Following the successful market launch of BMW eDrive technology in the first models of the BMW i brand, the BMW Group’s future focus is also on in-house development of electric drives that combine high levels of efficiency with brand-typical driving fun.
As part of his address at the 36th International Vienna Motor Symposium, Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development, presented the concept of a forward-looking plug-in hybrid drive. In addition to offering an all-round electric driving experience and even further enhanced dynamics at higher speeds, it also promises the long-distance driving capability familiar from conventionally powered vehicles – and for larger cars as well.
A demonstrator model featuring Power eDrive technology has already been built to glean insights into potential deployment in future vehicle architectures for the medium and larger vehicle segments.
“In the future there will be a variety of drive systems for different requirements,” said Fröhlich. The positive response to the BMW i3, he pointed out, showed that a pure battery-electric drive in small to mid-sized vehicles already represents an attractive solution today for urban mobility based on typical daily driving distances even beyond 100 kilometres (62 miles).
Driving requirements that exceed this in terms of dynamics and long-distance suitability, on the other hand, are best served by innovative plug-in hybrid drives. In this area, Power eDrive technology – in the wake of the successful introduction of BMW eDrive in the BMW i8 and the BMW X5 xDrive40e – represents the next stage of development, announced Fröhlich.
With Power eDrive, the strengths of the plug-in hybrid drive will be rigorously developed going forward. A total range of some 600 kilometres (310 miles) guarantees a long-distance capability that is also adequate for large vehicles. In statistical terms, some 80 per cent of the average annual mileage of a typical commuter could be covered in all-electric mode.
Power eDrive technology, moreover, comes with the kind of sporting potential traditionally associated with a BMW. With an electric drive on both front and rear axles, electric driving fun becomes a palpable experience. But the dynamic potential of this drive concept really comes into its own when accelerating from standstill and during mid-range acceleration on the open road. At higher speeds the combustion engine can also be called on as a supplementary drive source. Thus, as well as providing dynamics as required, Power eDrive also guarantees a significant boost in efficiency during everyday operation.
“Highly dynamic responses are a key attribute, which in the higher speed ranges become continuous thrust,” explained Fröhlich. “Power eDrive combines electric driving fun with the long range of a combustion engine.” With this innovative form of high electrification and the ongoing development of purely electric drive, he added, the BMW Group would in future be able to offer the ideal electric driving experience for each vehicle segment. This flexible concept opens the door to further enhancement of both efficiency and hallmark BMW driving pleasure, while at the same time meeting the demands of the most diverse markets and target groups.