MINI Cooper E Electric Vehicle Production Start Confirmed and It's Not Very Soon

Despite being more renowned for making perky little hatchbacks that are a hoot to drive and offer plenty of customization options, MINI is actually the pioneer of electric mobility inside the BMW Group.
MINI Cooper Electric Concept 1 photo
Photo: Guido Ten Brink/SB-Medien
Back in 2008, the company put together an electric prototype of the Mini that later served as a starting point for the BMW i project. Turned into a two-seater thanks to all the stuff that comes associated with an electric drivetrain - mainly the battery pack - the e-MINI looked like a regular model of that time on the outside, apart from the special colors.

It was among the first to feature the one-pedal driving style that Nissan is insisting on with its new LEAF now and had that nippy electric acceleration, but its range and charging times were pretty appalling. It was, after all, a prototype that was never sold, but only showcased to the public and the media during special events.

These days, MINI is preparing a revival of its electric ambitions, something previewed by the MINI Electric Concept launched at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show. However, we've already spotted a test vehicle out on the road, which means the British company now under German tutelage is pretty far ahead in the development process.

2019 has always been the year when the all-electric MINI was expected, but now we find out that deliveries may just start by the end of that year, or maybe even during 2020. Interviewed at the Canadian International Auto Show, Debbie (just Debbie), the Product and Marketing Manager of BMW and MINI for Canada gave us a more specific timeline than what we've had to work with until now.

It turns out the first marketable battery-powered MINI model will enter production in November 2019, which means the company has put a lot of time aside for the testing phase. The prototypes seen being put through their paces so far didn't look like finished products, so maybe there's still some work to be done in the aesthetics department. Or maybe MINI is just trying to keep its appearance a secret for as long and possible. If it ends up looking anything like the Electric Concept, then the wait for what could be the coolest EV might be worth it after all.

(MINI interview starts at the 16:50 mark)

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Editor's note: Note the irony of Debbie speaking into a microphone with Model 3 written on it

About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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