Mini could be the BMW mass-market electric car

Mini could be the BMW mass-market electric car

BMW is shedding some lite on its short-term electric vehicle strategy, according to Reuters, citing CEO Harald Krüger. The German automaker hinted that the Mini could be the BMW mass-market electric car, competing with the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt, as the company targets over 100,000 EV sales for 2017, up from 62,000 in 2016.

BMW is releasing the Mini brand’s first electric vehicle mid-2017. The Mini Cooper Countryman S E All4, available at dealers in Europe from 24 June 2017. Mini’s first attempt, the Mini E, was produced in a limited amount and only used for field trials in 2010.

Mr. Harald Krüger was quoted as saying “The fully electric drivetrain will be integrated into our core brands. To achieve this, we are now gearing our architectures toward combustion engines and pure battery electric drivetrains,” as the company plans to include EV manufacturing in its mass production line. Currently, the company’s electric vehicles are assembled at its low-volume plant in Leipzig. BMW will also expand the capacity of its PHEV drivetrain plant in Thailand and fund the cost of the investment in its electric vehicle infrastructure through a production increase in its profitable SUV segment. To ramp up production to meet expected demand the company is considering manufacturing facilities for the Mini in Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK.

BMW‘s long-term electric vehicle strategy is to have EV’s contribute to between 15% and 25% of its sales by 2025.

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 6 2017

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 6 2017

ONE

California-based Lucid Motors this week released video footage of its winter testing of the Lucid Air, unveiled in December 2016. Lucid Motors, previously known as Atieva, is one of the more exciting electric vehicle brands to enter the sector in recent years and sports its own drive train and battery technologies. The automaker tested its prototype vehicle’s dynamics and breaking system in the sub-zero temperatures of Minnesota. The Lucid Air’s drive train handled the low friction surfaces consisting of packed snow and polished ice extremely well as evident from the video below.

TWO

The world’s fourth richest man, Carlos Slim of Mexico, announced this week that he would back the development of a Mexican-produced electric vehicle through his company, Giant Motors in a joint venture with Grupo Bimbo, the world’s largest bread maker. The strategy plays off in an environment where many US based automakers are contemplating bringing production back to the USA amidst President Trumps America First policy environment. Mr. Slim said the electric vehicle would be designed specifically for Mexican conditions. Giant Motor’s and Chinese JAC Motors also entered into an alliance to manufacture vehicles in Mexico’s Hidalgo province.

THREE

The Chicago Auto Show kicked off this week, sporting the highest number of electric vehicle technologies on display in the Show’s history. Vehicles on display include BMW’s i8the Mini Cooper Countryman PHEV, and Ford’s Fusion Energi PHEV. It’s wattEV2Buy’s observation though that with the lack of inspiring and game-changing technologies the Chicago Show underscore that Big Auto is still not getting boots and all behind the technology. Reading between the lines, we see big auto focusing more on autonomous vehicles than electric drive trains as it’s future strategy. 

FOUR

Volkswagen USA announced the creation of a unit to channel $2 billion into zero emission vehicle awareness programs and charging infrastructure over the next decade. The commitment forms part of the Group’s settlement in the diesel emission cheating case, but ultimately the move is also in support of the company’s bold strategy shift to focus on electric vehicle technology. The unit named Electrify America, based in Virginia and will oversee the installation of 500 charging stations and a pilot Green City program.

FIVE

Honda and Hitachi announced the formation of a joint venture to develop and produce electric motors for the electric vehicle sector. The tactic is part of Japan’s third-largest automaker strategy to have new energy vehicles as two-thirds of its production lineup by 2030.