Over the next few months, BMW will be carrying out tests on hundreds of electrically powered Minis built at its Oxford plant and then modified in Munich.
BMW originally planned to launch a separate brand away from its BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce models at the start of this year. However, the new announcement shows that Mini will be the green focus for the group.
Dr. Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management of BMW, said: "This step will allow the BMW Group to gain an initial knowledge of how mobility can be achieved efficiently using purely electrically powered vehicles.
"Our task here is to combine the ultimate driving experience with an efficient electrified drive with practically no emissions."
The tests on alternative drives in Mini models will be used over the next 12-18 months to refine the technology.
Details about the drive concept and its marketing will be published towards the end of the year.