BMW Officially Confirms Electric Mini, X3, Launch Expected Around 2019

Oct 13, 2016 06:19 AM EDT | Sovan Mandal

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For BMW, it's pure electric powered vehicles that would be the way forward with the first models to get all-electric powertrains include the Mini and X3 SUV, GreenCarReports mentioned.

This, the Bavarian-based car maker hopes will help it ward off the multiple challenges posed by its traditional rivals such as Mercedes and Volkswagen or the more flamboyant Tesla. This also marks a departure from the automaker's previous strategy of launching plug-in hybrid versions of its existing models, as the current 'i' series already exemplifies.

Both Mercedes and Volkswagen have shown off glimpses of what its future electric vehicles would be like at the just concluded Paris Motor Show. BMW skipped the show as it was still in the process of formulating a clear strategy to counter the threat posed by new gen EVs. That Germany plans to ban all internal combustion engines by 2030 should be another reason for the automaker to make a firm transition to battery operated vehicles.

As for the specific Mini model that would be provided the electric makeover, German newspaper Handelsblatt had earlier mentioned it is going to be the Mini Cooper to start with at least. Similarly, it is the X4 that would serve to be the first pure-electric SUV from BMW. It will be the same as the X3 but with a more coupe-like rear.

Interestingly, it wasn't too far back that BMW had launched a series of ads targeting the Tesla Model 3 and its insanely long waiting period. It had then projected its 330e plug-in hybrid sedan as the perfect alternative to the Model 3, with the biggest plus point in its favor being that it's available off the shelf.

As for the expected launch schedule of the new electric Mini and X3 crossover, BMW said it should be ready within the next three years itself. The automaker meanwhile had also stated they would continue to offer the 'i' series of hybrid vehicles though it would be interesting to see if there is any change to that strategy now.

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