BMW just released information on their new 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype this past week and now they will deploy a new generation of plug-in hybrids across their core-brand models. BMW is preparing to follow up the BMW i models with an entire lineup of of plug-in hybrids in the near future. The German automaker will present a BMW 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype in Miramas, France along with a new generation of hybrid vehicle concepts incorporating technology already used in BMW i3 and i8 models.
Like the new 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype, these new BMW vehicles will be powered by BMW’s TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder gas engine that has been voted “International Engine of the Year.” The gas engine will be mated to an electric motor and power electronics which are directly based on the BMW eDrive technology of the BMW i3 and BMW i8 models. The plug-in hybrid drive system has a combined output of 245 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
The plug-in hybrid models presented in Miramas will be powered by a lithium-ion battery, which combines a battery management system and high-efficiency direct cooling system. It uses the same technology that’s based on the BMW eDrive technology of the BMW i3 and BMW i8 models. The battery can be recharged at any household power outlet and is mounted underneath the load compartment in a crash-safe location.
How soon will BMW do this?
BMW says they can now move rapidly to deploy plug-in hybrid technology across the brands model range. The new eDrive technologies and components are being developed in-house, and from next year they will all be built at the BMW plant in Dingolfing. BMW says the project will create over 200 new jobs around electro-mobility at the BMW plant in Dingolfing and they are pouring “tens of millions of euros” into the plant over the next five years.
BMW’s competitive edge
“Our accumulated expertise guarantees us a competitive edge,” stated Harald Krüger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Production. “This can be seen not only in the performance data of the BMW electric motors but also in our highly efficient production process.”
BMW is ramping up development
BMW is going to use a multi-track approach in their vehicles by making their already efficient combustion engines even more economical and employing the same all-electric technology in the new i3. In the long term, BMW says they could also combine electric mobility with hydrogen fuel cell technology as a viable option.
BMW says they will keep their core value of dynamic performance in their vehicles while at the same time offering everyday practicality and maximum long-distance capability. In the future, these vehicles will include much more powerful electric motors and batteries with twice the capacity of present versions. The plug-in hybrid technology will be a key lever for the BMW core-brand lineup in the future and it starts with the BMW 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype. If anyone can combine dynamic performance and fuel-efficiency for their core-brand lineup, BMW will pull it off.