BMW announces electric Mini built in Oxford

Tinuku ~ BMW Group announces full-electric Mini will be built at Cowley plant in Oxford. The Munich-based automotive giant said the fully electric powered Mini will begin production in 2019 and a three-door model, but the electric motor will be built in Germany before being shipped to Cowley for assembly. They say "do not ask or receive" guarantees from the UK on post-Brexit trading arrangements.

Tinuku BMW announces electric Mini built in Oxford

BMW says to build electric Mini in Oxford is very easy because it does not require redesign from bottom to top. The 3-door mini hatchback is in many ways identical to a car built in the Cowley plant. Drivetrain includes motors, gearboxes and batteries to be installed in Germany and fitted to car parts at other plants.

"Today, the BMW Group announced that the new battery-electric MINI will be a variant of the brand’s core 3 door model. This fully electric car will go into production in 2019, increasing the choice of MINI powertrains to include petrol and diesel internal combustion engines, a plug-in hybrid and a battery electric vehicle," BMW Group says.

"The electric MINI’s electric drivetrain will be built at the BMW Group’s e-mobility centre at Plants Dingolfing and Landshut in Bavaria before being integrated into the car at Plant Oxford, which is the main production location for the MINI 3 door model."

The company says it builds an electric version at the same plant as the majority of existing Mini production. BMW does not need to build a new plant or production line which means the size of investment in "tens of millions" is relatively small by the standards of the automotive industry.

The new car will begin production in 2019 or a few months after the UK leaves the EU. Drivetrain imported into the UK and complete cars will be re-exported to Europe at risk of a high increase in fees if tariffs apply to cross-border trade.

But BMW confirmed the decision based on current economic reality. No "special agreement" was made with the British government nor did it request it. The German automaker said the Mini is part of a plan for the proportion of electric vehicles between 15-25 percent of total sales by 2025.

"The company has announced that all brands and model series can be electrified, with a full-electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrain being offered in addition to the combustion engine option. Additional electrified models will be brought to market in the coming years and beyond 2020, the company’s next generation vehicle architecture will enable further fully-electric vehicles," said BMW Group.

The company employs approximately 18,000 staff in the UK, including the Mini factory at Cowley, the Rolls-Royce factory in Sussex and at other locations in Birmingham and Swindon. BMW currently makes electric motors and batteries for all electric car products at Dingolfing and Landshut factories in Germany.