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MINI Countryman E
Images courtesy of BMW

Clean Transport

MINI’s Top Seller Goes Electric: Production Of The MINI Countryman Starts In Leipzig In November

BMW delivered 293,000 MINIs last year. 15% of these (43,700) were the all-electric MINI Cooper SE. The largest model in the MINI family of vehicles, the MINI Countryman, led with the highest number of deliveries. 76,700 units of the MINI Countryman were delivered last year. That’s 26% of all MINIs delivered last year. So, does that mean the bigger the MINI the better? Let’s wait and see how the sales of the current MINI Countryman go this year.

The first generation of the MINI Countryman was an instant success for MINI, and from 2010, the range of models was expanded to include a compact SUV vehicle with all-wheel drive, five doors, and for the first time, a MINI model with over four meters in length. From 2017, the second-generation MINI Countryman featured the MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 as the first plug-in hybrid MINI model to offer an additional 65 kW/88 hp electric motor on the rear axle.

The good news is that the largest member of the MINI family and also the top selling model in the family is going full electric. Yesterday, BMW released the specs of the upcoming all-electric MINI Countryman. BMW says the new MINI Countryman combines “electrified go-kart feeling with a reduced ecological footprint and continues the success story of the largest MINI model.” The start of production at the BMW Group Plant Leipzig in November 2023 will be the first time a MINI model is produced in Germany. BMW adds “As a stylish all-rounder and spacious everyday companion, the MINI Countryman continues the MINI brand’s product offensive of all-electric models.”

MINI Countryman E

BMW says the MINI Countryman E delivers 140 kW/191 hp, whereas the MINI Countryman SE ALL4 is the brand’s first all-wheel-drive fully- electric vehicle. Two highly integrated drive units on the front and rear axles together generate an output of 230 kW/313 hp, including a temporary boost. The battery capacity is 64.7 kWh. BMW says with an estimated range of around 450 kilometers, the MINI Countryman feels just as comfortable in city centers as on longer distances across the countryside. The new model has had its length increased by 13 centimeters to 4,429 mm compared with the outgoing model and now offers more space and comfort for its occupants. The height was also increased by almost six centimeters to 1,613 mm, offering even more headroom.

BMW is also incorporating more sustainable production initiatives for this model. To complement zero tailpipe emissions, the new MINI Countryman’s production will incorporate light-alloy wheels made from up to 70% secondary aluminum. Coupled with the use of green electricity in production, CO2 emissions will be significantly reduced compared with conventional manufacturing processes. Additionally, the surfaces of the dashboards, steering wheel, vehicle headliner and floor, and floor mats of the car are made of recycled polyester obtained from PET bottles and carpet remnants.

The long-term sustainable strategy for energy generation and consumption of the BMW Group’s “green plant” at the Leipzig site includes four wind turbines with a height of 190 meters on the factory premises. This could generate more than 20 GWh of electricity from wind energy per year. This also includes a battery farm, made up of up to 700 second-life high-voltage batteries from BMW i3 vehicles to store energy generated by the wind turbines. BMW says by storing the energy on the premises, local energy management can be optimized, and the electrical grid kept stable.

This new all-electric new MINI Countryman is also good news for countries like South Africa. Markets like South Africa, which are smaller than some of the other markets around the world, tend to be a bit starved in terms of EV models available in the country for people to buy or lease. As BMW is one of the more active players in South Africa when it comes to bringing all electric vehicles, this new MINI Countryman will help add to the pool of EVs consumers can choose from.  BMW already sells the all-electric MINI Cooper SE in South Africa. The MINI Cooper SE was one of the top selling BEV models in South Africa in 2022.

Images courtesy of BMW

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