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BMW launches plug-in hybrid variant of X3; updates to other PHEVs

At the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, BMW announced the market launch of a plug-in hybrid variant of the globally popular BMW X3. This makes it the first model of the brand to be offered with both a conventional combustion engine and a plug-in hybrid system—with the addition of a purely electrically powered version in 2020.

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BMW Group electrified vehicles.

The BMW X3 xDrive30e combines the properties of a premium mid-range sports activity vehicle with BMW eDrive technology. The BMW X3 xDrive30e achieves an electrically powered range of up to 50 kilometers. With BMW eDrive technology, its combined fuel consumption is reduced to up to 2.4 liters per 100 kilometers (98 mpg US) , with CO2 emissions of up to 56 grams per kilometer.

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BMW X3 xDrive30e.

The plug-in hybrid system in the BMW X3 xDrive30e consists of a 4-cylinder gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology and an electric motor. Both drive units put their power on the road via an 8-speed Steptronic transmission and the intelligent all-wheel drive system.

Their joint system output of 185 kW/252 hp can be increased by up to 30 kW/41 hp by temporary use of the electric motor’s peak output. The BMW X3 xDrive30e takes 6.5 seconds (provisional figure) to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h.

The latest BMW plug-in hybrid model is fitted with a lithium-ion battery which is positioned under the rear seat in order to save space. With a luggage volume of 450 liters, the transport capacity of the BMW X3 xDrive30e is at the level of those model variants which are fitted with a conventional engine.

BMW also presented the second generation of plug-in hybrid models in as many as three vehicles segments.

  • The new BMW 330e Sedan sees an increase in electrically powered range as compared to its predecessor model of some 50%—up to 60 kilometers—fuel consumption that has been reduced to up to 1.7 liters per 100 kilometers (138 mpg US) and CO2 emissions reduced to 39 grams per kilometer.

    The system output of its plug-in hybrid drive amounts to 185 kW/252 hp – with the possibility of a temporary increase by an additional 30 kW/41 hp using the standard XtraBoost. As a result, the new BMW 330e Sedan does the sprint from standing to 100 km/h in 6.0 seconds (provisional figure).

  • Increased output, efficiency and electrically powered range are also offered by the latest version of the BMW X5 with plug-in hybrid drive. The new BMW X5 xDrive45e is now fitted with an in-line 6-cylinder gasoline engine adapted on a model-specific basis combined with an electric motor, with a system output that is now increased to 290 kW/394 hp. The 0-100 km/h sprint takes 5.6 seconds (provisional figure).

    The electrically powered range is now approximately 80 kilometers—almost three times that of its predecessor. As such, day-to-day commuter runs can easily be covered on electric power only, thereby reducing local emissions to zero.

    With its 69-liter fuel tank, the BMW X5 xDrive45e is also suited to use over long distances. Its progressive plug-in hybrid drive technology reduces combined fuel consumption to up to 2.1 liters per 100 kilometers (112 mpg US) and CO2 emissions from fuel to up to 49 grams per kilometer.

  • In the plug-in hybrid models of the new BMW 7 Series, the electrically powered range has been increased by almost 30% as compared to the predecessor models—a distance of between 50 and 58 kilometers. The model range comprises the BMW 745e (combined fuel consumption: 2.3 – 2.1 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 15.6 – 15.1 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 52 – 48 g/km*); the long version BMW 745Le (combined fuel consumption: 2.3 –2.2 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 15.7 – 15.6 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 53 – 50 g/km); and the BMW 745Le xDrive (combined fuel consumption: 2.6 – 2.3 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 16.3 – 15.8 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 59 – 52 g/km) with extended wheelbase and intelligent all-wheel drive.

    Its drive system now comprises an in-line 6-cylinder gasoline engine adapted on a model-specific basis together with an electric motor. By setting the drive experience switch to SPORT mode, the driver can tap into a system output of 290 kW/394 hp. The new BMW 745e accelerates in 5.2 seconds from zero to 100 km/h, while the new BMW 745Le takes 5.3 seconds. Meanwhile the new BMW 745Le xDrive reaches the 100 km/h mark from standing in 5.1 seconds.

BMW 530e Sedan and BMW 225xe Active Tourer with further developed lithium-ion batteries and increased electrically powered range. The latest progress in the field of battery cell technology has also led to an extension of the options for locally emissions-free driving in the plug-in hybrid models of the BMW 5 Series and BMW 2 Series.

Although its dimensions remain unchanged, the new lithium-ion battery for the plug-in hybrid model of the BMW 5 Series Sedan now has a gross energy content that has been increased from 9.2 to 12.0 kWh. This means an increase in electrically powered range by more than 30% to 64 kilometers.

The BMW 530e Sedan now achieves a combined fuel consumption of at least 1.7 liters per 100 kilometers (138 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of at least 38 grams per kilometer*.

As an additional model variant, the all-wheel drive BMW 530e xDrive Sedan will also be included in the program worldwide from July 2019 onwards. The latter achieves an electrically powered range of up to 57 kilometers. Its combined fuel consumption is at least 1.9 liters per 100 kilometers (124 mpg US), while CO2 emissions are at least 44 grams per kilometer.

In the BMW 225xe Active Tourer, state-of-the-art battery cell technology paves the way to further reduced consumption figures as well as an increase in the electrically powered range of more than 25% to up to 57 kilometers.

While retaining the same dimensions as before, its lithium-ion battery now has a gross energy content that has been increased from 7.7 to 9.7 kWh. The combined fuel consumption of the BMW 225xe Active Tourer is at least 1.9 liters per 100 kilometers, its combined power consumption is at least 14.7 kWh per 100 kilometers and its CO2 emissions level is at least 43 grams per kilometer.

The hybrid-specific all-wheel drive system contributes to the BMW 225xe Active Tourer's sporty and versatile driving properties. Its standard and optional fittings include numerous modern driver assistance systems as well as the current innovations in the field of intelligent connectivity and digital services—for increased convenience when charging the high-voltage battery and an even more intense electrical driving experience.

Battery technology, new operating system and digital services. In addition to the latest battery technology, the plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan, the new BMW X5 and the new BMW 7 Series also feature a new display and operating system as well as innovative digital services for an even more intense electric driving experience.

Their standard fittings include the BMW Live Cockpit Professional with newly designed screens in the instrument panel and the Control Display, which also provide clearly laid-out details of the battery charge state, electrically powered range and operating mode of the plug-in hybrid system.

The buttons used to select the drive mode are now integrated in the drive experience switch unit. Here, a press of the button is all that is needed to activate the modes SPORT for a particularly dynamic set-up and ADAPTIVE for a set-up that is geared towards the relevant driving style and situation, as well as the three operating modes HYBRID, ELECTRIC and BATTERY CONTROL. HYBRID mode serves as the standard setting that ensures a balanced set-up and optimized interaction between the combustion engine and electric motor. It also possible to select ELECTRIC mode as the standard setting via the iDrive menu. The HYBRID button is pressed twice to activate this operating mode in an efficiency-optimized version (HYBRID ECO PRO). The coasting function is one of the factors that contributes to a further reduction in fuel consumption.

The technology of the intelligent energy management system has likewise been further optimized. Since this is now linked to the navigation system, the interaction between combustion engine and electric motor can be adapted more precisely to the route and driving situation.

In the new BMW 330e Sedan and the new BMW X5 xDrive45e, a control unit that draws on navigation and sensor data is also able to optimise brake energy recuperation efficiency in HYBRID ECO PRO mode. When approaching a junction or a vehicle driving ahead, for example, recuperation can be put to particularly intensive use for the purpose of deceleration.

During the charging process, the fully digital instrument panel provides graphically displayed information on the battery’s current charge status and therefore the car’s potential electrically powered range. The graphic display—designed individually for each vehicle—also shows the amperage available at the charge station being used, as well as indicating when the battery is fully charged.

New digital services help make it more attractive and convenient to charge the high-voltage battery when out and about. For example, the navigation system shows the driver nearby hotels, restaurants, cafés and sights or cultural facilities when a public charging station is being selected. Customers are also given a forecast as to the occupation status of charging stations. In addition, BMW enables ChargeNow customers to reserve an enabled charging station for a limited period based on in-car activation.

A distinctive sound created especially for electrified BMW models is used for the purpose of acoustic pedestrian protection, emitted via a speaker system. The sound design in the low speed range radiates a vibrant acoustic presence, though without impairing the acoustic comfort of vehicle occupants.

Market share. In 2018, the BMW Group was the market leader in the premium segment of electrified vehicles in both Germany and in China. With a share of more than 16%, the company also once again led the overall European market for electrified vehicles.

BMW Group achieved a new worldwide sales record in 2018 with more than 140,000 units of electrical and plug-in hybrid vehicles sold—an increase of 38.4% over the previous year.

As one of the four future-oriented ACES topic areas (Autonomous, Connected, Electrified and Services/Shared), electromobility is one of the key elements of the company’s strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT. The aim of the BMW Group is to have put more than half a million electrified vehicles of its brands on the road by the end of 2019.

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