OXFORD -- Mini said it expects strong demand for its first full-electric car, the Mini Electric, as customers increasingly choose battery-powered cars that are emissions free.
"We are entering an era in which electric cars will become a normal choice for our customers," BMW's production chief, Oliver Zipse, said at a press event at Mini's home production plant here. According to reports, Zipse is the frontrunner to become BMW's new CEO after current boss Harald Krueger said last week that he will step down.
BMW said about 20,000 potential customers have already expressed an interest in the Mini Electric.
The car will have a range of 200 km (124 miles) to 232 km (140 miles) under Europe's WLTP test regime. It uses a 32.6 kilowatt-hour battery pack.
Mini said performance has been prioritized over range. The Mini Electric will accelerate from 0-100 kph (62 mph) in 7.3 seconds. Top speed is limited to 150 kph (93 mph). Maximum power is 184 hp.
The Mini Electric is based on the three-door Mini hatchback. It has the same 211 liters of trunk space as the combustion engine car, rising to 731 liters with the rear seats folded down.
The first electric Mini was built in 2008 on a trial basis. It was a two-seater because of its large battery pack. The Mini Electric seats five.
The Mini Electric weighs 1,365 kg (3009 pounds), which Mini says is 145 kg heavier than the Mini Cooper S three-door combustion engine car with automatic transmission. The center of gravity is 30 mm lower than the combustion engine car, helping with the vehicle dynamics.