It’s been almost 10 years since the Mini launched the first lithium-ion battery powered Mini E pilot project, and to mark the occasion Mini has released some preliminary sketches for what promises to be the first fully electric production model for the quintessentially British brand.
BMW did actually make a limited number of the two seater Mini E models available commercially back in 2009, and sold them to a handful of businesses and personal customers in key markets of the northern hemisphere.
But it was primarily a platform through which the automaker developed the production technology needed to bring the i3 to market.
After the Mini E pilot project was halted, fans and owners called out for a production version of the Mini E, but were disappointed when BMW turned its focus to bringing the i3 and i8 models to market.
Now, the wait is almost over, and to whet the whistle of EV and Mini fans worldwide they are letting us in on some select but important details of the design of the new all-electric Mini, which is to be a part of the Countryman line of vehicles.
The sketches for the EV, which has inherited the rather long-winded name of Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 from its PHEV sibling, consist of a futuristic looking grille and wheel rim.
To be perfectly honest they don’t differ a great deal from the design of the Mini Electric Concept released back in August of last year, sporting the same yellow accents, E badge and honeycomb inspired motifs that are a signature design element of the British brand.
But this is the point perhaps, that the all-electric counterparts are differentiated from the Mini PHEV lines, at the same being recognised as belonging to a new era of Mini all-electric vehicles.
“Mini is an urban brand and the fully-electric Mini the logical next step into the future,” elaborates Oliver Heilmer, Head of Mini Design.
“These initial sketches for the fully electrified Mini outline our vision of authentic design creating a bridge between the history of the brand and its electric future.”
With development for the all-electric model was announced last year, Mini are aiming for the all-electric Countryman to hit roads in 2019, exactly 60 years since the original Mini first became available.
Here in Australia we will have to be content with patiently awaiting the arrival of the PHEV version of the Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4, while British fans rejoice in a first glimpse of the new all-electric model at the Festival of Speed (FoS) which is currently underway at Goodwood, southern England.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.