What is a BMW Plug-in Hybrid?

22/06/2021

What is a BMW Plug-in Hybrid?

22/06/2021

What is a plug-in hybrid car (PHEV)?

A plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) has a combustion engine and an electric motor that can be recharged via a cable. Both are able to propel the vehicle independently or in combination.

How does a plug-in hybrid work?

Plug-in Hybrid vehicles combine a conventional combustion engine with an electric motor. Intelligent interplay between the two enables a saving in fuel to be achieved, lowers exhaust emissions and provides an exceptional driving sensation. On journeys up to approx. 30mph, a plug-in hybrid generally runs on pure electric power provided it makes sense, such as in urban areas. For maximum efficiency in different driving situations, such as longer journeys or rapid acceleration, it uses the combined power of the electric motor and combustion engine. If the battery which powers the electric motor has no charge, the vehicle will solely use the combustion engine.

What is the (electric) range of a plug-in hybrid vehicle?

The electric range of a plug-in hybrid vehicle depends on the size of the battery. In the case of BMW, the maximum electric range is between 26 and 54 miles*, depending on the model. The overall range through the combination with the combustion engine is of course significantly higher.

 

*These figures may not reflect real life driving results, which will depend upon a number of factors including the starting charge of the battery, accessories fitted (post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load. Figures shown are for comparability purposes. Only compare fuel consumption, CO2 and electric range figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. Plug in hybrid vehicles require mains electricity for charging.

How is a plug-in hybrid vehicle charged?

Using a standard charging cable, plug-in hybrid vehicles can be charged from a conventional 3-pin socket. For a faster charge, you can also use a charging station or a wallbox. The BP Pulse wallbox is equipped with its own charging cable. For public charging stations, you need what is known as a “public AC charging cable” with the “Type 2” plug on both ends, this is included as standard on all BMW plug-in hybrid models from April 2020. A further method of charging is through the use of high-power charging (HPC) stations, such as those of IONITY. Often known as ‘rapid charging’, at present these stations are only compatible with what are known as CCS plugs, which currently are not compatible with BMW plug-in hybrids. In addition, a plug-in hybrid can also obtain part of its charge via recuperation.

Can a plug-in hybrid be charged during its journey?

Yes, it can. A BMW plug-in hybrid can regain part of its energy when braking (recuperation). Whilst the most efficient way to charge your plug-in hybrid is at home or from a charging point, charging can also take place during the journey with the function known as Battery Control Mode. This mode maintains the charge of the high-voltage battery constantly at the desired level or increases it to the preset value, by having the electric motor function as a generator. In this way, for example, it is possible to use Battery Control Mode during a motorway journey to protect or even increase the electric power reserves so that a subsequent urban route can be covered without any local emissions.

 

How do the ranges differ between plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric cars?

A plug-in hybrid vehicle has a lower electric range than an electric car but a greater overall range. Assuming the vehicle is sufficiently charged, the purely electric range of BMW plug-in hybrids lies between approx. 26 and 54 miles*, depending on the model. For most everyday users, this is entirely sufficient when the range from the combustion engine is added. The purely electric range of the BMW i3 currently extends up to 188 miles, an everyday range that will be increased up to 282 miles^ with the BMW iX3.

*These figures may not reflect real life driving results, which will depend upon a number of factors including the starting charge of the battery, accessories fitted (post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load. Figures shown are for comparability purposes. Only compare fuel consumption, CO2 and electric range figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. Plug in hybrid vehicles require mains electricity for charging.

^ Subject to driving conditions: the starting charge of the battery, accessories fitted (post registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load. They were obtained after the battery had been fully charged.

Do I have to select petrol or electric mode?

New BMW plug-in hybrids come with Anticipatory hybrid mode. Using BMW Navigation with Real Time Traffic Information, it automatically selects the optimum power source depending on the journey and the traffic conditions. However, drivers can change this manually using the eDrive buttons on the centre console.

Will a plug-in hybrid save me money?

Plug-in hybrid vehicles offer cost savings when it comes to recharging (in comparison to refueling), but this depends on energy tariffs and through Benefit in Kind (BIK) rates. For example, the X5 xDrive45e qualifies for the new 7% threshold BIK rate, which comes into effect in April 2021. However, there are various costs involved with car ownership, maintenance, and purchase (Plug-in Hybrids tend to be higher in cost compared to the equivalent Internal Combustion Engines models) – so any cost savings do depend on the use of the vehicle.

Are plug-in hybrids available in M Sport trim?

Yes, BMW plug-in hybrid models are available in M Sport trim.

Where can I charge an electric or plug-in hybrid car?

Where can I charge an electric or plug-in hybrid car?

Your electric or plug-in hybrid car can be charged wherever you have access to power – whether at home or at the workplace, from a conventional socket or with the bp pulse wallbox for faster charging. When you are travelling, with BMW Charging you'll have simple access to an expanding superregional network of public AC Fast charging stations from providers such as bp pulse, or high-power DC Rapid charging stations, such as those from IONITY.

What apps are there to help with electric driving?

What apps are there to help with electric driving?

Using the My BMW app* on your smartphone you can check the current charging status and available range of your BMW electric car. To get detailed information on the availability of public charging infrastructure, simply display the public charging stations via the My BMW app* or the vehicle navigation system. *This requires the ConnectedDrive Services option and a compatible smartphone. The availability and functions of the My BMW app depend on the vehicle model and may vary according to the market. You will find detailed information at www.bmw.co.uk

WHAT CONCERNS MAY A CUSTOMER HAVE ABOUT GOING ELECTRIC?

Despite all the advancements in electric car technology, there is still a (small) section of society that have certain anxieties you may need to address.

 

Here are some of the more common ones:

 

Electric cars don’t have a long enough range.

The days when electric cars had to stop to recharge every 60 miles are long gone. Real world driving range of the BMW i3 today is around 160 miles – much more than the needs of the average driver.

 

It takes forever to charge an electric car.

It doesn’t. Sure, if you plug it into a domestic power outlet with a completely empty battery, it might need to be left overnight to fully recharge. But if you use a DC Rapid Charger, which can be found on almost all key routes across the UK, you could get enough charge in just 20 minutes.

 

The UK infrastructure isn’t there to support electric cars.

Again, not true. There are now more charging points than petrol stations in the UK and this is increasing all the time. There are rapid chargers across most key routes in the UK charging at either 50kw or up to 150kw/h.

 

Batteries are an electric car’s achilles heel.

BMW guarantees its batteries for up to eight years or 100,000 miles. That is far longer than any typical person owns any car, electric or not. In truth, batteries should not be viewed more or less critically than the drive units of conventional cars. This extended warranty on the battery shows the confidence in the battery technology.

 

Electric cars are too expensive compared to combustion engine vehicles.

The initial cost of an electric car may indeed be higher. But maintenance and operation costs are significantly lower. And over time, the savings you make from charging as opposed to fuel and everyday running costs really add up.

           

This is just a handful of the misconceptions that often pervade the public consciousness. It’s our job to continue our brilliant work with BMW Electric and share what makes our cars great with the world.

What is a Mild Hybrid?
Mild hybrid vehicles – also known as 48-volt hybrids or MHEVs (mild hybrid electric vehicles) – have an electric motor that assists the combustion engine. 

First off, the electric motor kicks in when there is increased demand on the engine and can boost the engine's power during acceleration. A noticeable surge of performance for those behind the wheel…

Next, they don’t need plugging in. Mild hybrid batteries are charged exclusively by regenerative breaking. So, your customer won’t need to install a Wallbox.

And finally, they reduce fuel consumption, extending how long your car can travel before it needs refilling.
So, less money spent at the petrol station and lower emissions while on the road with battery powered vehicles.

However, as the batteries in mild hybrids are not capable of powering the car on their own, these vehicles do not benefit from the incentives currently offered for electric vehicles.
Mild Hybrid Models

Mild Hybrid Models

Many of our models are now defined as MildHybrids, with models such as the new BMW 4 Series, X3 and 3 Series models amongst some of our Mil Hybrids. Explore our range here:

INTRODUCING THE BMW iX3 PREMIER EDITION.

BMW has long been at the forefront of electric innovation, with a heritage that can be traced all the way back to 1972 and the cars that ran cameras at the Munich Olympic Games. 

In 2021 we start the next chapter in our outstanding story. Introducing the BMW iX3 Premier Edition, our first all-electric Sports Activity Vehicle.

The BMW iX3 Premier Edition is set to launch in July 2021 and, being the first fully electric SAV, its arrival is a significant milestone in the BMW electric offering. With all the functionality of an SAV, the iX3 will deliver up to 282 miles on one electric charge, appealing greatly to those who want to make the change to electric without compromising on practicality or the driving experience.  
 
Comfort and connectivity are taken to new heights thanks to the state-of-the-art BMW Driving Assistant Professional – included as standard – as well as cutting-edge additions like BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant and Parking Assistant Plus.
 
And then there’s the drive itself. Enhancements to the eDrive system bring the electric motor, electronic systems and transmission into one central unit, which boosts the power-to-weight ratio and optimises dynamics. The result? Smooth, uninterrupted acceleration and an electric drive that has never felt so natural. 

The BMW iX3 marks an exciting chapter for BMW i and will generate intrigue and interest in the brand generally. It will predominantly appeal to a business audience, who will enjoy significant tax benefits (a 1% BIK for 2021/22) as well as SAV functionality.

Powerful. Elegant. Efficient. Everything about the BMW iX3 Premier Edition feels like the future of driving.
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