The innovative BMW eDrive technology in the new BMW 225xe and new BMW 330e once again underlines BMW’s leading role in the premium segment when it comes to powertrain electrification. BMW eDrive technology includes a number of cutting-edge plug-in hybrid components and makes a significant contribution to reducing fuel consumption and emissions. BMW eDrive is one of the most cutting-edge elements of the groundbreaking BMW EfficientDynamics suite of technology.
BMW eDrive is the new drive system technology used in all the electrically powered vehicles from BMW i and the plug-in hybrid models from BMW. As well as outstanding efficiency and seamless everyday practicality, BMW eDrive also delivers the highest standards in driving dynamics and quality, in keeping with BMW tradition. Alongside BMW TwinPower Turbo technology for combustion engines, intelligent lightweight design and optimised aerodynamics, BMW eDrive technology is therefore one of the most important elements in the EfficientDynamics strategy designed to increase power and further reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. In addition, BMW eDrive offers the option of driving on electric power alone and therefore with zero local emissions – yet at the same time reveals the ability to cover long distances when the two drive systems team up.
Moreover, BMW eDrive technology ensures extremely dynamic acceleration off the line thanks to the instantaneous responses of the electric motor, which generates its remarkable torque from the word go. Plus, the eBoost function, which pools the torque of both drive systems under acceleration, serves up BMW’s signature driving pleasure, whatever the conditions.
The most important components of BMW eDrive technology are the synchronous electric motor (including the power electronics developed by BMW), the lithium-ion high-voltage battery and intelligent energy management. The latter ensures the electric motor and combustion engine in plug-in hybrid models work together as effectively as possible according to the situation at hand.
Developed initially for the all-electric BMW i3 and BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car – which duly led the way in electric mobility in the premium sector – the modular structure of BMW eDrive technology sets it up perfectly for use in various vehicle concepts and segments. BMW uses its plentiful technical experience and customer feedback in the development of the latest BMW eDrive models. The fine-tuning of vehicle-specific elements, such as the battery cells, cooling management, power electronics and operating strategy, has involved the transfer of knowledge from the BMW i3 and BMW i8 to the development of new BMW eDrive models. Here, all components are adapted precisely to the vehicle at hand and optimised in terms of performance, efficiency, safety and durability. Moreover, BMW eDrive technology enables the electrified xDrive concept first featured in the BMW i8 to be executed with great efficiency.
BMW eDrive technology essentially spans the electric motor, the lithium-ion high-voltage battery and the power electronics. Based on a shared eBoost strategy, all BMW plug-in hybrid models offer supreme power delivery by bringing together their two drive systems, and elevate the responsiveness of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology to another new level. BMW eDrive makes all-electric driving in urban areas and over cross-country routes a marketable proposition. An important element of the operating strategy is the needoriented use of externally sourced and recuperated electric energy to maximise the vehicle’s efficiency. The components of the BMW eDrive architecture are tailored to each particular vehicle concept and can be combined with four- and three-cylinder petrol engines as well as with classical rear-wheel drive, BMW xDrive or electrified all-wheel drive.
The eDrive components developed as part of the BMW i projects will soon be integrated into other model ranges from the core brands. This scalable architecture also provides the platform required to offer plug-in hybrid vehicles at attractive prices on a par with those of conventionally powered variants of similar output. This means customers who opt for this advanced drive concept encounter not only the environmental benefits of electric mobility, but also economic plus-points.
In plug-in hybrid vehicles, intelligent energy management ensures the combustion engine and electric motor work together to maximum effect in all driving situations. Their operating strategy is based on the vehicle starting up on electric power only. BMW’s plug-in hybrid vehicles prioritise electric mode at low and moderate speeds, which allows them to exploit the benefits of the locally emission-free electric drive system. Under greater acceleration and at higher speeds, however, the combustion engine also joins the action. The boost function pools the torque of both drive systems to maximise the car’s dynamic performance and lend it remarkable poise and assurance.
BMW eDrive ensures that the combustion engine runs efficiently (electric assist) at higher speeds as well. This allows a reduction in fuel consumption on brisk cross-country or motorway runs, for example. And when the route guidance function of the car’s navigation system is activated, the proactive function initiates an anticipatory operating strategy which optimises efficiency and maximises the electric driving experience.
Like the BMW i8, the BMW X5 xDrive40e, BMW 330e and BMW 740e can all – at the touch of a button in MAX eDRIVE mode – run on purely electric power up to 120 km/h (75 mph), the BMW 225xe up to 125 km/h (78 mph). Here, the combustion engine only comes into play when the accelerator’s kickdown threshold is passed. In SAVE BATTERY mode the battery’s charge can be maintained to enable electric driving later on in the journey. If the charge level drops below 50 per cent, the battery is replenished. If the selector lever is moved into the S gate, the combustion engine starts up regardless of the mode engaged, ensuring sustained availability of the combined maximum output of the two drive systems. In addition, the battery’s charge is raised to 80 per cent.
With the addition of the BMW eDrive functions, the ECO PRO, COMFORT and SPORT driving experience modes are now even more clearly defined than on conventional vehicles.
The high-voltage batteries of the new BMW plug-in hybrid models can be charged extremely easily, conveniently and quickly – both at home and while on the move – using BMW 360° ELECTRIC solutions. The battery can be powered up again from a domestic socket using the standard charging cable supplied or from a BMW i Wallbox (charging power: 3.7 kW). When it comes to topping up the battery during a journey, the BMW i mobility service, ChargeNow, gives customers access to the world’s largest public charging network of over 30,000 charging points run by partners in 22 countries. Higher performance, lower fuel consumption.
The new BMW plug-in hybrid models with eDrive technology – such as the new BMW X5 xDrive40e, the BMW 225xe and BMW 330e currently making their debuts, and the BMW 740e due for launch in the near future – are once again setting the benchmark in the various corners of the premium segment when it comes to reducing fuel consumption, and will also meet the stipulations of international legislation in the future regarding CO2 emissions.
Moreover, their all-electric and therefore locally emission-free driving mode will also allow them to drive into city centre zones where entry is regulated. And yet the BMW plug-in hybrid models also deliver the hallmark BMW attributes of dynamic excellence, sporting ability and driving pleasure while offering the best performance in their respective segments.
The arrival of the new BMW 330e offers customers another innovative route to Sheer Driving Pleasure. With its plug-in hybrid drive system, the latest BMW 3 Series variant combines the dynamic flair for which the brand is renowned with the option of driving on electric power alone (locally emissionfree) and the promise of unbeatable efficiency over longer distances. The BMW 330e therefore brings together high-quality dynamics and extremely low fuel consumption. The fusion of BMW eDrive technology (developed under the BMW EfficientDynamics banner) with a BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine has resulted in an efficient and dynamic plug-in hybrid drive system which fits perfectly with the BMW brand: dynamically adept, locally emission-free (thanks to its electric driving system) and efficient. The plug-in hybrid drive system delivers familiar BMW driving dynamics by pairing a cutting-edge electric motor producing 65 kW/88 hp and a peak torque of 250 Nm / 184 lb-ft with a four-cylinder combustion engine, which develops 135 kW/184 hp and 290 Nm / 214 lb-ft of torque. Combined average fuel consumption in the NEDC cycle is 2.1–1.9 litres* per 100 kilometres (134.5–148.7 mpg imp), with CO2 emissions coming in at 49– 44 g/km*. With a system output of 185 kW/252 hp and peak torque of 420 Nm / 310 lb-ft, the BMW 330e accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.1 seconds on the way to a top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph). In everyday driving conditions, a range of up to 600 kilometres (373 miles) is very much within reach. The electric motor and combustion engine send their power to the sedan’s rear wheels via a standard-fitted eight-speed Steptronic transmission. The arrangement of the electric motor in front of the transmission allows the transmission ratios to be used in all-electric mode as well. This means a torque converter can be omitted, which partially cancels out the extra weight of the additional drive unit.
The drive unit’s operating strategy features a permanent electric boost function. Here, the electric motor supplements the power from the combustion engine with 100 Nm / 74 lb-ft of torque and can deliver a brief extra burst – depending on the position of the accelerator – of up to 250 Nm / 184 lb-ft. On the move, this comes across as an extremely forceful and sustained wave of power, similar to the sensation a large-capacity combustion engine might produce. And because ample power is on hand at all times, a superior and relaxed driving feeling results. Overtaking manoeuvres are that much quicker and the BMW 330e offers a rousing sense of driving pleasure on all types of road.
The high-voltage battery, made up of lithium-ion cells, is located underneath the boot and boasts efficient refrigerant cooling including a highly integrated low-temperature circuit. The battery has a total capacity of 7.6 kWh, which enables an all-electric and therefore locally emission-free range of around 40 kilometres (25 miles), all of which identifies the BMW 330e as a perfect model for city dwellers and commuters. When the BMW 330e is taking a break, the high-voltage battery can be charged from either a conventional domestic power socket or a BMW i Wallbox. A BMW i Wallbox (charging power: 3.7 kW) will fully charge an empty battery in just two hours and 15 minutes. If only a domestic power socket is available, the process takes three hours and 15 minutes.
The neat integration of the high-voltage battery in the compartment under the boot gives the BMW 330e a level load compartment floor, while use of the optional through-loading system with 40:20:40 split rear seat backrests remains unrestricted. Together with its boot capacity of 370 litres, the new BMW 330e thus offers all the everyday practicality of a conventionally powered BMW 3 Series Sedan. Added to which, the intelligent positioning of the electric drive system’s components allows finely balanced weight distribution – 50 per cent over the front axle, 50 per cent over the rear axle – and, in so doing, paves the way for the dynamic and dextrous handling shared by all BMW 3 Series models.
BMW eDrive adapts both to the situation at hand and those ahead. As well as the Driving Experience Control switch with its SPORT, COMFORT and ECO PRO settings, the driver can also adapt the responses of BMW eDrive to the vehicle’s use at any one time by means of a toggle switch in the centre console. There is a choice of three driving modes: AUTO eDRIVE, MAX eDRIVE and SAVE BATTERY. AUTO eDRIVE ensures the combustion engine and electric motor work together to optimum effect in all driving situations and allows an all-electric top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph). This mode is activated automatically as the default setting every time the car is started up.
In MAX eDRIVE mode the BMW 330e uses the car’s electric power only, drawing on the electric drive system’s full output. A top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) is possible. Its ability to cover up to 40 kilometres (25 miles) in this all-electric mode makes the BMW 330e the ideal car for commuters or city dwellers, for example, as it allows them to complete their daily journeys extremely efficiently and with an eye on the environment. The combustion engine can, however, cut in at any time if the accelerator is pushed down beyond its kickdown position when additional power is required, e.g. for overtaking.
SAVE BATTERY mode allows the battery’s energy stores to be deliberately maintained – or increased again if the charge level has dropped below 50 per cent. This energy can then be used for pure-electric driving, on a part of the journey running through city streets, for example.
BMW ConnectedDrive works in tandem with the navigation system to allow even better use of the available electric energy. Here, the system assists the driver with proactive energy management and calculates an operating strategy which responds to the driving style and route profile at hand – and thus ensures the plug-in hybrid drive system is used as efficiently as possible. The system adapts the drive strategy to the overall route profile. For example, the car uses all-electric power along urban streets and electric energy is also deployed on uphill sections so that the system’s full recuperation potential can be used on a subsequent downhill stretch. This equips the BMW 330e perfectly to offer locally emission-free driving, as well as covering longer stretches extremely efficiently and with less impact on the environment. Like all BMW 3 Series models, the BMW 330e has a comfortable and classy interior featuring five seats, practical details and the ergonomic operating concept typical of BMW. Moreover, the BMW 330e comes as standard with auxiliary heating and cooling (output: 5 kW). These functions can be activated by a button on the car key or pre-programmed using a two-week timer either on the iDrive operating system or via the BMW ConnectedDrive smartphone app. The details are shown on the Control Display.
The BMW 330e adds another highly innovative variant to the BMW 3 Series line-up with its advanced plug-in hybrid drive system. To this end, the engineers transferred cutting-edge BMW i technologies into a representative of the world’s most successful premium model range for the first time. The BMW 3 Series Sedan has already set standards for sports performance and fuel economy in its segment using conventional combustion engines. And so it provides the perfect environment for an inspiringly dynamic yet also exceptionally efficient plug-in hybrid model. Key ingredients here are its intelligent lightweight design, outstanding aerodynamics for this class of car and the extensive spread of BMW EfficientDynamics technology fitted as standard.
The combustion engine fitted in the BMW 330e is based on the four-cylinder petrol unit with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology that has already won the International Engine of the Year Award on two occasions. Stand-out characteristics include its sporty power delivery, output of 135 kW/184 hp and peak torque of 290 Nm / 214 lb-ft (combined fuel consumption: 2.1–1.9 l/100 km [134.5–148.7 mpg imp]; combined CO2 emissions: 49–44 g/km)*, not to mention an ultra-high-efficiency factor and excellent refinement.
The electric motor, developing 65 kW/88 hp and peak torque of 250 Nm / 184 lb-ft, and the power electronics are derived directly from the BMW eDrive technology featured as standard in the BMW i3 and BMW i8 models. The motor is powered by a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 7.6 kWh. The model-specific concept of the high-voltage battery, including its battery management system and highly efficient direct cooling system, are likewise rooted in the know-how amassed during the development of the BMW i models. The battery can be recharged at any domestic power socket and is mounted flat in a particularly crash-safe position underneath the load compartment. The power electronics form a single integrated system that drives the electric motor via a liquid-cooled inverter, manages the energy flow from the high-voltage battery to the on-board electrical systems and provides centralised control of hybrid-specific functions.
The BMW 330e consequently offers a system output of 185 kW/252 hp and peak torque of 420 Nm / 310 lb-ft, allowing the dynamic Sedan to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph). The average figures for fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are 2.1–1.9 litres* per 100 kilometres (134.5–148.7 mpg imp) and 49–44 grams* per kilometre. Pure-electric driving is possible at speeds of up to 120 km/h (75 mph) and with a range of around 40 kilometres (25 miles). Overall, the BMW 330e offers a realistic range in everyday use of up to 600 kilometres (373 miles). These figures, together with the electric motor’s boost function – which can be clearly felt under acceleration – bring a sharp and intensely dynamic dimension to everyday motoring.
BMW decided to use an operating strategy for the drive unit that involves a permanent electric boost function. Here, the electric motor supplements the power from the combustion engine with 100 Nm / 74 lb-ft of torque and can deliver a brief extra burst – depending on the position of the accelerator – of up to 250 Nm / 184 lb-ft. On the move, this comes across as an extremely forceful and sustained wave of power giving the impression of a far largercapacity combustion engine. And because ample power is on hand at all times, a superior and relaxed driving feeling results. Overtaking manoeuvres are that much quicker, and on twisty stretches of road the BMW 330e provides a thrilling level of driving pleasure.
The power generated by both the combustion engine and the electric motor is channelled to the BMW 330e’s rear wheels via an eight-speed Steptronic transmission. This means the transmission ratios take effect for both drive systems, lowering the mechanical and thermal loads placed on the electric motor by sustained high revs. This has a positive effect on the operating life of the electric drive system. It also means a torque converter is not required, which partially cancels out the extra weight of the additional drive unit. And – as in conventionally powered BMW models – the advanced Steptronic transmission’s low friction losses allow it to make an additional contribution to the high efficiency of the car’s drive system as a whole.
BMW 330e drivers can choose from three BMW eDrive-specific programs – AUTO eDRIVE, MAX eDRIVE and SAVE BATTERY – via the eDrive button in the centre console. These settings allow the plug-in hybrid drive system to be adapted to the way the car is being used at any particular time.
AUTO eDRIVE: This setting ensures the combustion engine and electric motor work together to optimum effect in all driving situations and enables a pure-electric top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph). This is the default setting and is activated each time the car is started up.
In so doing, it draws on the electric drive system’s full power output and reaches a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). This makes the BMW 330e the ideal car for commuters and city dwellers, for example, as it allows them to complete their daily journeys extremely efficiently and with an eye on the environment. The combustion engine can, however, cut in at any time if the accelerator is pushed down beyond its kickdown position when additional power is required, e.g. for overtaking.
SAVE BATTERY: This mode contains two operating settings. If the highvoltage battery’s charge is below 50 per cent, the battery is charged to 50 per cent by the combustion engine. But if the battery still has more than 50 per cent of its energy remaining, the charge level is “frozen”, so that the remaining electric energy can be used for part of the journey still to come – e.g. the approach to a city centre destination. If the selector lever is moved into the S gate, the combustion engine starts up regardless of the mode engaged, ensuring that availability of the combined maximum output of the two drive systems is sustained. In addition, the high-voltage battery’s charge is raised to 80 per cent.
In addition to its eDrive button, the BMW 330e – like other series-produced BMW models – also has a Driving Experience Control switch on the centre console which allows the remaining settings to be adapted according to need and the situation at hand; the COMFORT and SPORT settings and ECO PRO mode are all activated using this switch. As well as the steering and chassis functions and the shift characteristics of the eight-speed Steptronic transmission, these modes also make changes to the operating strategy of the hybrid drive system. In COMFORT mode, which prioritises a fine balance of comfort and efficiency, as well as hallmark BMW dynamics, the use of the electric motor is regulated in such a way that it helps to ensure both relaxed and economical driving. If required, the electric motor teams up with the combustion engine to maximise power delivery. Top-end performance using the full system output of the combustion engine and electric motor combined is the focus of SPORT mode. In this setting the engine and motor are both permanently active. This allows the drive system to react instantaneously to every movement of the accelerator. In ECO PRO mode, the efficiency potential of electrification is utilised particularly extensively. Intelligent hybrid functionality allows the electric motor and combustion engine to work together with the greatest possible overall efficiency. The extremely efficient energy management for the drive systems involves carefully regulating the power output of electrically operated convenience functions such as the climate control system, seat heating and exterior mirror heating. This also helps to maximise the car’s range.
The BMW 330e comes with an integrated, hybrid-specific Proactive Driving Assistant that works using the BMW navigation system. This function represents the interplay between BMW EfficientDynamics and BMW ConnectedDrive technology at its most systematic and advanced.
When the route guidance function is active, the navigation system collates the available information on the route ahead and uses it to manage the responses of the two drive units. Here, the system accesses both the static data from the interactive map, such as speed restrictions and gradient information, and realtime information on the current traffic situation (Real Time Traffic Information – RTTI). This proactive energy management uses the information as a basis to identify particular stretches of the route where the electric drive system will be preferred over the combustion engine. It ensures that the car drives through residential areas or – if the battery has sufficient charge – entire cross-town links on electric power alone and approaches the destination using only the electric drive system. The system also prepares to use electric energy for uphill sections of road, so that the system’s full recuperation potential can be used on a subsequent downhill stretch. The Proactive Driving Assistant ensures the BMW 330e is even better equipped to offer locally emission-free driving, but also to cover long stretches extremely efficiently and with less impact on the environment.
As a plug-in hybrid, the BMW 330e can also be charged externally via the mains power supply. The empty lithium-ion high-voltage battery can be fully replenished in just two hours and 15 minutes using a BMW i Wallbox (charging power: 3.7 kW, can be installed at home or the workplace), so that the car’s maximum electric range is available when the driver is ready to set off again. Alternatively, the BMW 330e can also be charged from empty in three hours and 15 minutes from a conventional domestic power socket using the standard charging cable supplied. The charging solutions available from BMW 360° ELECTRIC make topping up the battery during the course of a journey that much easier. The BMW i mobility service ChargeNow opens up access to the largest network of public charging stations worldwide (covering over 30,000 charging points managed by partners in 22 countries).
BMW ConnectedDrive, the BMW ConnectedDrive app and the ChargeNow app make locating and using charging stations run by partners an extremely fast and easy process, while the ChargeNow card allows convenient and cash-free billing and payment.
The car is hooked up to the power supply via the charging socket, which is located in the front wing on the driver’s side, between the front wheel arch and the A-pillar. A flap with an integral sealing system protects it against ingress from moisture and dust, for example. The charging socket itself has a corona ring, which uses a colour scheme to inform the user which stage of charging has been reached. If the corona ring flashes blue, the BMW 330e is in charging mode. It then changes to a solid green light once the charging process has been completed. A solid blue ring indicates a pause in charging, and a flashing yellow ring tells you a system check is taking place. Finally, a flashing red corona ring indicates that the charging system is not active. The BMW 330e comes with its own standard charging cable – stored away in a special bag in the boot and secured with a net – to connect it to the power supply. If no stationary charging options are available, the empty battery can be brought up to at least 50 per cent of full charge while on the move by activating SAVE BATTERY using the eDrive button. In addition, the driver can choose to start up the combustion engine – regardless of the mode currently engaged – by moving the transmission’s selector lever into the S gate. This ensures that availability of the combined maximum output of the two drive systems is sustained, and at the same time the battery’s charge is raised to 80 per cent.
The neat integration of the high-voltage battery (capacity: 7.6 kWh) in the area under the load compartment gives the BMW 330e a level load compartment floor, and full use of the optional through-loading system with 40:20:40 split rear seat backrests. Together with its primary boot capacity of 370 litres (which can also be used without restriction), the new BMW 330e therefore offers all the everyday practicality of a conventionally powered BMW 3 Series Sedan. Access to the secondary luggage area in the storage tray under the load compartment floor is, however, restricted.
In order to maximise the car’s load capacity, the stainless-steel pressure tank was also positioned underneath the rear seat bench in semi-saddle tank form. It offers a usable capacity of 41 litres. Outgassing fuel in the BMW 330e is trapped by an active carbon filter system, as is standard practice with vehicles powered by a combustion engine. In conventional drive systems, the fuel collected by cleaning out the active carbon filter is channelled back into the engine’s combustion process once the filter has reached a pre-set degree of saturation. However, the filter can only be cleaned when the engine is running and, as the engine in the BMW 330e is not constantly in use, this cleaning process happens far less frequently. The result is significantly higher pressure inside the fuel tank, which is why the stainless-steel pressure tank in the BMW 330e is designed to withstand pressure of to up to 340 mbar. Another benefit of the intelligent positioning of the electric drive system’s components is that the car’s finely balanced weight distribution – 50 per cent at the front axle, 50 per cent at the rear axle – has been preserved. This is one of the key factors underpinning the dynamic and dextrous handling shared by all BMW 3 Series models.
BMW ConnectedDrive is all about the link-up of the driver, vehicle and outside world. As well as the intelligent energy management mentioned earlier (using a BMW navigation system), this technology also enables access to the most important vehicle information at any time in the BMW 330e. Inside the car, the driver can call up data – such as the battery charge, available ChargeNow public charging stations and journey distances covered – on the display or pre-set a temperature for the passenger compartment. The BMW 330e comes as standard with auxiliary heating and cooling (output: 5 kW). These functions can be activated either straightaway by means of the button on the car key, via the BMW ConnectedDrive smartphone app or using a two-week timer on the iDrive operating system. The next activation is then shown on the Control Display, and the driver also has the option of revising the schedule. Running the heating or cooling functions while the car is charging does not restrict its electric range.