Mini Countryman Electric is now in series production

BMW has announced the start of production of the Mini Countryman Electric at the Leipzig plant. Four months after the start of production of the Mini Countryman with combustion engines, the all-electric models are now also rolling off the production line in Leipzig.

Image: BMW

Since November, the combustion models of the SUV model have been produced on one line together with the BMW 1 and 2 Series models. Thanks to the flexible production approach, combustion engines, plug-in hybrids or purely electric cars can be manufactured on one line – which is being utilised with the recently announced start of production of the electric Countryman. This is because there are currently no purely electric models of the BMW 1 and 2 Series.

The battery packs for the Countryman will be completely assembled in Leipzig. According to BMW, “all three stages of the Gen 5 high-voltage battery production process are now represented at BMW Group Plant Leipzig”. The purchased cells are first painted (to make them more resistant), then installed in modules and, in the third step, the modules are assembled into ready-to-install batteries in the high-voltage battery assembly. For e-component production, five cell painting lines, three module production lines and two lines for high-voltage battery production have been set up at the plant and are currently in the ramp-up phase.

“We are in the middle of the transformation to e-mobility,” says Markus Fallböhmer, Head of Battery Production at the BMW Group. “Starting this year, Plant Leipzig will carry out every stage of our in-house high-voltage battery production process. It’s our next great step forwards.”

The drive units are also assembled on a single line in the unit assembly department at the Leipzig plant and prepared for the so-called “marriage” with the body. For the two all-electric models, the electric motor, transmission and control electronics (HEAT: highly integrated electric drive topology) are assembled directly at the plant.

A new assembly line only had to be set up for the control electronics. Production of the combustion models has started with an initial 100 vehicles per day. With the introduction of the electric version, production is to be ramped up to 500 vehicles per day, although not all 400 additional units will be purely electric – BMW can adjust the distribution at short notice, depending on demand. An additional 800 BMWs will be built every day. To be able to produce up to 350,000 units per year, an increase of 100,000 units, the Leipzig plant has been continuously expanded since 2018. The body shop, paint shop, assembly and logistics have been extensively expanded and modernised.

The fact that the third generation of the Mini Countryman will be launched as a petrol, diesel and electric model was already known before the model’s premiere at the IAA Mobility 2023 in Munich. The electric version will be available as a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive model.

The single-engine version is simply known as the Mini Countryman E model. This variant delivers 150 kW of power, 250 Nm of torque and 8.6 seconds for the sprint to 100 km/h. The all-wheel drive Countryman SE ALL4 is based on the BMW iX1 xDrive30: Here, 230 kW is available, and with 494 Nm of torque, it reaches three-digit speeds in 5.6 seconds. While the front-wheel drive model can cover 462 kilometres on one battery charge according to the WLTP, the all-wheel drive model has a range of 433 kilometres. In both cases, a 66.5 kWh battery is installed.

Unlike the Mini Cooper, the new electric Countryman can be charged with up to 22 kW AC. Fast charging at a DC charging point is possible with up to 130 kW at peak power; here too, Mini states “just under 30 minutes” for the standard charging process from ten to 80 per cent. The Countryman also features battery preconditioning via the navigation system, and the model also has Plug&Charge functionality.

The prices are also already known: The Countryman E starts at 43,500 euros, while the all-wheel drive model will cost 6,000 euros more.


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