BMW is set to launch the first plug-in hybrid version of its four-wheel-drive X3 model in mid-2020, providing an electric-only range of up to 55km that BMW believes will be sufficient to allow for emissions-free day-to-day commuting.
The BMW X3 hybrid model will integrate a 135kW combustion engine alongside a 80kW electric drive motor, delivering a combined 215kW of power and 420Nm of torque, with BMW aiming to make the vehicle available from Q2 2020.
While the electric range of 55km is small compared to all-electric alternatives, BWM believes this could provide sufficient range for day-to-day commuting, allowing owners to do most of their driving in the emissions-free all-electric mode.
“With the introduction of the new X3 xDrive30e we are providing the power of choice for our customers where they can choose the powertrain that perfectly suits their needs, from either diesel, petrol, fully electric or in this case, plug-in hybrid,” BMW Group Australia CEO Vikram Pawah said
“The BMW plug-in hybrid system provides an excellent solution at a time when Australia is still finding its feet with charging infrastructure as it can run on both electric and efficient turbo petrol power.”
The PHEV BMW X3 will be able to charge its 12kWh battery pack with a conventional household socket in less than six hours. This charging time can be reduced to around three and a half hours using BMW’s i Wallbox charging system.
The electric drivetrain will be paired with a turbocharged 2.0 litre four-cylinder combustion engine, that will deliver an additional 135kW of power and allowing the PHEV X3 to achieve take-off acceleration of 0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds.
The vehicle will actively control the mix of power being sourced from the electric motor and combustion engine to optimise fuel efficiency and deliver strong acceleration and torque when needed.
BMW sees the launch of a plug-in hybrid X3 as providing an effective compromise solution, while additional charging infrastructure continues to be installed in Australia.
“Launch of the new BMW X3 xDrive30e further underlines the BMW Group strategy of consistently pursuing not only the electrification of its drive portfolio but also a product strategy geared towards the diverse needs of its customers,” BMW said in a statement.
By offering the hybrid version of the X3, BMW has been able to develop a luxury four-wheel-drive model with an average fuel consumption of between 2.1 and 2.4 L/100km.
This delivers an average emissions footprint of 49 to 54 grams per kilometre.
BMW will include an ‘acoustic pedestrian protection’ system with the vehicle, that will produce a ‘specifically designed’ sound when the vehicle is in its all-electric mode at low speeds, to warn pedestrians and other road users of the oncoming car.
The 2020 plug-in hybrid model of the X3 will be the BMW’s seventh plug-in hybrid model available in the Australian market, while also offering the all-electric BMW i3 hatchback.
You can check out TheDriven’s review of the BMW i3 hatch by clicking here.
Michael Mazengarb is a journalist with RenewEconomy, based in Sydney. Before joining RenewEconomy, Michael worked in the renewable energy sector for more than a decade.