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New MINI Electric unveiled at Oxford plant
MINI has unveiled the new MINI Electric at its Oxford plant, the home of the brand where the very first Mini was built 60 years ago. After 15,000 potential customers already expressed an interest in the car, the official order books are now open. Manufacturing will begin in late 2019, with first deliveries in the spring of 2020 and exports headed around the world.
Oliver Zipse, member of the board of management at BMW AG – and previous plant director of Oxford, said: “We are entering an era in which electric cars will become a normal choice for our customers. The MINI Electric will kick off our new model offensive for fully electric vehicles. By 2023, two years ahead of schedule, we will have 25 electrified models on the market. More than half of them will be fully electric”.
The MINI Electric will be fully integrated into the production process at Oxford, running down the same lines as all the conventional models.
Oxford plant managing director, Peter Weber, added: “This plant builds 1000 cars per day, with a new MINI coming off the line every 67 seconds, so the integration gives excellent production flexibility and allows supplies of the new model to be adjusted according to demand. This is such a proud moment for every single one of our team.”
Research published today by What Car? magazine and supported by MINI showed that more than 1.5 million UK households which are perfectly suited to running an electric car, are not yet doing so. They have off street parking to allow easy at-home recharging and more than one car in the household, one of which never does more than 100 miles in a day. MINI’s own data shows that the average distance driven each day is 26 miles.
“We believe the new MINI Electric could be a tipping point for those who have been thinking about choosing an electric car, to take that step now,” added David George, director of MINI in the UK. “We aim to introduce a whole new group of drivers in the UK to the fun and cost savings of electric driving, in a way only MINI can”.
Secretary of State for Business, Greg Clark, welcomed the news and said: “Our automotive industry has long been a source of national pride, and the unique collaboration between Government and industry through our Industrial Strategy has helped put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacture of zero emission vehicles with one in five electric cars in Europe now built in the UK.
“The production of the electric MINI in the UK will play a key role in accelerating the adoption of cleaner, greener vehicles and I am delighted this modern British icon will be manufactured in Oxford”.
The original Mini, designed by Sir Alec Issigonis, was born out of the Suez crisis oil shortage and the demand for affordable motoring. The first cars rolled off the line at Oxford in the summer of 1959 and so began a global success story which has spanned six decades. As the world faces new environmental, social and economic challenges, MINI has chosen the moment to launch its first fully electric model.