BMW is following the lead of Volvo and committed to electrifying all its model series, though unlike the Swedish maker, it has not committed to a timeline.
In introducing the new Mini fully-electric 3-door hatchback, BMW has announced that all brands and model series will receive either a fully electric or plug-in hybrid variant in coming years, with the company’s next generation vehicle architecture structured to enable new models to easily be adapted as fully electric versions.
“BMW Group Plants Dingolfing and Landshut play a leading role within our global production network as the company’s global competence centre for electric mobility,” said Oliver Zipse, BMW AG Management Board member for Production. “Our adaptable production system is innovative and able to react rapidly to changing customer demand. If required, we can increase production of electric drivetrain motor components quickly and efficiently, in line with market developments.”
The plants will produce the electric drivetrain for the new electric Mini, which is slated to go into production in 2019. The drivetrain will be integrated into the Mini 3-door hatchback on its assembly line in Oxford, England. The plant currently also builds the Mini Clubman, Coupe and Roadster models.
BMW expects that 15% to 25% of its annual sales will be electrified vehicles by 2025, despite obstacles such as regulation, incentives and charging infrastructure. Toward that goal, the company has developed a production system that enables EVs or plug-in hybrids to be produced alongside traditional internal combustion engine vehicles.
The new fully electric Mini hatchback is the newest member of an electrified family that already includes the fully electric i3 and Mini Countryman plug-in hybrid, among other mild hybrid variants. The BMW corporate electrified stable is set to grow in the coming three years with an i8 Roadster for 2018, a fully-electric X3 for 2020, and the autonomous crossover iNext for 2021. The company has committed to selling 100,000 electrified vehicles this year.