This is what the future holds for Mini.
Last week, Mini lifted the wraps off the new Cooper SE as the automaker's first-ever fully electric car. But while it looks good and will undoubtedly be fun to drive, the specs leave a lot to be desired. On the European WLTP test cycle, the Mini Cooper SE's electric range is estimated to be 146 to 168 miles, while the US EPA cycle estimates just 114 miles.
This means the electric Mini falls short of its main rivals such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt. It also borrows the drivetrain from the current BMW i3S, so it will soon be outdated. It's a shame because this had the potential to be as revolutionary as the original Mini was 60 years ago. However, AutoExpress reports that Mini has a radical plan to keep up with the times as EV technology continues to evolve.
According to the publication, Mini could become an electric-only car brand in the future due to legislation in major cities and increasing demand for electric cars. "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," Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management at BMW responsible for Mini, revealed
"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".
Schwarzenbauer added that customer interest and demand for the new electric Mini has exceeded expectations. He said he "hadn't seen anything like it" and feels that "the best times for Mini are yet to come." But if Mini does become a fully electric brand in the future, don't expect the transition to happen soon. Schwarzenbauer believes the switch is unlikely to happen before 2030 as demand for long-range vehicles is still strong.
"In this transition period it is important to have this choice, but beyond 2030 is a different ball game," he said. "The trend to becoming fully electric is totally clear, but what is the right path? We still think there are many customers who need long range mobility. We invested a lot of money to make our production lines much more flexible," he said.