MINI’s next generation MINI Cooper EV and Countryman EV just got a lot more compelling. The BMW Group (BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce) have announced a switch to the North American Charging Standard (NACS) and that Tesla is opening its massive Supercharge network to the brands.
In the coming months Tesla and the BMW Group will be working to bring a seamless charging experience to customers. The goal will be allow BMW, MINI, and Rolls-Royce drivers to identify and access Supercharger stations through their vehicle’s integrated interface, while simplifying payment processing through the dedicated applications of each respective automotive brand.
In practice that should mean a MINI driver will see Tesla Superchargers as charging options and will be billed through the MINI app itself.
Furthermore, the BMW Group (including MINI) has committed to integrating the North American Charging Standard (NACS) into its electric vehicle offerings across the United States and Canada, with implementation scheduled for 2025. This is a huge move for the brand and will ease one of biggest issues with the electric ownership experience we’ve had over the years.
Interestingly BMW had recently announced a massive joint venture that would bring a staggering 30,000 additional chargers to the US. At the time we thought it was interesting that BMW called out the program would be utilizing either the Combined Charging System (CCS) or North American Charging Standard (NACS). Now we know why they were rather vague.
Even still it’s crucial to note that this agreement functions independently from this recent partnership with General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz Group, and Stellantis NV. While this joint venture will greatly help existing and future EVs from BMWs, MINIs and Rolls Royce, it’s clearly part of a multi-prong strategy to eliminate barriers to EV ownership.
a Game Changer for The MINI Cooper EV
We have to admit a bit of jealously as we saw other automakers announce their plans to adopt the NACS charging standard that Tesla is known for. The primary reason of course is the pervasiveness of the network itself. In fact one could easily argue that Tesla’s greatest success hasn’t been its cars but the strategy behind its expansive charging network.
Tesla currently has over 30,000 charging stations in the United States including over 20,000 Superchargers and over 10,000 Destination Chargers. By 2025 you can surely expect that to grow – specifically with more high speed Superchargers in the mix.
One thing to keep in mind with this program however. It’s unclear just how many of Tesla’s charging stations will be available for use by other automakers like BMW and MINI. While Ford, GM, Rivian, and now Mercedes-Benz owners have access now, only about 70% of the Tesla network is available to them. So the details of this agreement will matter and at this time we don’t have all of them.
Still this is a huge development for future electric MINI Cooper and Countryman owners. In our time with various electric MINIs and BMWs, the charging network has always been the real achilles heel. Yes the range of a MINI Cooper SE and BMW i3 does create some anxiety. But it’s the sparseness and the unreliability of the current charging network that is the bigger issue. This move will help considerably.
For more coverage of the new generation MINI, check out the following articles and videos.
MINI Cooper EV: Premier | MINI Cooper EV: Hands-On Review | MINI Cooper EV: Video Review
MINI Countryman EV: Premier | MINI Countryman EV: Hands-On Review | MINI Countryman EV: Video Review
New MINI Family: 1st Look Video | MINI Circular Display & MINI OS9 Hands-On Review