Mini plans to release its last gas-engined model in 2025, Der Spiegel reports, ahead of a turn to an all-electric lineup by 2030. The German publication indicated that the BMW Group brand would lay out its long-term plans for such an evolution in the coming days, ones expected to be in line with Germany’s own intention to phase out gas-engined vehicles by 2030. A number of other countries have also moved up their plans to phase out sales and new registrations of gas- and diesel-engined models, making the switch to EV-only lineups a priority for a number of automakers.
Mini is perhaps better suited than most to switch to an all-EV lineup, already offering one battery-electric model and having a relatively straightforward range of compact vehicles that could all convert to a single EV platform, removing the need for platforms of varying sizes.
The automaker has already foreshadowed the move late last year with plans for a new electric crossover to be developed with China’s Great Wall Motors starting in 2023.
“This venture will enable Mini to meet the rising demand for emission-free driving both in China and in the other global markets,” Mini said a few months ago regarding its planned electric models. “Cooperation with the Chinese partner will be based on a clearly defined principle: Production follows the market. With locally manufactured vehicles, Mini will serve the growing Chinese automotive market whilst maintaining stable production at other locations.”
Mini had also outlined plans to introduce a smaller, electric sub-Cooper model that would likely replace the current Mini Cooper SE, which has acted as a sort of placeholder since its introduction, having arrived quite a few years after its platform had debuted in late 2013. The automaker also has a compact MPV in the works that could be badged as the Mini Traveller and would also be EV-only.
One part of the report, however, strikes us as odd. If the last gas-engined model is targeted to roll out in 2025 and Mini plans to go all-electric by 2030, this gives the last model a very short product cycle, and at a time when the current Mini Cooper hatch is approaching its ninth year in production. It could be that the next-gen Countryman would be offered in gas and plug-in form starting in 2025—something Mini had hinted at in the past.
Mini has faced significant pressures in the last few years as a number of important global markets have soured on hatchbacks, including western Europe, which had been a hatchback-focused market for decades. This has left Mini scrambling for more crossovers—just as North America turned to larger and larger models and gas prices dropped. Mini has also suffers from too much model variety in its lineup, and slow-selling variants.
One advantage that Mini would have in going electric is that it could use a single platform, just as the BMW Group’s UKL platform has underpinned not only the current Mini range but also a number of BMW 2-Series models, including the sedan, coupe, and X2 crossover. It is likely that an entire Mini range could use one main electric platform as well.
Will Mini succeed as an electric-only brand, or will it need gas-engined models for markets where EV adoption is slower than in the US or Western Europe? Let us know in the comments below.
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