Geneva Motor Show: BMW Electrification Presses Fowward
Electrification Infects Most of the BMW Sedans & SUVs
The Geneva Motor Show has earned a tag this year that it’s all-electric. BMW has to take some of the credit/blame since it went way beyond introducing an electric vehicle; the Munich-based automaker introduced new electrified models, updates on current ones and essentially illustrated that its commitment to electrify its lineup was happening right now.
The portfolio BMW presented at Geneva included:
- a new BMW X3 xDrive30e plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant
- a new BMW 330e PHEV
- a new BMW X5 xDrive45e PHEV
- new electrified 7-Series PHEVs
- new batteries for the BMW 530e PHEVs
- new batteries for the BMW 225xe Active Tourer
BMW X3 xDrive30e PHEV
BMW announced a fully electric version of its compact SUV was coming next year, but the PHEV version will go on sales this year. It will mate a 252-horsepower (hp) TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder gas engine with a 41-hp electric motor to produce 0-62 mph acceleration of 6.5 seconds. The new lithium-ion batteries are under the rear seat so no luggage space is compromised when delivering 31 miles of all-electric range.
BMW 330e PHEV
The 330e is now in its second generation with a boost of battery power resulting in faster acceleration and longer all-electric range. Sharing the 252-hp four-cylinder powerplant with the X3, the 3-Series adds an XtraBoost feature capable to kicking in an extra 41 hp. With that, the 330e can hit 62 mph in about six seconds. Of course, BMW insists that none of the traditional exemplary handling characteristics of the 3-Series were sacrificed in its move to electrification or its ability to drive 37 miles on the battery alone.
BMW X5 xDrive45e PHEV
BMW’s first foray into electrification returns with a new generation that combines a longer electric range (just under 50 miles) with a powerful six-cylinder gas engine (394 total system hp). That combo will propel it from 0-62 in 5.6 seconds. Luggage space is only slightly less than the gas-only model and an almost 16-gallon fuel tank gives it an extensive range. Of course, its all-wheel drive as well for increased traction on-road and off.
BMW 745e PHEVs
We previewed this model recently in Clean Fleet Report, but Geneva was the public coming out party for the three plug-in variants of BMW’s flagship big sedan. The 745e, 745Le and 745Le xDrive all boast 0-62 mph performance in under 5.4 seconds while also offering 13-15 miles of all-electric range. The models’ electric motors are mated to a six-cylinder engines to produce 394 system hp as is found in the X5.
New Batteries for BMW 530e & 225xe Active Tourer
The new batteries featured in the four featured vehicles in Geneva will also find their way into the %-Series and 2-Series electrified models, boosting range and power while not taking up any more space. The BMW 530e and 530e xDrive sedans will see a 30 percent boost in all-electric range to 15-17 miles. The batteries pack grows from 9.2 to 12 kilowatt-hours (kWh).
The BMW 225xe Active Tourer is a model that hasn’t yet made it way to the U.S., but BMW should take a look at bringing over this wagonesque model, especially when it features a plug-in model capable of 15 miles of all-electric drive from its 9.7 kWh battery pack. It also features a hybrid-specific all-wheel drive system that could give top-line Subarus a run for their money.
BMW likes to tout its electric lineup, which in addition to the above models, includes the i3, i3s, i8 coupe and i8 roadster. They also have a plug-in X1 model built and sold only in China. For those who are counting, if you tally the variations and count the full-electric X3 coming next year, that makes 15 electrified models (and they like to include the Mini Countyrman PHEV since BMW owns Mini), well on the way to the 25 models the company has promised are coming. And this doesn’t included the recently previewed iNext full-electric models. BMW has thrown down its electric gauntlet
Related Stories You Might Enjoy—BMW’s Electric Path
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Road Test: 2018 BMW 530e xDrive
Interview: BMW’s Goal: 25 Electrified Cars by 2025
Road Test: 2017 BMW i3
Road Test: 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e
First Drive: 2015 BMW i8 Coupe