BMW's Smallest EV Not Coming Anytime Soon

Electric Vehicles / Comments

Don't blame Mini.

BMW's planned expansion of its i-branded all-electric models has been in the works for several years. Presently, the BMW i3 and all-new iX luxury SUV are its sole two EVs, though the i4 sedan is coming very soon. But there was another i model the folks at Munich have been working on, but now it appears it's on indefinite hold.

According to German-language publication Automobilwoche, the BMW i1 hatchback is no longer in the immediate future product mix. This all-electric hatchback might have also led to a hot hatch variant, possibly tuned by the M performance division. But it's not happening, and don't blame Mini for this.

BMW
BMW
BMW

The current 1 Series, which isn't sold in the US, shares a platform with the Mini Hardtop and Convertible, and now there's the all-electric Mini SE. Internal competition is not what doomed the i1, but rather a general lack of hatchback enthusiasm from BMW's two biggest and most important markets: the US and China. The US continues to be infatuated with SUVs while China still generally prefers sedans.

However, BMW will not completely abandon the smaller EVs entirely. It has, in fact, the perfect solution that should make buyers in Europe (where hatchbacks are quite popular), the US, and China all happy.

2018-2021 BMW i3 Hatchback Front View Driving BMW
2018-2021 BMW i3 Hatchback Dashboard BMW
Front View Driving BMW
Central Console BMW
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In the coming few years the German automaker will launch the i2, which is expected to be, more or less, a fully electric version of the 2 Series Gran Coupe. A four-door coupe simply has greater global appeal. European BMW customers who are still clamoring for an electrified 1 Series hatchback might not have to wait too much longer.

BMW is supposedly interested in transplanting the plug-in hybrid system from the X1 xDrive25e and X2 25e over to the 1 Series. The X1 and X2 are also 1 Series platform mates. Because of this, BMW believes it could extend the current generation 1 Series' life until 2030, though at least two facelifts will happen to keep things fresh.

2021 MINI Cooper Hardtop Electric Front Angle View Mini
2021 MINI Cooper Hardtop Electric Side View Driving Mini
2021 MINI Cooper Hardtop Electric Rear View Driving Mini
Source Credits: Automobilwoche

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