The Mini is going electric according to parent BMW. In Frankfurt on Tuesday the automaker stated that the plant in Oxford, England was chosen to begin production of an all electric version of the iconic three-door vehicle starting in 2019.
The news, confirmed by Reuters, said that at a management board meeting that took place Tuesday, had several locations under consideration for building an electric version of the popular compact people mover. These included the Netherlands, Born, Germany, and the UK. Eventually the decision was made to build the zero-emission vehicle in Great Britain.
However, parts of the car will come from outside of the UK. According to a BMW statement, the electric drivetrain for the Mini will be built in Bavaria. The BMW Group’s e-mobility plants at Landshut and Dingolfing will product the drivetrain for the electric cars, then send them off to Oxford, the main production plant for the standard 3-door Mini.
Oxford produces around 60 percent of the 360,000 compact cars every year, but over concerns surrounding Brexit, and the possible issues Britain could see to remaining a suitable export hub, a plant was built in the Netherlands. There is no word if Brexit will affect the UK plant, but BMW stated that the British government had not issued the company any trade arrangement reassurances.
The Bavarian BMW has expanded its reach to English automakers after purchasing Rolls-Royce and the Mini brands. They already produce both electric and hybrid vehicles under the BMW brand, producing those cars a 10 different plants worldwide. Those plants manufacturing systems were overhauled to build plug-in hybrid, fully electric, and combustion engined models.
BMW believes the 15 to 25 percent of their vehicle sales will be electric models by the year 2025. No word on if they have changed any plans for distribution to the U.S. under the Trump fossil fuel push.
An electric version of the three-door mini already has competition, even in the United States. Fiat, maker of the 500 and Spider, has had an all-electric version of the popular hatchback available for sale in the U.S. for a couple years already. While even the Fiat 500e is not up to the level of Tesla models or other high end electric and hybrid vehicles, the E-Mini with a lower price point that high end electric cars should be able to capitalize on its history and entice a whole new generation of buyers of the iconic brand. There is no word at this time if the company will release any other electric models like the Clubman or convertible.