There is a general consensus among many motorists that electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are somehow less able than their internal combustion engine counterparts.
But Tesla blew much of the competition out of the water with the gut-busting acceleration of its P100D, while Jaguar recently proved that its I-Pace was perfectly at home climbing rocky Portuguese mountainsides and traversing the odd stream.
To prove a point of its own, Mini recently embarked on an epic adventure that would start in Texas and end in Ushaia, Argentina, to prove the hardiness of its Cooper S E Countryman All4 PHEV.
Over 10,000 miles, 12 countries and numerous border crossings would be just the beginning of the story for these mighty Minis, as a distinct lack of charging infrastructure and some of the roughest roads known to man would prove even more challenging hurdles.
Cartagena to Medellin
As fans of the hit Netflix TV show Narco, we were fully aware of the dangers that Colombia once posed, but that didn't prevent the inquisitive side of us from agreeing to pilot the Countryman PHEV from the north of the country to the border crossing in the south.
Our leg would see us begin in the tourist-friendly city of Cartagena, traverse Medellin, Cali and Pasto, before making the border crossing over to Quito and into Ecuador.
The cars had already undergone some seriously punishing terrain, from the arid and dusty landscapes of Texas and Mexico, to the sweltering humidity and lunatic drivers of Honduras.
But so far, these largely stock machines (apart from winter tyres, roof racks and some trick headlights) have required little more than topping up with fuel and the occasional jet wash.
Hotels and stop-over points in the USA and the north of Mexico generally featured charging points that allowed the team to plug the vehicles in and make the most of the 26-mile all-electric range but these soon dried up the further south they travelled.
However, drivers of the previous legs had been impressed by the way in which the kinetic recovery system was able to charge the batteries on the many descents, freeing up electricity to use later at lower speeds around town.
But our hack from Cartagena to Medellin would provide little time to explore the technical highlights of the Countryman PHEV, as shipping issues at the Panama Canal had hugely impacted the schedule.
Instead, we would endure a 400-mile blast south towards Medellin, which would take around 14 hours thanks to the painfully slow roads and traffic.
After leaving Cartagena at 3pm and with three drivers rotating shifts behind the wheel (a fellow journalist and a member of the Mini support crew occupied the other seats), we finally pulled into the Intercontinental Hotel, Medellin, at around 5am the following day.
Cruising to Cali
After rising early the following morning and rubbing just a couple of hours sleep from our eyes, we would make the long and arduous journey to Cali, former home of the second most famous drugs cartels in all of the Colombia.
But the country has largely moved on from those dark days and the huge cities are now bustling with student life, restaurants, bars and high-rise hotels that accommodate tourists from all over the world.
It's just a shame that the roads connecting these major hubs are little more than dirt tracks in places, with landslides, major engineering works, livestock and fallen jungle vegetation often forcing hour-long queues every few miles.
The small fleet of Countryman PHEVs are equipped with fuel cans on the roof, as some of the later stretches in South America are so vast there simply aren't enough petrol stations to cope with the mileage.
But here, in the undulating hills of Colombia there's little call for them, as the hybrid system cleverly tops up the on-board battery packs that assist the 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine, offering additional torque to climb up the hills and then recharging the system on the coast back down.
Official fuel economy is pegged at a staggering 134.5mpg, but we reckon it's more like 50mpg when driven carefully. More if you practice the fine arts of 'hyper-miling' to get the most out of the system.
This is helped by the addition of a 'Save' mode, which means it's possible to preserve juice in the batteries for later in the journey, although we were happy allowing the car to make those sorts of decisions and seamlessly flip from engine to hybrid to electric power.
Another late arrival into Cali would only give us time to get a good night's sleep in before another hard day of driving but this Mini feels refined, quiet, comfortable and leaves occupants in surprisingly good shape at the end of a long drive.