BMW has once again confirmed its commitment to a fully electric MINI, this time giving us a clear time-frame. In its 3rd quarter earnings statement Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG laid out both brand’s electrification plans at a high-level:
We are now launching Phase II of our successful electrification strategy. We are electrifying our vehicles across all our brands and across all segments and series. Let me give you a few examples:
- the BMW i8 Roadster from 2018 on
- a fully-electric MINI from 2019
- a fully-electric BMW X3 from 2020
- the fully-electric BMW iNEXT from 2021
Over the coming years, we will need to make significant upfront investments. This applies not only to sustainable drive trains, but also to digital connectivity, autonomous driving and mobility services.
What’s Next after the MINI Countryman E Hybrid?
The Countryman E is the first example of a full production model from MINI with electrification. The big question in our minds however is when the next hybrid model will be launched. We believe MINI decided to not add this drivetrain the Clubman due to an assumption that total sales of the F54 wouldn’t be enough to justify the engineering expense. Because of this we may have to wait until the next generation (G series) MINI scheduled to debut in 2020. We’re hearing that that car will be engineered from the ground up to better accommodate electrification even in the smallest hatch form. From that point on we expect most if not all MINIs to offer some type of electric assistance in their drivetrain.
What Will an Electric MINI Look Like?
In parallel MINI will launch a fully electric model in 2019. This model could likely be based on an existing car with batteries retrofitted to keep costs down. While this is just an informed guess on our part, this approach would allow for both speed to market and a lower price point. What it wouldn’t do however is give MINI a highly visible electric model that is easily distinguished from the rest of the range. To do that they would need to create an entirely new model or pull forward the new 2020 G series MINI (provided it’s being designed to accommodate a large battery pack).
What it won’t look like is the photo above of MINI’s Vision concept. We’d expect something a little closer to an evolution of the current MINI design language