Mini will preview electric car with 2017 Frankfurt auto show concept

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BMW Group’s Mini brand was an early pioneer of mainstream electric cars. Some readers will recall the brand leased the Hardtop-based Mini E electric car on a trial basis late last decade to help gather feedback from users.

The BMW Group used the gathered feedback for the i3 launched in 2014. But with electric cars increasing in popularity, helped along by the hype surrounding the Tesla Model 3, it’s now Mini’s turn to launch an electric car.

Mini’s new electric car is due in 2019. It will be based on Mini’s signature Hardtop body style and be built at the brand’s main plant in Oxford, United Kingdom. The powertrain will come from the same plants in Germany responsible for the i3’s hardware.

According to Autocar, we’ll get an early look at Mini’s electric car in the form of a concept at next month’s 2017 Frankfurt auto show. The concept is expected to preview both technical aspects and styling elements that will differentiate the electric Hardtop from the regular versions. The range on a single charge should be at least 200 miles.

The BMW Group is hoping that around 15-25 percent of its sales are made up by electrified cars, i.e. hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure EVs, by 2025. Most of the core models in the BMW and Mini brands will offer hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrains in the coming years, and more and more pure EVs will be launched in the same period. For example, following the electric Mini will be an electric BMW X3 due in 2020 and the much-hyped BMW iNext due in 2021.

The BMW Group currently offers nine electrified cars and sales of these totalled 50,711 units in the first seven months of 2016, an increase of 74.8 percent on the same period last year. This is the first time the BMW Group has sold more than 50,000 electrified cars in a single and year, and it also makes the BMW Group the world’s third-biggest when it comes to sales of electrified cars.

This year’s Frankfurt auto show gets underway on September 12. For more coverage, head to our dedicated hub.