The iconic Mini brand plans to ditch the internal combustion engine (ICE) and sell only electric vehicles come 2030, with the company’s transition starting with the new Cooper unveiled today.
Speaking to CarExpert at the launch of the new all-electric Mini Cooper and Mini Countryman, the global boss of Mini, Stefanie Wurst, said the move will be “the biggest transformation” of the brand ever.
“What we have now is ICE and electric, but we are really only talking about EV [for the future], this is the plan right now to cover all the markets. The only cars we will have in 2030 will be electric,” Wurst said.
The move to electrification is no surprise, given parent company BMW’s push in the same direction, however it does leave a period from now until 2030 where the brand will continue to offer specific models with both electric and combustion power.
In the case of the Cooper and Countryman, this will see Mini sell two electric vehicles that look similar to their combustion counterparts but which are inherently different products under the skin, riding separate platforms.
Asked further if any particular factors may impact the 2030 timeline for ditching the internal combustion engine, Wurst said the brand has no intention of leaving behind any market that doesn’t mature to electric vehicles (fast enough) but feels the timeline is achievable.
“[There are] no conditions, by since we have another seven years to go there is still room for manoeuvring because we don’t want to exclude any world region… [we want to] cover all the markets with electric, assuming the regulations and electric infrastructure goes in the way we believe,” said Wurst.
Mini says despite going all-electric, the brand will maintain its core values such as its ‘go-kart-feel’, even in terms of sound. Although the vehicles will be heavier, the brand claims the driving feel and the Mini DNA remains the same.
While the current electric Mini offers a range of just 233km, Wurst says that customers have embraced it regardless and with the new model offering in excess of 400km, any doubt or range-anxiety should be put to rest.
“Our customers don’t have a problem with 200km, we are still selling the current Mini electric. I think for an urban use case it’s probably enough but of course, we know that is not the future and I think that starting from 400km, the range anxiety is not a topic anymore, people would treat it the same way as they would treat a combustion engine and if you need less than half an hour for 80 percent battery charging, it’s a really good range,” she said.
The new Mini Cooper will arrive Down Under in the third quarter of 2024, alongside its new Countryman big brother.