Published on February 21st, 2016 |
by Subhash Nair
BMW Introduces 225xe and 330e Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
The new BMW X5 xDrive40e Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle was the first such production car from the BMW core brand. Now for 2016. BMW will offer an additional four PHEVs to broaden the opportunity to drive ultra-low emission vehicles with all electric drive capability.
The four new PHEV models, indebted to the BMW i brand for technology, come in the shape of the BMW 225xe Active Tourer, BMW 330e Saloon, and later this year the BMW 740e and 740Le xDrive from the marque’s flagship model.
The soon to be launched BMW 225xe Active Tourer shares the BMW eDrive technology previously seen in the BMW X5 xDrive40e. Producing a total output of 224hp (a combination of the three-cylinder combustion engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, 136hp and an electric motor developing 88hp). The combustion engine sends its power to the front wheels via a six-speed Steptronic transmission and produces a peak torque of 220Nm but under heavy acceleration from rest and for overtaking manoeuvres, the power from the two drive systems combines to gives a peak torque of up to 385Nm. Its combined fuel consumption of 141.2mpg makes the 225xe one of the best in its class.
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BMW 225xe Active Tourer
The electrified xDrive system allows the driver to call on electrified all-wheel drive up to speeds of 125km/h. With the electric motor and combustion engine only driving one axle each, the electrically driven rear axle is added to the conventionally powered Active Tourer’s front-wheel drive, traction is increased and the BMW 225xe’s handling remains neutral for longer than the models with only front-wheel drive can claim. A further improvement in driving dynamics is the result.
As a PHEV, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer with eDrive can charge its lithium-ion high-voltage battery (gross capacity: 7.6 kWh) by either brake energy recuperation during a journey or when plugged into a domestic power socket (in three hours 15 minutes from empty) or the optional BMW i Wallbox (two hours 20 minutes from empty).
In addition to the BMW Driving Experience Control switch – with its SPORT, COMFORT and ECO PRO settings, familiar from other BMW models, the eDrive button in the centre 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 50mph. MAX eDRIVE allows the car to run on the electric drive system alone up to a speed of 125km/h. With SAVE BATTERY, the charge of the high-voltage battery can be maintained or, if it’s already depleted, raised to over 50 per cent during a journey so that the available electric range can be used later in urban areas, for example.
BMW ConnectedDrive is also on hand to help lower fuel consumption. 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.
The new BMW 225xe builds on the standard equipment of other 2 Series Active Tourer models, but with even greater specification and unique eDrive design elements. One example of this is eDrive Services which is offered as standard. This allows the driver to access various features of the vehicle remotely and also integrates features of the BMW Online system into the vehicle.
As already seen on the BMW i3, this feature allows customers to search for Charging Stations in the navigation screen, access charge settings to allow off-peak charging and pre-conditioning and view efficiency statistics from with the central iDrive screen and the instrument cluster. It also allows customers to access features of the vehicle remotely via an app on compatible smartphones, tablet devices or computers. This builds on the BMW My Remote app which allows drivers to check the charging status of their vehicle, set charging times and search for charging stations whilst on foot. It will also allow them to pre-condition the vehicle by heating or cooling the interior whilst it is on charge. Other features also as standard include BMW Business Navigation, automatic tailgate and Dakota leather upholsteries.
The BMW 225xe arrives in BMW retailers from April 2016 and prices start at £32,545 OTR*.
The BMW 3 Series Saloon has already set standards for sports performance and fuel economy in its segment using conventional combustion engines. And so it provides the perfect environment for an inspiringly dynamic yet also exceptionally efficient plug-in hybrid model. Key ingredients here are its intelligent lightweight design, outstanding aerodynamics for this class of car and the extensive spread of BMW EfficientDynamics technology fitted as standard.
The new BMW 330e Saloon offers a combined fuel consumption of 148.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 44g/km when it joins the range in 2016. Its state-of-the-art plug-in hybrid technology combines an 184hp 2.0-litre petrol engine with a 88hp equivalent electric motor. The combined output of 252hp and combined maximum torque of 420Nm give the BMW 330e Saloon a 0-62mph acceleration time of just 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 140mph.
The high-voltage battery, made up of lithium-ion cells, is located underneath the boot and boasts efficient refrigerant cooling including a highly integrated low-temperature circuit. The battery has a total capacity of 7.6 kWh, which enables an all-electric and therefore locally emission-free range of around 25 miles, perfect for city dwellers and commuters.
The integration of the high-voltage battery in the compartment under the boot gives the BMW 330e Saloon a level load compartment floor, while use of the optional through-loading system with 40:20:40 split rear seat backrests remains unrestricted. Together with its boot capacity of 370 litres, the new BMW 330e therefore offers all the everyday practicality of a conventionally powered BMW 3 Series Saloon.
Similarly to the BMW 225xe, with the 330e Saloon there is a choice of three driving modes: AUTOeDRIVE, MAX eDRIVE and SAVE BATTERY. With AUTO eDRIVE the top electric speed is limited to 50mph and ensures the combustion engine and electric motor work together to optimum effect in all driving situations. This mode is activated automatically as the default setting every time the car is started up. In MAX eDRIVE mode the BMW 330e Saloon uses the car’s electric power only, drawing on the electric drive system’s full output. A top speed of 75mph is possible. SAVE BATTERY mode only utilises the petrol combustion engine for driving and allows the battery’s energy stores to be deliberately maintained – or increased again if the charge level has dropped below 50 percent. This energy can then be used for pure-electric driving.
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BMW 330e Salooon
BMW ConnectedDrive works in tandem with the navigation system to allow even better use of the available electric energy. Here, the system assists the driver with proactive energy management and calculates an operating strategy which responds to the driving style and route profile at hand, ensuring the plug-in hybrid drive system is used as efficiently as possible.
Standard specification is extensive and includes sports multi-functional leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles, front and rear Park Distance Control and BMW eDrive services, allowing the driver to access various features of the vehicle remotely. In addition to this the 330e features LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights with the option to upgrade to LED headlights or BMW Icon Adaptive LED headlights. Business Navigation also comes as standard as does an extensive arrange of on-board technologies. BMW Online Services also come as standard, which allows the driver to purchase additional ConnectedDrive Service subscriptions such as Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI) and Online Entertainment via the on-board ConnectedDrive store.
These latest BMW PHEVs come after BMW launched the ground breaking i3 and i3 with Range Extender vehicles in 2013 and the PHEV powered BMW i8 sports car. By the end of 2016 there will be a total of non-conventional internal combustion powered vehicles in the BMW model range.