Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW board member in charge of MINI says the British-born brand will launch a plug-in hybrid in the next two years. Schwarzenbauer would not say which car would get the plug-in hybrid variant, but added that “we have the technology available.”
Aside from the plug-in hybrid – which falls in line with BMW Group’s goals to electrify all of their models – the MINI brand is also planning a fully electric car. Schwarzenbauer refrained from committing to a timeline and emphasizing once again that the MINI EV dreams are tied to the progress in battery technology.
“MINI is the urban brand,” he added. “Long term, we will see a lot of electric mobility in the urban environment. MINI definitely needs one.”
MINI is no stranger of the electric vehicles arena. The brand was the first within BMW Group to launch a fully electric car – even though it was a limited trial with a small customer base. The MINI E trial, along with the BMW ActiveE, was the foundation of the recently launched BMW i3. More than 1,800 people and organizations applied to be part of the field trial of 450 MINI Es.
The technology in the expected new MINI-E will draw heavily from BMW’s i3 innovations, just as MINI and BMW ICE cars now share engines and a platform. And with MINIs moving up in size, a fully electric compact sedan is not that far-fetched.[Source: AutoNews]