By on December 2, 2014

BMW 3 Series PHEV platform prototype

BMW’s i Series is lending its technology to the automaker’s core portfolio, spurring a new generation of PHEVs in so doing.

The automaker introduced the prototype for the 3 Series PHEV in France, which pairs a four-cylinder gasoline engine — based on the TwinPower Turbo mill — with an electric motor, both of which are linked to BMW’s eDrive technology found in the i3 and i8.

Beyond the 3 Series PHEV, BMW plans to deploy eDrive among the rest of range, with the aim of having PHEVs handle long-distance travel while pure electrics — and possibly hydrogen down the road — deal with urban mobility requirements. The system will also help the Bavarians deliver high-performance models whose emissions fall under 100 g/km of CO2, with future PHEVs models expected to provide 100 kilometers of range in full-electric mode, 20 kWh of capacity in their lithium-ion packs, and a combined power rating of 500 kW.

From 2015 forward, the eDrive system will be assembled in the automaker’s plant in Dingolfling, creating 200 jobs surrounding the technology, with “many tens of millions of euros” invested into the plant over the next five years.

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15 Comments on “BMW Unveils 3 Series PHEV Prototype, Plans For Future PHEVs...”

  • avatar

    I’m not even going to bother to say who should have debuted a mainstream luxury PHEV first. HINT, THEY MADE AND ARE SELLING THE FIRST MAINSTEAM PHEV ALREADY.

    People always talk about second tier brands “fighting with the Germans”. You don’t do that with Brembo brakes and Ring tuning, in 2014. You do it by staying either with or ahead of the curve, as they have for most of the last 4 decades.

    This is interesting news, but I am scared it will push the weight of something like a 335i above 4,000lbs, which is not very good. I guess it is what it is for controlling emissions and delivering performance though.

    • 0 avatar

      I sincerely hope you are not suggesting that Toyota should be the one, since the PIP is a huge joke. It can’t really function as an EV, it is more of a NEV when in EV mode. You have to be very careful on how fast you want to accelerate or it will fire up the ICE. Once the ICE is fired up then it must continue to run until it either reaches a minimum operating temp or until you turn the vehicle off. It also has a max speed in that EV mode that means in a lot of areas going on the freeway will require assistance from the ICE. Its EV range is also very poor considering the acceleration and speed limits.

    • 0 avatar

      I certainly hope you aren’t implying that Toyota/Lexus should be the one to introduce a luxury PHEV. The PIP is a bad joke. The EV range is down right pitiful and it is more of a NEV mode than a true EV mode. Want to accelerate quickly? If yes then the ICE will get involved and once it starts up you will be using it until it reaches a minimum operating temp or you turn the vehicle off. Want to get on a freeway, in many areas/times of the day that means that you will again need to call upon the ICE. While the Energi vehicles from Ford have a pretty weak range at least they act as a full function EV for the few miles its battery is good for.

  • avatar

    Cameron, what does “lending [i Series] technology” mean? The i Series is a range extended electric car right? Which I assume, maybe wrongly, is philosophically (but not necessarily technologically) different from PHEVs. By reading only your article and looking at the picture (i.e. too lazy to research more) I’m reminded of the GM 2-mode system with the motors in the trans (which is what I think I see in this post’s picture). Can you succinctly describe the various power flows of this system and maybe contrast it with the other hybrid systems on the market (Toyota, Ford).

  • avatar

    I had to surf the interwebs to figure out that PHEV means “plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.” I should get out less often.

  • avatar

    …..and the manual transmission is where in all this?


  • avatar

    Since the current 3 series is not much fun to drive anyway, they may as well make it efficient.

  • avatar

    And once the Euro industry is fully tooled up to compete in hybrids…… Their “independent” researchers will come to realize what Californians realized wrt diesels all along. And they’ll squeeze another tax-and-levy motivated fleet changeover out of their captive populations…..

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Is this the BMW take on the Chevy Volt?

  • avatar

    I think the BMW in that picture was parked in Oakland – funny they left the rims behind.

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    There is no way its 500 kw. 500kw is 670 hp. If BMW made a hybrid 3-series with 670hp, it would totally crush the M3…

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