After BMW has dealt with electric concept vehicles in recent years, BMW has finally jumped with both feet into the future and has announced the market launch of its first fully electric Mini. The cars, which are being built at BMW’s Oxford plant in England, are now in production and can be pre-ordered. Buyers can expect delivery by mid-2020 at the latest.
While BMW likes to cite the proven interest of potential buyers as the reason for the market launch of the new vehicle, the emission targets set by the European Union probably also have something to do with the pronounced urgency of the manufacturer. Like all automotive companies, BMW is committed to reducing the emissions for which its vehicles are responsible by 2020. Since the emissions target is used as the average of all vehicle models from a manufacturer, selling electric cars is an obvious step towards achieving the goals.
The number of customers who were interested in buying a new Mini is given by BMW as 15,000, which normally does not indicate a high level of demand. BMW built and sold more than a quarter of a million Minis in 2018, so 15,000 would hardly be a fraction of that amount. The apparently low public interest is accused of having slowed down the development of electric cars for years. Designing and building electric concept vehicles costs manufacturers a lot of money, and without the sales guarantee at the end of the process, that big money is a big money game. Automakers are typically not gamblers. In the gambling world, slot machines only make money because customers come to them and deposit more money overall than the slot machines pay out prizes. If the slot machine games paid out a jackpot every day without giving back more money in return, they would close quickly. BMW doesn’t have the luxury online slots websites – they can’t just stop production after it has already happened. If you’ve invested a lot of money in a car and it doesn’t sell, stick with it.
One thing that could win public approval for the electric model is its comparatively low price of £ 24,400, which was slightly subsidized by a UK government grant in return for making environmentally friendly products. friendly cars. It remains to be seen whether this will compensate for the lack of availability of charging stations perceived by the driver and thus the risk of simply running out of power while on the move and thus getting stuck. Others point out that charging an electric car at home is inconvenient for those who don’t have a driveway or designated parking space, and the fact that the cars currently only have a range of 300 miles at best. For some commuters – especially those who travel to and from London every day – that’s just not enough.
A new era?
If the Mini is successful as BMW hopes, the company’s internal belief is that it will act as a groundbreaking vehicle for the company’s future. BMW CEO Oliver Zipse spoke at the launch of the Mini, pointing out that one of the company’s goals is to get to the point where customers prefer electric vehicles to gasoline-powered ones. He specifically referred to the Mini Electric as “the offensive of the new model,” by which we assume he meant a spearhead project rather than an offensive version of the popular classic Mini.
Although some newspapers in the UK have reported huge increases in electric car sales in recent years, many of them are only telling half the story. Even the sale of a few hundred more electric or hybrid vehicles this year than in the same period last year would have a significant impact on the sales figures due to the initially low sales figures. Fewer than 12,000 electric cars were sold in the first six months of 2019, which is less than one percent of all car sales in the UK. If less than one in a hundred car buyers decide in favor of an electric model, given the opportunity, the chances of success with a new series electric model appear brief. BMW’s forecast of 15,000 potential buyers would be three thousand higher than the total sales of all other electric cars combined. Either the company has drummed up incredibly enthusiastic support for their new car or their data is wrong.
Go ahead anyway
Whatever happens to sales for the Mini, BMW appears destined to push electric and hybrid car manufacturing and is committed to doing so well into the next decade. Existing plans that the company has approved envisage developing twenty-five electric car variants over the next four years, more than half of which will be fully electric instead of hybrid. Anyone who oversees this project has to fully believe in the matter – and the aforementioned Oliver Zipse could be the ideal man for it.
At the top of the chain of command at BMW, a vacancy will soon be available, CEO Harald Kruger is already making plans for his departure and a power vacuum under him. Zipse is highly regarded at BMW for his work at the Oxford plant, which is responsible for the production of the new Mini, and as someone with hands-on experience overseeing the production of electric cars, he can ultimately be selected as the best contender for the company to join 2020s lead.
Are you one of the potential customers who have signed up for one of the new Elektro-Minis? Do you already own an electric car? If you didn’t, would you ever consider using one? Are they a necessary product of the future or are they just not as good as conventional fuel-powered cars? As always, you can continue the conversation and let us know in the comments!