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BMW to roll out plug-in hybrids across range

Electric dreams: BMW has announced it will produce a new-generation of plug-in hybrids for its core models with 3 Series and X5 versions expected to go on sale in Europe in 2015.

'i' car technology to be deployed to all of BMW’s key models

3 Dec 2014

BMW has announced it will produce plug-in hybrid variants of its core models, including the 3 Series, using technology from its 'i' sub-brand of eco-friendly vehicles.

The German car-maker said it will display a prototype 3 Series plug-in, along with a host of concept vehicles showcasing the new technology, at its Miramas facility in France this week.

The hybrid technology developed for its all-electric plug-in i3 city car and i8 supercar was so flexible it could be rolled out rapidly to the rest of its range, according to the luxury car-maker.

BMW AG member of the the board of management Herbert Diess said all models will benefit from the experience and know-how gained from its i cars.

“The fundamental technology involved in battery cells, electric motors and the power electronics will be used in our upcoming plug-in hybrid models,” he said.

“When it comes to the electrification of the drivetrain, we are deliberately developing a wide-ranging expertise in order to offer our customers worldwide the ideal solution.”

The BMW 3 Series prototype combines a four-cylinder turbo-petrol combustion engine with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery based on the eDrive systems of the i3 and i8.

While the electrified 3 Series is expected to go on sale in Europe in the final quarter of 2015, it will be beaten to the market by BMW’s X5 eDrive plug-in hybrid SUV which uses the same technology. The plug-in X5 made its debut in production form at the Paris motor show this year.

BMW already offers petrol-electric hybrid versions of its 3, 5 and 7 Series in Australia, but they pre-date the i cars which use new-generation technology and are not plug-in chargeable.

The ActiveHybrid 3 was the first BMW hybrid on sale in Australia, arriving at the start of 2013. Priced from $100,200, plus on-road costs it is powered by a 210kW/400Nm six-cylinder turbo-petrol engine combined with a 40kW/50Nm electric motor.

BMW claims an average combined fuel consumption of 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres.

The ActiveHybrid 5 retails from $120,400, while the hybridised 7 Series starts at $223,100 and rises to $238,100 in long-wheelbase guise.

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