Production of the all-electric crossover will commence at BMW's Leipzig plant later this year.
2023 is a year of many firsts for Mini. The new Countryman will debut as the brand's first all-electric crossover, and will also become the automaker's first vehicle to be produced entirely in Germany.
Starting this year, the newcomer will roll down the assembly line at the BMW Group plant in Leipzig, where the 2 Series Gran Coupe and 1 Series hatchback are currently produced. The battery-powered Countryman will be a perfect fit for the Leipzig facility, which is described as a sustainable "green plant."
According to the German automotive group, this will be the first time Mini and BMW vehicles roll off the same production line, which underscores the flexibility of the factory.
"We are delighted to be able to hand over the first Mini 'Made in Germany' to our customers in a CO2-neutral manner thanks to the plant's sustainable energy supply," said Stefanie Wurst, head of Mini.
"In this way, the new all-electric Mini Countryman demonstrates what the brand stands for: electrified go-kart feeling and a strong focus on a minimal environmental footprint," added Wurst.
Currently, one in five Minis built have some form of electrification, but this is set to grow in the coming years. The Countryman is the next big step in achieving Mini's environmental milestones. Even the high-voltage batteries that provide the future Countryman with its performance will come from the Leipzig production facilities.
This will be achieved through a sizeable investment of around $850 million. The BMW Group will use this cash injection to expand e-component production with eight new production lines by 2024. This will not only bring 1,000 jobs to the facility but also cement the plan's sustainable future.
Sustainability is very important to the Leipzig plant and the greater BMW Group. Leipzig has four wind turbines that can generate immense amounts of power. In 2021, 21.9 GWh of electricity was created from wind power alone. In 2017, the plant created a temporary energy storage system that comprises 700 high-voltage BMW i3 batteries.
Leipzig has also moved away from fossil fuels and turned to hydrogen. The plant has five hydrogen filling stations, for example, that provide sustenance to more than 130 fuel cell-powered trucks. Interestingly, BMW is betting big on hydrogen as an energy source for future vehicles that will be sold alongside pure EVs and combustion-engined vehicles.
Getting back to the Countryman, the all-electric vehicle will arrive shortly and spearhead the brand's transition into a fully-electric automaker. Mini has plans to abandon the ICE engine by 2030 and has already shown it can deliver a fun EV with the Cooper Electric.
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