BMW’s current and forthcoming EV range is quite impressive, so it is a good idea to provide a more detailed summary than the page that is set aside for it under The Cars Menu item. The reason that I say EV is that, whilst the ‘regular’ cars are hybrid EVs, the i-range are range-extender battery EVs. All are plug-in.
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine develops 245bhp and 350Nm of torque. It operates synchronously with an electric motor that develops 113bhp and 250Nm of torque. The combined figures are not the sum, but are still impressive at 313bhp and 450Nm of torque.
The X5 operates in permanent four-wheel drive mode, even under all-electric power. With both power sources in use, it gets from 0 to 62mph in just 6.8 seconds, and goes on to a top speed of 130mph; the maximum speed in electric-only mode is still a motorway-bursting 75mph, thus being ideal for short motorway commutes.
The official combined fuel consumption is 86.6mpg, with Co2 emissions being quoted as 77g/km. Use the 85-litre fuel tank to full effect and long journeys see the economy drop to 25.7mpg, but then remember that this is a performance, luxury SUV. With this fuel consumption, expect a cruising range of up to 480 miles.
The BMW X5 XDrive40e is priced from £51,845 OTR, whilst at least £56,545 is required for the xDrive40e M Sport.
Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, two-zone air conditioning, front and rear PDC (Park Distance Control: helps to park the car), Xenon headlights, heated front seats and Real Time Traffic information.
225xe Active Tourer PHEV
On sale from March 2016, the new 225xe Active Tourer PHEV will be available in two trim levels, the £35,005 Sport and the £35,755 Luxury. While the government grant is still available the price will be reduced by £5,000.
The 225xe has a transversely mounted three-cylinder petrol engine up front, driving the front wheels. The electric motor powers the rear wheels, making for a hybrid-drive configuration. The petrol engine delivers 125hp and 220Nm, whereas the batteries deliver 88hp and 250Nm. Unlike the X5, the summations add up, with the combination delivering 224hp and 385Nm. These figures provide a 0 to 62mph time of 6.7 seconds and a tops speed of 126mph, limited to 78mph in electric-only mode.
The claimed combined fuel consumption is given as 141.2mpg; Co2 emissions figures are 46g/km. All this indicates a reasonable electric only range, probably of over 30 miles.
The engine is a 184hp, 290 Nm 2.0-litre petrol. The electric motor delivers 88hp and 250Nm. The combined delivery down to 252 hp and 420 Nm. This provides a 0 to 62mph acceleration time of 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 140mph, or 74mph in electric-only mode.
The official combined fuel consumption is 148.7mpg, with CO2 emissions being 44g/km. The electric-only range is slightly disappointing at approximately 25 miles.
740e and BMW 740Le xDrive
The 2.0 litre petrol engine and electric drive unit are integrated into the eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. The combined power output is 326hp, with 500lb ft of torque.
The 740e sprints from 0 to 62mph in 5.6 seconds, 0.1 seconds shy of the long-wheelbase, four-wheel drive 740Le xDrive. Both car’s maximum speeds are 149mph, or 75mph in electric-only mode. The economy and emissions lie in the favour of the shorter model, with the 740e’s official figures being 134.5mpg and 49g/km, against the 740Le xDrive’s 122.8mpg and 53g/km.
This car is included for completion, as it is a very popular and respected model. But it does not fulfil the criteria of this web site, as the mileage range is very restrictive. For this reason I have merely transferred the text that is already published on this web site and can be accessed from under The Cars Menu item.
As an electric car, the i3 has a range of only 100 miles tops. The range extender version is spoilt by having a fuel tank of only 9 litres, extending the total range by no more than another 100 miles. That’s the maximum you can get, at around town speeds. Get onto the motorways and the range will collapse. I can see BMW’s logic behind this poor range, which I believe is to deliberately reduce the customer interest and so reduce the sales. That way, any issues found will affect a much narrower set of buyers and so adverse comments will be reduced. I expect to see a much more sensible 25+ litre fuel tank in the next generation.
Again, text that is already published on this web site and can be accessed from under The Cars Menu item: As an over £100,000 super-sports car, this should not be expected to be a better every-day proposition than the i3. But it is. With a 23 mile electric-only range and a 30 litre fuel tank, this provides a sensible 200 mile range, whereas BMW claim 273.
This supercar has a 1.5 litre petrol engine that produces 231hp of power and 320Nm of torque. The electric motor delivers 96 kW of power and 250Nm torque. No combined figures are available.
The 0 to 62mph dash is completed in an acceptable 4.4 seconds, but the top speed is only 155mph, limited to 75mph in electric-only mode. This top-speed restriction is not expected on a supercar, but will protect the range, which is a claimed 273 miles. The official fuel consumption is given as 141mpg, while CO2 emissions are quoted as 49g/km.
Still on sale, this car cannot be plugged in and has a small battery pack; both these facts are demonstrated in the electric-only range of just two miles in optimum conditions and official economy of 44mpg. With a 600 mile range it appears to be a feasible car to own, but the real-world economy could see a real range of only half that! Furthermore, the handling and refinement is compromised.