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Plug-in BMWs arriving soon

Plugged in: Two new plug-in hybrids will be added to BMW Australia's roster this year including the X5 xDrive40e.

BMW expands its electric showroom Down Under with more plug-ins on the way

29 Jan 2016

BMW has plugged itself in to rolling out a comprehensive electric-car portfolio that starts this year with two hybrids and a distinct change to dealership showrooms.

The X5 xDrive40e and 3 Series-based 330e will be the next BMW plug-in hybrids for Australia, following the existing i8 and i3 REX, when they arrive in the second quarter of this year.

But they are likely to be joined by two more in 2017, including a 7 Series variant and a plug-in version of the 2 Series Active Tourer.

BMW Australia managing director Marc-Heinrich Werner said the decision to offer hybrids was part of his company’s global electrification program and was sparked by a series of customer focus groups in Australia.

“We have done some product clinics and customer clinics before we decided to launch these products on to the Australian market,” he said.

“The initial response was so overwhelming that we decided that, yes, we would go ahead and launch this to the Australian consumer.”

Mr Werner said initially there would be two plug-in hybrid cars, but that number would to grow.

“However the strategy of the BMW group is to move ahead with the electrification of the entire product portfolio so there will be further products to come.

“Coming in the second quarter of this year is the 40e (X5) and the same time, the 30e (3 Series).

“We will use these cars as the opportunity to further expand the i technology into our dealer network and the make a distinction on the showroom floor.

“The i range (i3 and i8) and the plug-in hybrids have the same technology so they will have their own place in the showroom.”

Mr Werner indicated that two more plug-in hybrid models would follow but would not give a time.

He also said BMW would not confirm the development of a third i model, rumoured to be the crossover i6, and said there was no expected launch date.

“There is nothing we can confirm. There is a lot of speculation about new models.

“When we see some more room for another i-car then we will expand the electrification program.”

BMW launched the i3 in late 2014 and the $299,000 i8 sports coupe in early 2015.

Sales of the i3 in 2015 totaled 150, while the i8 last year found 61 buyers.

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