Electric Mini to be built in UK 25 | 07 | 2017

    BMW TODAY CONFIRMED its all-electric Mini will be built in the UK at its plant in Cowley, Oxfordshire. The model, based on the three-door variant, will go into production in 2019 and is predicted to have a range of at least 250-miles. (Related: Mini reveals 2017 Countryman)

    However, it’s significant that the electric motor will be built in Germany before being shipped to Cowley for assembly. The electric drivetrain will be made in BMW’s e-mobility factories at Landshut and Dingolfing in Bavaria, where the i3's drivetrain is also built.

    The news is a boost for the UK plant following concerns BMW aired following the Brexit referendum.

    Currently, around 360,000 Minis are produced each year, with more than 60% of them buit at Oxford. But BMW has created an alternative manufacturing base in the Netherlands amid concerns about Britain's suitability as an export hub after Brexit.

    MINI-Cooper-Hybrid-S-E-Countryman-ALL4-8.jpg

    Just two months ago, in May, BMW chief executive Harald Krueger said the company had to remain "flexible" about production facilities.

    But there are obvious business and financial reasons for BMW building the electric mini in Oxford. It’s a not a new car: in simple terms, it uses the current three-door Mini hatchback with an electric drivetrain — including the motor, gearbox and battery pack — which will arrive pre-built from Germany. The two then just need to be put together.

    MINI-Cooper-Hybrid-S-E-Countryman-ALL4-9.jpg

    This removes the requirement for a new production line of factory, and significantly reduces the required investment, albeit in "the tens of millions”, according to BMW. In automotive terms, that’s a small figure.

    The new all-electric Mini will join existing petrol and diesel versions of the three-door model. The newcomer forms part of wider plans to electrify more of the Mini range, which began this year with the recently-launched Countryman S E Cooper plug-in hybrid (pictured).

    The German carmaker said the Mini announcement was part of a plan for electrified vehicles to account for between 15-25% of its sales by 2025.

    Related: Mercedes switches to Formula E

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    Jim McGill

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