Monwar recently made the switch to electric in a quest to make his business even more sustainable. In his free time, you'll find him driving along the Kent coastline in his MINI Electric, alongside his four-legged pal, Ziggy. We asked him to tell us about his experience of driving the MINI Electric and why he’s such a big fan. Here is what he had to say.
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“It just feels fun.”

“I recently moved to Kent to expand my chai business, which I’m trying to make fully sustainable. My partner and I have always loved MINI, and I’m a big fan of "The Italian Job". The whole look and feel of the MINI are youthful and cool, while a modern MINI is compact, fun and really suits our lifestyle. The MINI Electric takes that a step further, with its awesome looks and futuristic features. It’s the perfect next step.

I particularly love the pearlescent paint. It feels like it changes colour, depending on how the sun hits it. The alloy wheels, which look like a three-pin plug socket, are also really cool. They’re an awesome way of showing it’s an electric car.

Inside the MINI Electric, the build quality is top-notch. The steering wheel particularly stood out for me. The feel of the leather and the way it sits in your hands seems so natural. The ambient lighting is another nice touch – especially the lights around the central dial. The way the lights change colour is so funky. It just feels fun.”

“Driving the MINI Electric is epic.”

“I’d never driven an electric car before I tried the MINI Electric. So, to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. In short, it’s epic. When you go on longer journeys, the Green driving mode is great for preserving your range. But, of all the driving modes, Sport is my favourite. It makes me feel like a little kid nipping around town!

The power and instant torque from the electric motor are so impressive. The handling is really responsive, and the braking is sharp, too. I think that’s helped by the regenerative braking. When you lift off the accelerator, the car really slows down. But it only took me a short amount of time to get used to that one-pedal style of driving. In fact, the whole driving experience is super smooth.”

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“It’s so easy to grab a quick charge.”

“When I first got my MINI Electric, I downloaded a few apps to help me locate public chargers. But, once you start driving an electric car, you start to notice chargers everywhere. I think people would be surprised by just how many charging points are out there. Supermarkets, motorway service stations, shopping centres, city streets – there are so many, and it’s so easy to grab a quick charge on the go.

I’ve used rapid chargers a lot to top up my MINI Electric. The fact you can get up to 80% charge in as little as 30 or 40 minutes for just a few quid is – well – it’s no time at all. Destination chargers are useful too. You mostly find them at supermarkets or in town centres. They’re slower than rapid chargers, but it means that when you get back from your afternoon of mooching around, you’re nearly at full charge.

When I was driving my petrol MINI Cooper, I was probably spending something like £30 to £40 a week on petrol. But, in the MINI Electric, it cost me something like £14 to run for 10 days. It’s crazy cheap, and that’s without us having a proper wall box fitted at home yet.”

“The MINI Electric is packed with tech.”

“My MINI Electric is a Level 3 – the top trim level – so it’s packed with tech. For me, the Harmon Kardon sound system is a real highlight. I love my music and I’m always listening to podcasts. The sound quality is just so clear.

It’s also super easy to connect my phone to the MINI Electric. As soon as you get in, it just links up. To be honest, the whole navigation and media system is so slick and simple to use. It’s also super easy to set up your own driver profile. By doing that, you can just click on your name, and everything adjusts to your settings.

When it comes to driving assists, Park Assist – along with all the radars and sensors – is super helpful in the small town where I live. It’s great for navigating narrow streets. And the head-up display: that’s wicked. I’d never driven a car with a head-up display before, but now I’ve used it I don’t think I could go back. Having key information right in your line of sight means you never have to take your eyes off the road.

I also love the sound the MINI Electric makes. I’m not sure what MINI has done, but there’s this ‘spaceshippy’ sort of noise when you accelerate! It’s really cool, and it makes driving more engaging. But, it’s not so loud that it drowns out my music. It’s just a very cool feature.”

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“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."