BMW reveals its first MINI electric car to start production this fall

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BMW has unveiled the first electric car for its MINI brand.

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The MINI Cooper SE was revealed on Tuesday in the Netherlands, according to a news release. Production is expected to begin in November this year, with delivery “as early as possible,” the release said.

The company already has a plug-in hybrid called the MINI Countryman, but the MINI Cooper SE will be the first MINI to run on an electric motor without gasoline at all.

The electric car can reportedly be charged in just 35 minutes and has a battery range of about 146 miles.

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The SE can also accelerate to almost 40 miles per hour in less than 4 seconds, the company said.

According to Pieter Nota, BMW's board member overseeing customers, brands and sales, more than 40,000 people have registered their interest in the car.

“Our new MINI Electric demonstrates how emotional and how much fun e-mobility can be,” Nota said. “True to the MINI brand, it is the perfect car for urban areas.”

The MINI Cooper SE was revealed on Tuesday. It is the BMW brand's first completely electric car. MINI already has a plug-in hybrid called the MINI Countryman. (MINI)

MINI Senior Vice President Bernd Koerber said this new electric car maintains the classic “go-kart feeling” of a typical MINI along with the “future of electric mobility.”

“It is this go-kart feeling, the sense of individuality and unconventional concepts that have kept MINI in the spirit of the times,” Koerber said.

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Nota also said that BMW will continue to add more electric cars in the market.

“At the end of 2019, we will have over half a million electrified vehicles on the road,” Nota said. “And we continue to step up the pace: Already in 2023, we will offer 25 electrified vehicles – two years earlier than originally planned. More than half will be fully electric.”

The release of the new electric car came days after the company announced its CEO Harald Krueger will step down amid weakening profits at the German luxury automaker.

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Krueger, 53, will not seek a contract extension, which expires at the end of April 2020, BMW said Friday. The board of directors will meet to discuss the issue of a successor on July 18 and Kruger will remain at his post until a decision is made. Reuters reported that Oliver Zipse, a board member, is among those being considered to be the automaker’s next CEO.

Under Krueger’s leadership, the automaker lost the “best-selling luxury carmaking brand” title in 2016 to Mercedes-Benz, Reuters reported.

FOX Business’ Kathleen Joyce and The Associated Press contributed to this report.