BMW Group has invested nearly $750 million to manufacture its new Mini EV models at the company’s Oxford plant and Swindon body-pressing facility.
The Oxford plant has been producing Mini electric vehicles since 2019 and will begin to manufacture two new EV models, the Mini Cooper 3-door and the compact crossover Mini Aceman, in 2026. The investment is partially supported by the U.K. government and will provide new jobs at both manufacturing sites. The plant will produce about 200,000 cars each year in the medium term, and by 2030, the BMW Group plans for the Oxford plant to exclusively produce EVs.
“Mini has always been aware of its history – Oxford is and remains the heart of the brand,” said Stefanie Wurst, head of the Mini brand. “I am delighted that the two new, fully electric Mini models – the Mini Cooper and Mini Aceman – are also being produced in Oxford, thereby confirming our path to a fully electric future. The continuing high demand for our locally emission-free vehicles shows the openness of the global Mini community to electromobility, which we will be able to serve optimally, also thanks to Oxford.”
Although BMW plans to eventually produce the new car models in Oxford, production of the all-electric vehicles will begin in China, and exports will begin in 2024. The new Mini Countryman, which will offer both combustion engine and all-electric models, will also begin production at BMW’s Leipzig plant within the next few weeks.
UK’s Target to Ban Gas, Diesel-Powered Vehicles by 2030
This past summer, Prime Minister of England, Richi Sunak, announced the governmental goal to ban gas and diesel-fueled cars by 2030. The government also offers incentives to individuals looking to purchase an EV, much like the U.S.
BMW and other major car companies, such as Ford and Bentley, have begun to put similar goals in place, claiming they will only produce and sell EVs by 2030. Doing so will reportedly require a massive upscaling of EV charging capacity in the area, and some are skeptical that this will be achieved in time for such a quick transition to green transportation.
The U.K. government has released its Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, outlining the necessary steps to ramp up EV infrastructure, including installation of at least 300,000 public chargers by 2030. As of 2020, the U.K. had more rapid chargers for every 100 miles of key strategic road than any other charging network in Europe. Yet, since much more EV infrastructure must be built to accommodate the increasing number of EVs being produced, over $1 billion will be devoted to continued rapid charging expansion.