BMW Rolls Out Ambitious Plug-in Hybrid Electric Plan

BMW has staked its claim on the future hybrid plug-in market and announced that it will be creating hybrids of every core model that is still in production.


The i8 Started Something

BMW i8

The hybrid 2+2 coupe i8 marked BMW’s returned interest in the hybrid market after looking more into diesel technology than other green solutions. With the i8 came the impetus to change the stereotypical sports car into a whole new something, that could both move like lightning and provide an unbelievably efficient mpg thanks to its incredible hybrid power train.

Yes, the i8 is a $150,000 vehice, but even some of the harshest critics, including Jeremy Clarkson, admitted that they were fans. With the i8 came the re-invigoration needed to show that plug-in hybrids could be both fun and practical. It seems that BMW is looking now to build on that.

“In every range there will be a plug-in hybrid. We have a modular system which can be fitted to each BMW, with the new generation of engines allowing us to combine each three, four, six or eight cylinder petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor,” Helmuth Wiesler, 3 Series Plug-in Hybrid Project Director, told Auto Express.


The X5 Going Hybrid


The big talking point for fans and critics will be the announcement of the X5s new hybrid plug-in twin. The X5 is one of BMW’s most successful and most popular crossover SUVs, with over 100,000 sales in the the US and Canada alone. The initial release date was for late this year but now the revised date is pushed back to 2015.

But the stats do look quite impressive, with the hybrid drive train expected to produce more than 270 hp and torque of about 300 lb-ft, with an expected (by BMW) fuel mileage of just over 40mpg.


Hybrids to Round Out the 3 Series

BMW 3 Series

The 3 Series will in fact be the first to go under the electric hammer. The 3 Series eDrive will pair a four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo with a lithium-ion battery motor that has an output of 20 kilowatt-hours, turning this into anything but the bottom end of the 3 Series tier. With around 100 km on the batteries before the gas kicks in, BMW is following in the successful mpg shoes of the i8; the expected mpg is 70-80mpg which is most definitely a step in the right direction and will please all those green and financial minded individuals.


Whether BMW will stay true to its ambitious plans and continue to roll out the twin versions of their core brand models will be interesting to see. Not every model is a sure-fire plan for success and we will have to hope that its ambitious ideas aren’t hampered by any possible decrease in interest. Sales will ultimately have a large dictation on the outcome, but we can’t rule out BMW trying its hand at other plans in the meantime, with follow ups to the i8 and i3 surely in the makings.

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