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BMW to showcase 4 production plug-in hybrids at IAA in Frankfurt; new 225xe

BMW is using the upcoming IAA in Frankfurt to showcase four production BMW brand plug-in hybrid models from different vehicle segments—one newly announced. BMW eDrive is the new drive system technology used in all the electrically powered vehicles from BMW i and the plug-in hybrid models from BMW. Alongside BMW TwinPower Turbo technology for combustion engines, intelligent lightweight design and optimized aerodynamics, BMW eDrive technology is therefore one of the most important elements in the EfficientDynamics strategy designed to increase power and further reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Coinciding with the world premiere of the new generation BMW 7 Series, BMW is highlighting the plug-in hybrid variant of the luxury sedan, the BMW 740e (earlier post). The plug-in hybrid BMW 330e (earlier post) with plug-in hybrid drive is being added to the model line-up for the new BMW 3 Series. Also sharing the stand will be a newly announced plug-in hybrid from the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, the BMW 225xe. Together with the soon-to-be-launched BMW X5 xDrive40e (earlier post) also on display at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the BMW eDrive technology initially developed for BMW i cars will be available for BMW models spanning four different vehicle segments in 2016.

BMW 225xe.The BMW 225xe, arriving in spring 2016, pairs a 100 kW/136 hp 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine with 65 kW electric traction motor and a 7.7 kWh Li-ion battery pack. Maximum all-electric range is 41 kilometers (25 miles). Driving the rear wheels with the electric motor and the front wheels with the combustion engine’s power produces an electrified all-wheel-drive system that is distinct in the BMW 225xe’s segment and promises outstanding traction in all weathers, especially in adverse conditions. The combustion engine sends its power to the front wheels via a six-speed Steptronic transmission and delivers up to 220N·m (162 lb-ft) of torque.

BMW 225xe. Click to enlarge.

The high-voltage starter-generator takes on a multi-tasking role in the BMW 225xe. Integrated via a belt drive, it starts up the combustion engine and can provide a brief power boost when accelerating from a standstill with its peak torque of 150 N·m (111 lb-ft). It also serves as a generator under braking and on the overrun and uses brake energy recuperation to feed energy back into the 7.7 kWh lithium-ion battery. In addition, the combustion engine uses the integrated high-voltage starter-generator to charge the batteries during a journey, if required.

The plug-in hybrid drive has an overall system output of 165 kW/224 hp and peak torque of up to 385 Newton meters (284 lb-ft). Average fuel consumption (combined) in the BMW 225xe is a 2.1–2.0 liters/100 km, which equates to CO2 emissions (combined) of 49–46 g/km (in the EU test cycle). Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes 6.7 seconds.

BMW brand plug-in hybrids
Model Engine
(Cyl. / L / kW)
Fuel consumption
(l/100 km)
740e* 4 / 2.0 / 190 83 9.0 2.1 49
X5 xDrive40e 4 / 2.0 / 180 83 9.0 3.4 - 3.3 78 - 77
330e 4 / 2.0 / 135 65 7.6 2.1 - 1.9 49 - 44
225xe 3 / 1.5 / 165 65 7.7 2.1 - 2.0 49 - 46
BMW is introducing three variants of the 740 plug-in: the base 740e, the 740Le and the 740Le xDrive. Figures here are for the base 740e.

In addition to the Driving Experience Control switch—with its SPORT, COMFORT and ECO PRO settings—familiar from other BMW models, the eDrive button in the center console offers three driving modes: AUTO eDRIVE, MAX eDRIVE and SAVE BATTERY.

  • AUTO eDRIVE is the basic setting activated when the car is started. It ensures the combustion engine and electric motor work together to optimum effect in all driving situations and gives a pure-electric top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph).

  • MAX eDRIVE allows the car to run on the electric drive system alone up to a speed of 125 km/h (78 mph).

  • With SAVE BATTERY, the charge of the high-voltage battery can be maintained or, if it’s already depleted, raised to over 50% during a journey—so that the available electric range can be used later in urban areas, for example.

BMW ConnectedDrive also helps lower fuel consumption. In the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer with eDrive, the ConnectedDrive package adds the proactive energy management function to the mix, which responds to the driving style and route profile to ensure the plug-in hybrid drive system is used as efficiently as possible.

BMW 330e. The plug-in hybrid drive system pairs a 65 kW electric motor with a four-cylinder combustion engine, which develops 135 kW/184 hp and 290 N·m / 214 lb-ft of torque. Combined average fuel consumption in the NEDC cycle is 2.1–1.9 litres per 100 kilometers, with CO2 emissions coming in at 49– 44 g/km.

BMW 330e. Click to enlarge.

With a system output of 185 kW/252 hp and peak torque of 420 N·m / 310 lb-ft, the BMW 330e accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.1 seconds on the way to a top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph). In everyday driving conditions, a range of up to 600 kilometers (373 miles) is within reach.

The electric motor and combustion engine send their power to the sedan’s rear wheels via a standard-fitted eight-speed Steptronic transmission. The arrangement of the electric motor in front of the transmission allows the transmission ratios to be used in all-electric mode as well. This means a torque converter can be omitted, which partially cancels out the extra weight of the additional drive unit.

The electric motor supplements the power from the combustion engine with 100 N·m / 74 lb-ft of torque and can deliver a brief extra burst—depending on the position of the accelerator—of up to 250 N·m / 184 lb-ft.

The battery has a total capacity of 7.6 kWh, which enables an all-electric and therefore locally emission-free range of around 40 kilometers (25 miles).

There is a choice of three driving modes: AUTO eDRIVE, MAX eDRIVE and SAVE BATTERY.

  • AUTO eDRIVE ensures the combustion engine and electric motor work together to optimum effect in all driving situations and allows an all-electric top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph). This mode is activated automatically as the default setting every time the car is started up.

  • In MAX eDRIVE mode the BMW 330e uses the car’s electric power only, drawing on the electric drive system’s full output. A top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) is possible.

  • SAVE BATTERY mode allows the battery’s energy stores to be deliberately maintained—or increased again if the charge level has dropped below 50%. This energy can then be used for pure-electric driving, on a part of the journey running through city streets, for example.

eDrive. BMW eDrive offers the option of driving on electric power alone and therefore with zero local emissions yet at the same time can cover long distances when the two drive systems team up. BMW eDrive technology delivers dynamic acceleration off the line thanks to the electric motor; an eBoost function pools the torque of both drive systems under acceleration.

Developed initially for the all-electric BMW i3 and BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, the modular structure of BMW eDrive technology is adaptable for use in various vehicle concepts and segments. The fine-tuning of vehicle-specific elements, such as the battery cells, cooling management, power electronics and operating strategy, has involved the transfer of knowledge from the BMW i3 and BMW i8 to the development of new BMW eDrive models.

BMW eDrive technology essentially spans the electric motor, the lithium-ion high-voltage battery and the power electronics. An important element of the operating strategy is the need-oriented use of externally sourced and recuperated electric energy to maximize the vehicle’s efficiency. The components of the BMW eDrive architecture are tailored to each particular vehicle concept and can be combined with four- and three-cylinder gasoline engines as well as with classical rear-wheel drive, BMW xDrive or electrified all-wheel drive.

The eDrive components developed as part of the BMW i projects will soon be integrated into other model ranges from the core brands. This scalable architecture also provides the platform required to offer plug-in hybrid vehicles at attractive prices on a par with those of conventionally powered variants of similar output, BMW said.

The operating strategy of the plug-in hybrids is based on the vehicle starting up on electric power only. BMW’s plug-in hybrid vehicles prioritize electric mode at low and moderate speeds, which allows them to exploit the benefits of the locally emission-free electric drive system. Under greater acceleration and at higher speeds, however, the combustion engine joins in. The boost function pools the torque of both drive systems to maximise the car’s dynamic performance.

BMW eDrive ensures that the combustion engine runs efficiently (electric assist) at higher speeds as well. This allows a reduction in fuel consumption on brisk cross-country or motorway runs, for example. And when the route guidance function of the car’s navigation system is activated, the proactive function initiates an anticipatory operating strategy which optimises efficiency and maximises the electric driving experience.

The battery can be recharged from a domestic socket using the standard charging cable supplied or from a BMW i Wallbox (charging power: 3.7 kW). When traveling, the BMW i mobility service, ChargeNow, gives customers access to the world’s largest public charging network of more than 30,000 charging points run by partners in 22 countries.



All looks very sensible to me.
Nice to see E-mileage estimated at ~3.1 miles / KwH.
It would be nice to see a 530e (bigger body) and a 320e (with a smaller ICE).
[ Just wait, I suppose. ]


What is great, also it to get such low CO2 figures without the use of diesel (in a European car).

No mention of price - could be quite steep - probably dependent on taxation and rebates to make it manageable.

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