Mini EEnlarge Photo
Mini will launch an electric version of its Hardtop in 2019, the brand confirmed on Tuesday.
It’s been known since October that Mini was working on an electric car, but this is the first time the brand has revealed what body style the vehicle will have.
Mini will build the electric Hardtop at its plant in Oxford, United Kingdom, ending speculation that production could take place in mainland Europe due to Brexit. Components for the electric powertrain will be sourced from plants in Germany, however.
As explained by Oliver Zipse, the BMW Group’s head of production, using multiple plants will allow the automaker’s production to remain flexible depending on how demand for electric cars changes over the coming years.
MINI E electric cars used in University of Delaware vehicle-to-grid test programEnlarge Photo
“Our adaptable production system is innovative and able to react rapidly to changing customer demand,” Zipse said in a statement. “If required, we can increase production of electric drivetrain motor components quickly and efficiently, in line with market developments.”
Mini was a pioneer when it comes to mainstream electric cars. Some readers will recall the brand leased a Hardtop-based Mini E electric car on a trial basis late last decade. Mini used the vehicle to gather feedback as well as lay the groundwork for more widespread adoption of electric propulsion.
And as we’ve seen with the BMW brand, plug-in hybrid technology will also play a predominant role in Mini’s lineup. The brand is already selling the plug-in hybrid Cooper S E ALL4 Countryman, and this model’s powertrain will soon filter across to more cars in Mini’s lineup.
By 2025, the BMW Group expects electrified vehicles (hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure electrics) to account for between 15 and 25 percent of sales. However, factors such as regulation, incentives and charging infrastructure will play a major role in determining the scale of electrification from market to market, the automaker said.