Motoring

BMW updates its plug-in hybrid fleet

This years Geneva Motor Show will no doubt see many brands focus heavily on the electrification of their range. The stepping stone to a fully EV car is the Plug-in-Hybrid or PHEV. It’s the perfect balance between the now couple of decades old hybrid technology and going all out EV. Plus it’s cheaper and there’s no need to freak out about where the nearest charging point is.

Trevor Long and I had an interesting debate you can watch here about the merits of such technology. We’ve taken possession of a Hyundai Ioniq PHEV for a few weeks and to be honest I’ve been swayed by the technology. Although it only has a range of between 50 – 60 kilometres via the battery we’ve still hardly used a drop of fuel over seven days now. In fact, right now it’s still displaying a range of 955km. This is despite my commute over the last two days being 35.2km each way. Unless we leave town for a road-trip this car would stay topped up for weeks. Plus charging via a domestic power plus takes only four to five hours.

But back to Geneva and it’s clear BMW also value the versatility of this means of reducing emissions. The second generation of BMW Plug-in-Hybrids will be on display starting with the flagship.

I tested the BMW 740e some time ago but it had only a four-cylinder engine. The new version has ramped things up. It uses a a six-cylinder in-line petrol engine plus an electric motor. The combined output is 290kW when set to SPORT mode. Importantly the battery can now store a tad more juice with all-electric range extended from 54 to 58 kilometres for the BMW 745e, from 52 to 55 kilometres for the BMW 745Le and from 50 to 54 kilometres for the BMW 745Le drive.

The BMW X5 doesn’t miss out either with the same engine and outputs. It can rocket from 0 to 100km/h in 5.5 seconds and via the xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system is no doubt sure footed. The X5 xDrive45e has an excellent range of 80 kilometres, plus a 69-litre fuel tank for longer trips.

The new BMW 330e scores a four-cylinder petrol engine, an electric motor and new lithium-ion battery for a range of 60 kilometres, 50 per cent more that the outgoing model. It produces a tidy 185kW but that can be boosted by 30kW via a standard XtraBoost feature. That means the dash to 100km/h can be done in 6.0 seconds.

We await Australian pricing and availability details!

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BMW updates its plug-in hybrid fleet
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