MINI unveiled the Cooper SE earlier this week and it could be just the tip of the iceberg as the brand might go electric-only.
Speaking to Auto Express, BMW’s board member for Transformation Electro Mobility said the brand could go electric-only as consumers are becoming more interested in electric vehicles and cities are clamping down on vehicle emissions.
Peter Schwarzenbauer went on to say the Clubman plug-in hybrid has been more successful than they anticipated and this “shows electrifying MINI is the right way to go.” He added, “Step-by-step we [will] electrify the MINI lineup completely – this fits perfectly with the brand.”
While going EV-only helped to put a nail in Smart’s coffin, it appears MINI doesn’t want to make the same mistake and rush the issue. As Schwarzenbauer explained, it’s important for customers to have a choice whether or not they go electric.
As he explained, there are still a number of drivers who need to travel long distances and electric vehicles won’t necessarily appeal to them. That’s certainly the case with the Cooper SE which has an underwhelming range of between 146-168 miles (235-270 km).
Of course, battery technology is improving and ranges for electric vehicles are climbing. In particular, models such as the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV and Nissan Leaf Plus can all travel in excess of 200 miles (322 km).
While MINI won’t go electric-only overnight, Schwarzenbauer suggested it could happen after 2030. Nothing appears to be set in stone, but reports have suggested the automaker is working on additional electric vehicles including a production version of the Rocketman concept.