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BMW greenlights all-electric SUV X3 and battery-powered Mini


Last month, we reported on BMW’s board of management being expected to vote on a possible greenlight for production on 3 more electric vehicles to bring to its lineup. Now we learn that at least two have been approved: a long-rumoured all-electric SUV and an all-electric Mini.

Chief Executive Officer Harald Krueger confirmed the news in an interview with Bloomberg at the 2016 Paris Motor Show last week.

The long-rumoured all-electric SUV will be based on the BMW X3 (pictured above) and it will come to market in 2020 and the new electric Mini should arrive about a year before, according to Krueger.

Details about pricing and range have not been finalized, but the vehicles are expected to have a range greater than 200 miles.

We previously reported on BMW’s official plans for electric vehicles not being very ambitious. Aside for a new generation BMW i3 and an all-electric autonomous car in 2021, it didn’t look like the German automaker was going to release anything new in the electric segment for years.

While these new additions to BMW’s EV lineup is nothing close to what most EV enthusiasts anticipated when BMW launched its electric ‘i’ brand, it is still a significant improvement to the official lineup prior to the Paris show.

The announcement could be seen as a reactionary move since it was made a day after Mercedes, BMW’s main competitor, announced its own EV brand at the Paris Motor Show. Krueger briefly commented on the EV competition:

“Competitors are now in phase one on their electric strategy, while we’re entering phase two. We’re already well on our way to electrifying the core portfolio, using powertrain technology from BMW i.”

He is not wrong when talking about Mercedes and Audi who only recently announced their plan for electrification, but they are moving quick. BMW is going to add its next EVs in 2019-2020, while Mercedes says that its new electric SUV unveiled last week is “close to production” and Audi is expected to bring its quattro e-tron to market in 2018.

As for Tesla, the company is expected to have a lineup of about 5 different vehicles by 2020.

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