Latest Mini puts BMW in top gear for all-electric option era

  • Flexible architecture taking all models electric
  • Fully electric Mini confirmed as three-door
  • German electric drivetrain, car assembly in UK
electric mini e pos 1
AND IN THE BEGINNING… was the Mini E. Now there’s to be a whole slew of them – and every Mini and BMW will in the next few years have the option of an electric drivetrain. Image: Mini

MUNICH, Germany – Electrification is one of the central pillars of the BMW Group’s corporate strategy and now it has been announced that all brands and model series will be electrified.

A full-electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrain will be offered alongside fossil-fuel models with electric units to be added until beyond 2020.

The bottom line today (July 2017) is that the group has announced that a battery Mini will be assembled at its plant in Oxford, near London – abandoning earlier plans to make the cars in Europe.

electric mini pos 2
ELECTRIC MINI IN THE ROUGH: BMW executives Peter Wolf and Sebastian Mackensen in 2016 at Mini Oxford. Image: Mini

It will be a three-door with a choice of plug-in hybrid or pure battery power and production will start in 2019.

The electric drivetrain will be assembled at BMW’s e-mobility centres in Germany for shipping to Oxford – the traditional home of Mini.

ONE LINE WILL HANDLE ALL

Oliver Zipse, BMW’s board member for production, told Carman’s Corner in a media release: “The German plants will play a leading role within our global production network as the company’s global competence centre for electric mobility.

“Our adaptable production system can react rapidly to buyers’ demands. We can increase production of electric drivetrain components quickly and efficiently to meet market developments.”

10 PLANTS TO BUILD ELECTRICS

BMW Group expects electrified vehicles to account for 15-25% of sales by 2025 so is aiming for production lines that can assemble combustion engine, plug-in hybrid and fully electric drivetrains simultaneously.

The group currently assembles electric cars at 10 plants worldwide. Since 2013 all significant elements of electric drivetrains have come from two German plants which also supply plug-in hybrid versions of the Five and Seven series.

The group has invested the equivalent of R1.4-billion in electro-mobility.

MINI E: It was the first of its kind - now full-electric and hybrid Minis will come off the same line as BMW's. Image: Mini
MINI E: It was the first of its kind – now full-electric and hybrid Minis will come off the same line as BMW’s. Image: Mini

The BMW i8 Roadster will in 2018 become the newest member of the BMW i-family; an all-electric BMW X3 has been announced for 2020; the BMW i-NEXT is due in 2021, meaning BMW Group will have the widest range of electric vehicles of any automaker.

The company is committed to selling 100 000 electric vehicles in 2017, by the end of which it will have put 200 000 on the world’s roads.

READ MORE Mini features on Carman’s Corner

The group’s pioneer large-scale electric vehicle trial began worldwide in 2008 with the Mini E, the car the company says played a crucial role in the later development of the BMW i3 and BMW i8, “technology pioneers which themselves informed the company’s current range of plug-in hybrid vehicles”.

Fuel consumption of the electric Mini in an EU test cycle can be as low as 2.2 litres/100km.

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