Future BMW plug-ins could offer hugely improved electric range.
Plug-in hybrids are the perfect solution for many an environmentally conscious commuter, offering enough pure-electric driving range for most trips, paired with an internal combustion engine that's ready to take over on longer excursions or when the driver doesn't have a chance to plug in.
Of course, with Watts generally being cheaper per mile than petrol, more electric driving range is always better, and BMW says it's working toward delivering up to 100 km - roughly 62 miles - of battery-only propulsion in some plug-in hybrids. That would give the Bavarian automaker among the highest electric driving ranges in the PHEV segment, delivering more than double the range of today's Toyota Prius Prime.
That figure comes straight from BMW AG's Pieter Nota, Member of the Board of Management, who told BMW Blog in a recent interview that the automaker is "of course continuing to develop the drive system and will offer up to 100 kilometers of electric range in the future, depending on the segment." By the end of the year, he says, BMW and its brands will have "12 basic plug-in-hybrid models available, including the new MINI Countryman and the BMW X2", while we've also just seen the unveiling of the BMW X5 Plug-In Hybrid.
Why the push? Nota says that electrified vehicles, already big business for the BMW group, are on the rise.
"Electrified vehicles will account for between 15 and 25% of BMW's global sales before 2025," he says, referring to the global market. The situation is even more accelerated in Europe, where electrified vehicles are expected to reach a quarter by 2021, "a third by 2025 and half by 2030."
As of right now, the farthest-traveling plug-in hybrids in the BMW stable can travel around an estimated 40 miles on battery power alone. While that's enough for the average commuter, a 62-mile electric PHEV range would deliver enough juice to allow even more buyers to skip the pump on their way to and from work.