The launch of the new MINI Cooper SE, the all-electric model from Oxford, was a new page in the brand’s history. The car has had a warm reception and a lot of people consider it to be a rather logical move for a brand that started out making small cars, specifically for driving around town. Since air pollution inside city centers is a big issue these days, somewhat naturally, BMW is thinking about making MINI an electric brand altogether.
At least that’s what transpires from a recent interview with Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management at BMW responsible for MINI for Auto Express. According to him, the legislation in major cities — many of which are now banning certain models altogether — and the interest the public has for EVs might just make MINI the perfect choice for electrifying the entire range. Since the company already had a plug-in hybrid and now has a full-on EV, the foundation is already set.
“For MINI, the Countryman as a plug-in hybrid was the first move – it is working much better than originally planned and shows electrifying MINI is the right way to go,” Schwarzenbauer explained. “But then for MINI and small cars you have to focus yourself on emission-free, fully electric. Step-by-step we electrify the MINI line-up completely – this fits perfectly with the brand. If you have in the automotive industry one brand which you can call urban it is MINI”.
However, if any definitive decision will be made in this regard, it will still take a long time to implement, with 2030 probably being the year when you will only be able buy electric MINIs from the British manufacturer. The reason? Long-range availability for the masses. “The trend to becoming fully electric is totally clear, but what is the right path? We still think there are many customers who need long range mobility. We invested a lot of money to make our production lines much more flexible,” Schwarzenbauer added. Nevertheless, this is an interesting prospect and I personally think it would be the right move, even now, with some ICE models still kept in the range.