Business / Auto China

BMW's plug-in electric hybrid is answer to green auto trend

By Hao Yan (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-07 07:27

BMW's plug-in electric hybrid is answer to green auto trend

Jochen Goller, senior vice-president of sales and marketing at BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd, unveils the all-new BMW X1 Plug-in Hybrid in Chengdu on Sept 2, 2016. [Photo provided to China Daily]

BMW Brilliance's maiden plug-in hybrid electric Sports Activity Vehicle to be produced in China, which is also the first new energy premium compact SAV on the domestic market, fulfills the joint venture's commitment to sustainable development.

The all-new BMW X1 Plug-in Hybrid's world premiere in Chengdu on Sept 2 showcased BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd's sustainable research and development, and manufacturing capabilities.

"BMW Brilliance is beefing up its efforts in new energy vehicle development. A high-voltage battery center is being built in Shenyang, which will apply the leading BMW technology around the world," Jochen Goller, senior vice-president of sales and marketing at BMW Brilliance told China Daily.

He said: "The BMW i technologies were successfully transferred to the core brand BMW. The all-new X1 plug-in hybrid will be the latest showcase."

The joint venture has flawlessly integrated the groundbreaking eDrive technology with the intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system.

BMW eDrive electrifies the SAV without sacrificing its excellent dynamic performance, so the environment benefits from the technology and the customer takes on the responsibility while enjoying the sheer driving pleasure with instantly-responding full torque acceleration, according to the company.

The new model provides three driving modes: Auto eDrive, Max eDrive and Save Battery. The default Auto eDrive selects and switches between the energy sources, or uses both; the Max eDrive is the environmentally friendly full-electric mode. The Save Battery mode preserves energy to charge the battery.

Goller noted: "Although the new energy vehicle is currently not dominant, we are conducting R&D on the forward-looking technologies."

"Lots of intelligence has been developed, with our vision of a future that is innovative, open, green and shared."

In the BMW X1 Plug-in Hybrid, a 70 kW electric motor seamlessly collaborates with the 100 kW turbocharged combustion engine, and is monitored by an intelligent energy management system.

The system not only monitors energy flow, deciding the suitable power mix in accordance with the change of the surface or on demand, but also modifies the energy consumption through reserving part of the abundant engine output into battery electricity.

The high-voltage lithium-ion battery is put into a strong frame that protects against damage, cracks or leaks. The battery packs are safely placed in a sturdy shell at the center under the chassis, which also makes the new energy vehicle have the same interior space as a traditional model.

BMW's self-developed liquid cooling system constantly lowers the temperature of the battery module to ensure the vehicle is free of fire hazards, considering the battery develops heat while in use.

Convenient charging

"The top priority for our service is to solve the charging issues for our customers," Goller said. "Aware of customers' concerns about new energy vehicles, we provide an exclusive package covering the future usage and maintenance of the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle."

BMW Brilliance aims to bring its e-mobility service to a premium level, with its philosophy that 360 degree e-mobility is more akin to an all-new eco-system than a product.

BMW is building connected charging pillars in major cities across China, with a target of 1,500 ChargeNow stations by the end of this year, 1,000 of which have been installed already. The ChargeNow mobile app means that users have the ability to conveniently locate and reserve the nearest charging facilities at their finger tips.

A wallbox charger is provided free of charge to the customer, and the installation is also complimentary. The customer will also receive a card for public charging facilities and a 220-volt charging equipment for emergency use.

Another worry-free service for customers is BMW's eight-year or 120,000 km (whichever comes first) warranty for the batteries on the BMW X1 Plug-in Hybrid.


The PHEV accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.4 seconds and consumes just 1.8 liters when running at 100 km.

The eBoost technology helps the dual powertrain output 385 Nm peak torque, while the xDrive is responsible for the superior experience in driving and traveling while taking care of the safety.

The PHEV's driving range extends to 630 km between charges and refills, and its battery lasts 60 km in full electric Max eDrive mode. The high-voltage Li-ion battery needs 3.7 hours to be fully charged, or 2.9 hours for 80 percent capacity.

Its wheelbase reaches 2.78 meters and provides roomy leg space for passengers. The high-end configurations, such as an extra large panoramic moon roof, automatic parking assistance, and multi-zone air conditioning, meet customers' expectations for a premium mobility experience.

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