Mini rumoured to be going cobalt-free
According to a British news site, Mini is planning the first electric model as a five-door SUV as part of the Spotlight Automotive joint venture. There is also speculation about the cell supplier and a larger SUV for the USA.
The British magazine Autocar learned details from insiders about the first electric model of the Mini brand from the joint venture Spotlight Automotive from BMW and Great Wall in China. According to the agreement, the vehicle will be a five-door electric SUV in crossover style with dimensions similar to those of the BMW X1, which will be sold in China and exported to all existing markets.
Previously it had been announced that the first BEV built by Spotlight under the Mini brand would be a small three-door model based on the Rocketman concept. Now the journalist Greg Kable claims to have learned that the three-door car is to be produced “at a later date”. The larger SUV was apparently considered to have better market opportunities. According to “insiders from Munich”, the SUV is to be built on a jointly developed platform, i.e. not an existing BMW platform.
According to Autocar, citing unconfirmed sources, the model will be sold as the Mini Paceman, replacing the BMW i3 in China. The magazine seems to be more certain about the battery cell supplier than about the model name: Spotlight Automotive will “probably” use cobalt-free cells from SVolt, the battery manufacturer that emerged from the Chinese car manufacturer Great Wall, for the new mini electric vehicle.
Spotlight Automotive announced the official ground-breaking ceremony for its plant in Zhangjiagang in Jiangsu Province in November 2019. The first vehicles are to be built in 2022, with an initial capacity of 160,000 vehicles per year.
After the compact electric SUV, Mini is also to work on a larger SUV, which is to go on sale in 2024 under the name ‘Traveller’. With this model, the brand should grow, especially in the USA – BEV or PHEV versions are conceivable, but just like the model itself – not confirmed.
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