How does a BMW plug-in hybrid work?


How does a BMW plug-in hybrid work?

A BMW PHEV or Plug-in hybrid is a vehicle equipped with a combination of a standard internal combustion engine running, and an electric motor that’s powered by lithium-ion batteries. The two systems work in unison, in order to optimize your road experience and increase fuel efficiency and mpg.

All you need to know about BMW plug-in hybrids

Regardless of the model, type or segment, the aim of BMW vehicles is to give their owners the highest possible level of sheer driving pleasure.

As of 2021, there are eight BMW plug-in hybrids that can fit any taste and needs. BMW delivers a wide range of PHEV (Plug-in hybrid vehicles), starting with the BMW 3 Series, and going all the way through the 5 Series and 7 Series.

The electricity of the car is stored in a battery for later use. This battery can be charged by the distance covered while driving, and by stopping at a charge station or at home with special equipment.

BMW also has the option for a plug-in hybrid version of SUVs like the X3, X5 or X7. All models are similar regarding the functionality and duality of their motors and batteries.

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BMW PHEV Electric range

All of the BMW plug-in hybrids are equipped with a separate electrical motor and a standard combustion engine. The combustion engine usually has a gasoline or a diesel tank that’s bigger than 50 liters.

The electric motor allows for a distance between 25 and 50 miles to be covered on electricity alone. Although, this might not be very impressive, if you remain at speeds of 30 miles per hour or slower, you won’t need any fuel to run the car.

These slow speeds are usually is the part where you waste most fuel. This helps to make an electric BMW hybrid very fuel-efficient.

Fully electric BMW vehicles like i3 have a range of 188 miles, and BMW has also announced the BMW iX which is designed to have an electric range of 370 miles. But for now, we have to stick to the models that exist, like the BMW 330e or the 530e.

BMW Plug-in hybrid electric batteries

The batteries of BMW electric hybrid vehicles are not replaceable. Meaning, if you get a smaller battery, you cannot upgrade at a later time to a larger one. The warranty of all BMW batteries is up to 100,000 miles or a period of eight years. (Whichever expires or is exhausted first).

How long does a BMW hybrid take to charge?

The battery usually takes 3 to 5 hours to fully charge if you are using a BP Pulse wall box. You can also charge it in under 40 minutes at a 50kW Rapid charging station (DC). You can find one of these at various gas stations and other locations.

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Typically, the cables and technology used to charge the car greatly alter the time you need to wait. For example, AC (Alternating current) takes a lot longer to charge than DC (Direct current), which is quite a bit faster.

BMW plug-in hybrids also recharge their batteries while driving. This process is called electric recuperation. Of course, the most efficient way to charge your car remains at home or at a charging point. However, with the Battery Control mode, you can reprogram your motor to work as a generator.

Benefits of having a BMW plug-in hybrid

Smart power allocation

All BMW plug-in hybrids are equipped with an Anticipatory hybrid mode that anticipates driving conditions, traffic and routing. Based on calculations, it chooses the most optimal power source (Electric, fuel, or combined).

Of course, you can also get full manual control with an eDrive button, which is located on the central console of your vehicle.

BMW plug-in hybrids could save you money

If you drive a lot in city traffic, the BMW hybrid vehicle will eventually lead to cutting your fuel costs. While hybrid vehicles are a lot more expensive than a standard BMW of the same class, they also greatly increase mpg. Some states and countries even charge fewer ownership taxes for the use of green hybrid or electric vehicles.

Low emissions

Electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles have the lowest possible levels of emissions.

Bigger range

The duality of an internal combustion engine with a gasoline tank and an electric motor with batteries means that your car can cover a larger distance without being charged or refueled than it normally would if it were running on fuel alone.

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Common questions

Are the plug-in hybrid BMW cars available with M sports trims?

BMW offers M sports trims for all plug-in hybrids. The M sports trim is a BMW upgrade package named after the Motorsport department of the company. This is not to be confused with the entirely different car series – the BMW M series, which includes the M3, M5, and M8

Are range extenders available for BMW plug-in hybrids?

Range extenders are devices that are a gasoline-powered generators that produces electricity. So far, BMW only allows you to purchase a range extender for the i3 model at this point. It is used when the charge of your vehicle is running low and allows you to get to the nearest charging station.

Do BMW plug-in hybrids perform differently in different conditions?

The most important external factor for the proper functioning of the lithium-ion battery is temperature. If the temperature is too cold, then much like a mobile phone battery, it tends to deliver restricted performance. This would mean that, in colder temperatures, you might not be able to reach as far as you normally would on electricity alone.

What else could affect the range of your plug-in hybrid BMW?

There are many factors that can affect the electric range of your hybrid BMW. In addition to the outside temperature, your driving style could also influence the range of your car. Other factors that might also influence the performance of your plug-in hybrid BMW’s range include road topography, the overall load of the car, and whether you are charging anything inside the car.

How does a BMW plug-in hybrid work?

Dan Gurbalov

Why do you love cars? I love the sound of most gasoline engines. I love the smell too.

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