Mina's top EV features and why we think they rock

17th April 2020
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It’s no lie that we love everything about electric vehicles and the major impact that they have on our travel experience – from the cost and environment saving aspects, all the way down to amazing technological advancements. It doesn’t end there though, and as with all ground-breaking and pioneering developments there are some incredible designs and features out there that just blow us away! 

Let’s take a look at our favourites…

Tesla Model X – falcon wing doors

A feature more commonly seen on supercars and the Delorean from Back to the Future – the Model X SUV has ‘gull wing’ doors which open upwards, rather than outwards like on a standard car. 

These “Falcon Wing” doors are hinged, allowing the leading edge of the door to remain tucked close to the body as they open, unlike traditional gull-wing doors. Tesla claims these doors ease access to the vehicle by having the door raise up vertically, rather than swinging out hinged at the front, which tremendously reduces accessibility. As the Tesla doors open upwards, they use sensors to help them clear obstacles, such as garage ceilings. The company suggests this will make it easier to put young children in car seats without hitting their heads on the roof.

Do we really need a falcon-wing door? Even Elon Musk admitted ‘I think we got a little carried away with the X…there is far more there than is really necessary to sell a car and some of the things are so difficult, they make the car better but the difficulty of engineering those parts is so high.” 

So it’s a little ‘extra’, but do we love it?! Yes we do. It gives us Back to the Future vibes, whilst literally being a car for the future.

Honda E – tiny turning circle

Combined with rear-wheel drive, low center of gravity, four-wheel independent McPherson Strut suspension and Single Pedal Control (to full stop), as well as an ultra-tight turning circle (the turning radius is approximately 4.3 meters), the Honda e sounds like our dream city car.

In other words, barely longer than the length of the little Honda itself. “We wanted to make the world’s best urban EV,” said E development project leader Hitomi-san  “we knew we had to make the turning radius as small as possible.”

That turning circle is almost HALF the swivel space of a standard Hackney black cab, and for a nippy little urban EV perfect for that town run-around, we know what we’re using in a multi story car park! 

Mini Electric – Plug socket alloys

The Mini, first seen in the UK in 1959, has been given the full electric treatment with order books open now for this new chapter in the life of one of the most iconic cars to grace UK roads. The new MINI Electric is powered by a 32.6 kWh Lithium-Ion battery and is powerful enough to maintain the ‘fun factor’ associated with driving a MINI.

Available with all the customisation options famous on the standard version like contrasting wing mirrors and roof, there are also alloy wheels unique to the electric MINI.Theses ‘Corona Spoke’ alloys are inspired by a UK 3 pin plug socket to make sure you make the massive statement of ‘I’m driving an electric car’ as you roll down the street. 

Is it geeky? Yes. Do we still love it? Absolutely!

BMW i3 – recycled interior and suicide doors

This little urban runabout has an abundance of charm, and we believe that the interior of the i3 is possibly one of the best bits about it. Proper seating for four and easy access via the rear suicide doors, interesting shapes, textures, materials and tech. BMW says 80 percent of the visible surfaces in the i3 are made from recycled or renewable materials. Among the renewables is light eucalyptus wood, used generously across the dash. The Life Module, BMWs name for its uni-body passenger cabin, is made from carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP), which are so strong there is no need for a B-pillar. As a result, suicide doors swing open to give unrestricted access to the back seat.

The commitment to environmentally-friendly construction is baked into the i3. The plant in Leipzig, Germany, where the i3 is assembled is powered by windmills, and the car is said to take about 50 percent less energy to build than a vehicle constructed in a conventional auto plant.

Early adopters of electric vehicles, such as the i3, can rest assured they are riding a wave that will only grow in coming decades and we look forward to seeing what other inspiring design and technology features are coming next!