Private customers can sign up to lease the Mini E from September – and the car could pave the way for an all-electric Triumph, Autocar can reveal.
The German car maker gained the rights to the Triumph name when it bought Rover in 1994 and it could revive them as niche brands.
A fleet of 40 Mini Es will hit the UK roads by the end of the year, and while some will be run by public sector organisations such as electricity suppliers and local government agencies, Mini also wants around 25 members of the public to take part in this trial programme.
Those leasing the Mini E (costs for this will be confirmed in the next few weeks) will be expected to provide feedback to BMW on how the car performs in everyday life and normal driving conditions, and on how they cope with recharging facilities and the support infrastructure for electric vehicles.
The information will be key to the development of BMW’s next generation of electric vehicles and its ongoing ‘Project i’ programme.
A spokesman for Mini said an all-electric vehicle will be available from 2015, but revealed that it may not be called a Mini.
“It is going to be a competitor to the G-Wiz; it will be a premium model. It won’t necessarily be a BMW or a Mini, it could be another brand like Isetta or Triumph,” said the spokesman.