"The trend to becoming fully electric is totally clear, but what is the right path?"
The British brand, part of BMW Group, already offers one plug-in hybrid model, the Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4, which sales increased in the first half of 2019 by 55.8% year-over-year. Together with over 40,000 customers that registered interest for the upcoming all-electric Mini Electric, the brand is wondering not about the trend, but about the path (the rate of transition to become fully electric).
Peter Schwarzenbauer Mini boss and member of the Board of BMW AG said:
“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. 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”.
Big interest in the all-electric Mini is a surprise for Schwarzenbauer who said “hadn’t seen anything like it” and “I feel the best times for Mini are yet to come.”
It's great that the management recognises the trend. The interview with Schwarzenbauer hints at a date of 2030, after which we could see the switch complete.
The truth is that a lot depends on consumer feedback when sales will begin. The bigger the demand for plug-ins, the quicker the switch will be.