The electric Mini is expected to become BMW’s first all-electric vehicle in almost a decade when it enters production at its main plant in Oxford.
Now the German automaker also announced its intention to bring the vehicle to China.
BMW already operates a joint venture in China since 2003 called ‘BMW Brilliance Automotive’.
Today, they announced that they have signed a letter of intent to expand their partnership to bring the new electric Mini to production in China under the joint venture:
“The BMW Group is in advanced discussions to ramp up the global success of its MINI brand through a new joint venture in China. A key element of the brand’s continued strategic development will be local production of future battery-electric MINI vehicles in the world’s largest market for electromobility. To this end, the BMW Group has signed a “letter of intent” with the Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motor. In addition to production of the first battery electric MINI at the main plant in Oxford starting in 2019, this signals a further clear commitment to the electrified future of the MINI brand.”
Not much is known about the electric Mini at the moment aside from a concept unveiled last year and BMW’s intention to bring the vehicle to “large-scale production” by the end of next year.
Another example of China’s aggressive electric vehicle incentives working to accelerate electric vehicle production by established automakers.
China’s electric vehicle adoption is already ahead of several other major markets and automakers will need zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) to represent 10% of new car sales as soon as in 2019 and 12% by 2020.
The regulations pushed foreign automakers, like Daimler, Toyota, the Renault-Nissan alliance, GM, BMW, VW, and Ford, to all announce joint-ventures to produce electric vehicles in China over the last year.
The country is also offering direct incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles in order to facilitate the adoption.
All those initiatives are likely behind BMW’s decision to bring the upcoming Mini electric to China.