The head of production for large vehicles at BMW, Peter Wolf, recently announced that in the future BMW will start offering plug-in hybrid electric versions of every model series they manufacture.
BMW already has hybrid versions of several of its vehicles, including the BMW ActiveHybrid 3, the BMW ActiveHybrid 5, and the BMW ActiveHybrid 7.
The German-based automaker is also slated to release two new electric vehicles in the next couple of years: the BMW i3 electric city car and the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. Both vehicles were unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, but they will be released at slightly different times. The BMW i3 is set for release in November of this year, and the i8 will be released in 2014 as a 2015 model year.
But BMW isn’t limiting their electric cars to the BMW i line.
“We are planning to have a plug-in hybrid in each and every model series,” Wolf said in an interview with motoring.com.au, an Australian company. “So far we have the 3, 5 and 7 Series as full hybrids, and at the other end of the bookshelf the i3 and i8. We are planning to work on that with the X5 eDrive, but at this stage, the plug-in is a completely new concept, and the battery is very specific [to the X5].”
As Wolf points out, BMW is planning to electrify the BMW X5 eDrive SAV after the company launches the i3 and the i8. Although Wolf couldn’t reveal details about when production for the X5 would begin, he did mention that BMW has already been working on moving in that direction, and that the company is “very far [along], but it’s not part of next year.”
The X5 eDrive concept was first unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt International Motor Show, along with the i3 and the i8, but officially launched towards the end of September in Australia.
Pictured above is the BMW X5. A plug-in version of the X5, the X5 eDrive, should be available in upcoming years. Credit: BMW.
The X5 eDrive SAV combines a turbo-charged four-cylinder combustion engine with a 70 kW/95 horsepower electric motor. The vehicle can operate in three modes: a Save Battery mode that allows the vehicle to run solely on engine-power, an all-electric mode, and a hybrid mode.
According to BMW, when the X5 eDrive is operating in all-electric mode, it has a range of up to 19 miles and accelerate from 0-62 mph in under seven seconds on electric power alone. In addition, it can manage about 62 miles per gallon in hybrid mode.
How do the fuel efficiency ratings and emissions stack up?
BMW claims that the fuel economy of the new plug-in could be above 60 mph. The emissions are comparable to the Toyota Prius, at under 90 grams per kilometer.
BMW’s plans for electrifying their entire car line comes at an opportune moment: multiple automakers have made announcements in the last couple of months signaling their increasing interest in hybrid, electric, and other alternative fuel vehicles.