At the upcoming Interational Auto Show in Frankfurt, BMW will be showcasing 4 plug-in hybrid models — the BMW 740e, BMW 330e (new), BMW 225xe (new), and the BMW X5 xDrive40e. Underneath the good of all of these — as well as its BMW i models — is its new eDrive system.
“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,” BMW writes. The eDrive technology allows BMW’s plug-in hybrids to run 100% on electricity when in electric mode… unless you accelerate really hard or get up to ~75 mph (120 km/h). However, you can mix the two drive systems more using eBoost if you like, and you can drive in “Save” mode whereby you save the battery capacity for electric driving later in your trip.
The most important components of BMW eDrive technology are the synchronous electric motor (including the power electronics developed by BMW), the lithium-ion high-voltage battery and intelligent energy management. The latter ensures the electric motor and combustion engine in plug-in hybrid models work together as effectively as possible according to the situation at hand.
Developed initially for the all-electric BMW i3 and BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car – which duly led the way in electric mobility in the premium sector – the modular structure of BMW eDrive technology sets it up perfectly for use in various vehicle concepts and segments. BMW uses its plentiful technical experience and customer feedback in the development of the latest BMW eDrive models. 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. Here, all components are adapted precisely to the vehicle at hand and optimised in terms of performance, efficiency, safety and durability. Moreover, BMW eDrive technology enables the electrified xDrive concept first featured in the BMW i8 to be executed with great efficiency.
You can read more about its electric drive technology and options here.
Regarding the new plug-in car models that will be at this year’s IAA, here’s more:
The BMW 225xe includes a 100 kW/136 hp 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine as well as a 65 kW electric traction motor and a 7.7 kWh Li-ion battery pack. It reportedly has 41 kilometers (25 miles) of electric-only driving range, but that’s surely based on the unrealistic European testing method. Real-world range would be a bit lower. That’s not really a lot of range, which is a bit disappointing.
The BMW 225xe, based on the BMW S 2 Series Active Explorer, includes all-wheel drive. In total (from the engine and motor), the 225xe has an output of up to 165 kW/224 hp and peak torque of up to 385 Newton meters (284 lb-ft). Average fuel consumption = 2.1–2.0 liters/100 km (again, based on the EU testing system). The BMW 225xe can scoot to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.7 seconds. Not super quick, but not bad either.
Unfortunately, this plug-in hybrid seems to only be set for Europe — if you’re in the US, no car for you.
The BMW 330e, which has already arrived in some European markets, is set for the US as well. It also has a 65 kW motor, and has a 7.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, but it can get to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.1 seconds.
It has a combined output (from engine and motor) of 185 kW/252 hp and a peak torque of 420 N·m / 310 lb-ft, with a fuel economy of 2.1–1.9 litres per 100 kilometers (again, this is all on the New European Driving Cycle). It has a top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph), which really shouldn’t matter to anyone in the US, but is relevant to some drivers in Germany. Again on the NEDC, the 330e supposedly (but not realistically) has an all-electric driving range of 40 kilometers (25 miles).
More details on all of these cars (if you really want to dive into the specifics) are available over on Green Car Congress (and, of course, BMW’s website). And more details on all four of the plug-in hybrids BMW will be showcasing in Frankfurt can be found via the following links: BMW 740e, BMW 330e, BMW 225xe, and BMW X5 xDrive40e.