Plug-in Hybrids provide the best of both the worlds – the option of an electric-only drive that is externally chargeable, and when you run out of range, the regular IC engine cuts in. But the electric range provided by manufacturers is very less and one cannot solely rely on it. While studies show most of the daily commutes for an average person around town is barely over 20 miles, anything further one has to switch to the regular engine.
The plug-in hybrid is a bridge for customers to buy electric vehicles. As more customers are acquiring an electrified car for the first time, some feel that they would first have to experience the technology and its advantages and find out how much electric range they really need or how frequently or where they charge best. In BMW’s case there is also the eDrive Zones geo-fencing technology that is designed to automatically recognise environmental zones and switch to purely electric driving mode. The PHEV is able to fully utilize its consumption advantages in the city.
The recently launched 2021 BMW 530e boasts the longest electric range for a BMW PHEV, delivering up to 67 km of pure EV range. Turns out, BMW is already working to increase that number much higher.
Pieter Nota, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG in an interview has confirmed that future BMW Plug-in Hybrid models would offer up to 100 kilometres of electric range and that the company has already started working towards the goal. He also mentions that by the end of this year, BMW will have up to 12 basic plug-in hybrid models available.
To have a longer electric range, PHEVs will have to employ larger battery packs which would make a car like a 3 or 4 Series heavier and more expensive. So not all of the upcoming range of BMW PHEVs will deliver 100 km EV range. The BMW 7 Series has been the flagship model for BMW and the upcoming BMW 7 Series in 2022 will come in two electrified models – a plug-in hybrid (unconfirmed) and a fully electric model (confirmed). BMW could be looking to launch the BMW 750e as a plug-in hybrid model powered by a 3.0-litre V6 engine and an electric motor to produce a combined output of over 500 hp. Since we expect this to have the biggest battery pack for a BMW hybrid car, it could essentially offer (for the first time) 100 km of EV range before smaller models acquire this specification.
By 2023, BMW would have a total of 25 electrified models at the dealerships and over 50 per cent of them will be fully electric such as the BMW i4, BMW iNext and the BMW iX3. Electrified vehicles will account for between 15 and 25 per cent of BMW’s global sales before 2025, the company expects.
Featured image: BMW’s official teaser of the newly-introduced 5 Series LCI.