so much.
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“MINI drivers always look super proud in their cars.”

“I’ve always loved the MINI. MINI owners always look really proud in their cars, and the customisation factor is a big plus. I absolutely love being an individual, and that’s why the MINI Electric really suits me.

When I ordered my MINI Electric, I wanted everything blacked out – apart from the yellow wing mirrors. The alloys are black, the door handles are black, the headlight rims are black. It’s got tinted glass, too. And the sporty bonnet scoop. I love how it looks: knowing there isn’t another MINI Electric on the road that looks exactly like it. It’s unique! When my car arrived at the dealer, the sales team were so impressed with it that they started to spec new forecourt cars with a similar all-black look.

But it’s not just the in-your-face parts of my MINI Electric that I love. The light-up door sills are a great addition, as are the puddle lights under the wing mirrors that project onto the floor when you get out of the car.”

“A really positive driving experience.”

“I do a real mix of city and countryside driving around Yorkshire, and my MINI Electric is perfect for both. It really shifts when you put your foot down, thanks to the electric torque. It’s perfectly sized for town and country roads, too: not too big; not too small. And it handles really well. It’s a really positive driving experience.

The best thing for me with electric driving is the regenerative braking – that ability to put energy back into the battery when you lift off the accelerator. It’s a different way of driving, but you get used to it so quickly. It makes you more conscious about how you’re using energy, and I think that’s great. Everyone should be aware of their energy consumption, and the MINI Electric really helps in that regard.”

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“I don’t charge every night – only when I need to.”

“My MINI Electric is my first electric car, but I’ve never really had any worries about charging. I was just curious as to how it worked. The questions I had were all pretty standard: How often do I have to charge? How easy is it? Where can I charge it? How long does it take? But, as I say, I’ve never had any issues.

I do most of my charging at home via our Pod Point wallbox, but it’s easy to go further afield, too. The MINI Electric smartphone app makes charging easy. When I’m at home, I can use the app to set the car to charge at certain times of day. I can see how much a charge will cost me, and how much range the car currently has. Then, when I’m out and about, it’s really easy to use the app to find chargers.

I definitely don’t charge every night; only when I have to. People would be surprised to find that most journeys are actually quite short, and don’t require a full battery. For people worried about range and charging, I’d say: make sure you plan journeys before you go, use the Green driving modes to help preserve range, don’t carry unnecessary luggage, and only get the charge you need.

If I’m popping to the supermarket, I might grab 15 mins on a rapid charger here and there. Or, if I’m going out for a meal, I’ll use a slower destination charger to get a few more miles. If you’ve never run out of petrol, there’s no reason you’ll ever run out of charge! There are chargers everywhere these days.

The low running costs are fantastic, too. It’s definitely a big reason why I went electric. No tax, very low insurance, and the charging costs are tiny compared to fuelling petrol and diesel cars. The government grants are useful too. There’s no congestion charge, and you can park for free in a lot of places when you’re charging.

I’d say my MINI Electric is pretty integral to my life nowadays. It has to be really! I drive to work in it every day, I put my child seat in the back, I chuck my skates in the boot, and just drop the rear seats for bigger things when I need to. For a compact city car, it’s very spacious. It’s just flexible, really.”

“I’m never pushed for space.”

"The MINI Electric is the perfect size for me. Alongside running my chai business, I’m also a photographer and I have a lot of kits to carry. Cases, tripods and batteries – they all fit in the back fine. And the ability to fold the rear seats down means that I’m never pushed for space.

I also have a small dog called Ziggy, and she absolutely loves the car. First, the lack of engine noise is great for her. It means she’s really relaxed when we’re driving. Second, there’s plenty of space for her. She’s only small, but a medium-sized dog would be just as happy with the space in the back as well.

If you’re considering the switch to electric, I’d have to say just do it! I get so much more of a rush in the MINI Electric than I do in a petrol or diesel car. I think if people were better educated about electric cars in general – charging, costs, range – they’d be more comfortable about making the change.

I know a lot of people are nervous about charging, but there are charging points everywhere now. Also, the apps and tech available to you make planning your journeys so much easier. It really is a breeze running a car like the MINI Electric."