FAQ: THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON OUR BMW PLUG-IN HYBRIDS.
What is a plug-in hybrid?
A plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) combines a petrol engine, an electric engine and a high-voltage battery – and thus offers the best of two worlds. This allows a reduction in fuel consumption as well as CO2 emissions. Interaction between the two systems also offers additional performance and acceleration power.
As its name suggests, a plug-in hybrid can be charged from a socket, a wallbox or at a public charging station. The maximum efficiency of a plug-in hybrid is achieved with a fully charged battery; which means that a charging facility should be available at home and at the workplace.
The electric range for purely electric driving with fully charged battery in the case of a BMW 530e, for example, extends up to 54 kilometres. As is the case with all vehicles that have a high-voltage battery, technological advances will also see the electric range increase further in the coming years. During recuperation, that means whenever you lift your foot from the accelerator pedal, kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy and fed into the battery – and as a result you gain further kilometres for the electric range.
As part of its “Power of Choice” strategy, BMW is offering its customers a large selection of plug-in hybrids as a conscious decision in favour of this particularly efficient drive system.
A plug-in hybrid is ideal for drivers seeking the greatest possible versatility: on the one hand, it provides an electric drive for everyday use, such as the cost-optimised and sustainable commute to the office. Optimum use comes with regularly recurring medium-distance commutes, in which the electrically driven kilometres predominate. On the other hand, the vehicles offer maximum range and flexibility for long distances such as for the weekend excursion with the family.
What advantages does a plug-in hybrid offer?
Among the benefits for the driver of a plug-in hybrid are an almost silent driving experience in purely electric mode and additional acceleration power from the electric engine.
Many plug-in hybrid owners already manage to cover the majority of their routes electrically. After all, daily distances travelled are frequently less than 50 kilometres. Depending on the individual electricity tariff, this already results in significant savings compared with a classical combustion-engine vehicle. And there is no need at all to sacrifice the convenience of the latter’s range with a plug-in hybrid. If the battery charge or capacity is insufficient, the combustion engine is switched on automatically to meet the need.
There are also country-specific financial benefits for this category of vehicle: directly through subsidies for electric vehicles and indirectly through favourable taxes thanks to the lower CO2 emissions.
What should I look out for when charging my plug-in hybrid?
As its name suggests, a plug-in hybrid can be charged from a socket, a Wallbox or at a public charging station. When you are on the road, you need the charging cable for public charging (mode 3), which is included as standard. The maximum efficiency of a plug-in hybrid is achieved with a fully charged battery; which means that a charging facility should be available at home and at the workplace. Charge your BMW plug-in hybrid as often as possible so that you can always make full use of the additional electric drive.
What factors affect the performance of the high-voltage battery in my plug-in hybrid?
One important external factor influencing the performance and capacity of a battery is the temperature. As you probably know from your mobile phone battery, the performance is restricted in cold and hot temperatures. This is why it is important, especially in winter, to “precondition” the vehicle during the charging operation – in other words, to heat the battery and interior. Or to cool them down in summer. This not only saves you energy for the journey but means that, with an optimally temperature-conditioned battery, you have an added measure of efficiency from the outset. Optimised operating strategies in your vehicle also minimise the influences of temperature to a large extent. And did you know that the capacity of the battery also yields information on your available range? Apart from temperature, other factors affecting the range are devices, such as the air conditioning, the load carried and your driving style.
What do I have to look out for if my plug-in hybrid is left standing still or parked for a lengthy period of time?
If you don’t plan to use your vehicle for a longer period of time, such as during a holiday, there are various ways to positively effect the lifespan of your battery. Whenever possible, maintain a charge of between 30 and 50 per cent and park your vehicle in a cool place or in the shade during summer months and keep it in a garage in the winter. In addition, the vehicle should not be plugged in for charging if you leave it parked for a long period of time.
How do I get the best out of my plug-in hybrid?
In your BMW plug-in hybrid, anticipatory hybrid operation helps you reach your destination efficiently with active destination guidance. So use the active guidance function even if you already know the way. So use the active guidance function even if you already know the way. The use of available electrical energy can be distributed intelligently and optimally according to your route, allowing you to drive electrically in town and in the destination area. In a plug-in hybrid, the familiar BMW driving modes are also extended by the HYBRID ECO PRO driving mode. This optimises the efficiency of drive, comfort, light and air conditioning functions. The Forward View Assistant is a special feature of this mode. It shows you situational tips for more efficient driving in the Head-Up Display or the instrument combination in your field of vision - for example, it recommends taking your foot off the accelerator if a speed limit is imminent. Another helpful function is the Driving Style Analysis, which analyses the efficiency of your driving style in the vehicle menu and provides helpful tips for even more efficient driving. In newer BMW vehicles with hybrid drive (e.g. BMW X5 xDrive45e), adaptive recuperation also supports you when you release the accelerator pedal. With the help of an intelligent and situation-adaptive control system, the vehicle decides independently between sailing or recuperation. Whether the vehicle is in front, speed limits, roundabouts, turns or built-up areas - the system optimally adapts the level of deceleration to the traffic situation. As a result, brake pedal actuations can be reduced and driving comfort increased - and all this in an efficient way.
No matter where you are and what you plan to do with your BMW electric vehicle or BMW plug-in hybrid & the charging solutions from BMW Charging keep every avenue open with numerous tailor-made offers for charging at home, on the road, and at work.