BMW X3 Plug-In Hybrid: The Complete Guide For The UK

BMW X3 Plug-In Hybrid
Price: £53,730
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: SUV
Battery size: 11.15 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 29 - 30 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 48 - 45g (CO2/km)

Overview


BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG), is a leading global automotive manufacturer headquartered in Munich, Germany. BMW is well known for its portfolio of luxury vehicles, to include the famed Rolls-Royce luxury cars. The group manufacturers a number of cars under its BMW brand, to include battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The company currently has the following portfolio of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs):

For those keen to learn more about the BMW portfolio of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), follow this link.



Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:


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The BMW X3 SUV PHEV


The BMW X3 compact luxury SUV has been on sale since 2003. It is currently in its third generation. The SUV is manufactured in South Africa. The BMW X3 is available a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

For those private and company-car drivers, keen to take a step towards lower-tailpipe emission electric driving, but still keen on an internal combustion engine (ICE), a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is a natural next step. Global automotive manufacturers, like BMW, recognise the important role played by PHEVs for the immediate transition to zero-emission electric driving, and have been hard at work in offering their conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) petrol and diesel range, with plug-in hybrid variants.

The BMW X3 PHEV has much to offer an aspiring electric car driver. First, it is practical: large enough to feel spacious, yet small enough to drive and park in congested town and city centres, with ease. Given the exterior styling of a more traditional SUV roofline, the EV offers ample headroom and legroom for adults seated in the rear. The front seats also offer generous space.

Despite, the addition of an onboard EV battery, the EV boot space is still useful (450 L). The interior is completed to a high quality, as would be expected from a premium-badged BMW SUV. The EV is well specified in terms of technology, to include: driving assistant, steering and lane control assistant, active slide collision protection, BMW intelligent personal assistant, BMW Digital Key and a lot more.

The X3 plug-in SUV has an average size onboard EV battery (11.15 kWh). The claimed emission-free electric range up to 30 miles (WLTP certified) is also very similar to other plug-in electric cars available today. Real-world range will be closer to 25 miles, impacted by a number of factors, to include: driving profile, road conditions, passenger load, regenerative braking, speed, wheel size, weather conditions, etc. For shorter distances, in particular, in towns and cities, a pure electric range over 25 miles is more than sufficient. In fact, 2/3rds of motorist drive only 30 miles per day.

We recommend charging the EV overnight at the convenience of your home, when the electricity tariff rates are lower. It is worth noting that the onboard charger for the X3 PHEV is limited to 3.7 kW. Given the upmarket badge, a 7.4 kW onboard charger should have been incorporated as standard.

Charging the EV from 0% to 100% SoC (state-of-charge) using a dedicated EV charger like Easee will take up to 3.7 hours. We encourage EV charging via a dedicated residential EV charger, and discourage the use of a domestic 3-PIN plug. An EV charging station is safer and achieves a faster charging speed. The EV does not offer DC charging. BMW offers a 8 years or 100,000 miles warranty.

The X3 EV delivers a decent driving performance. The X3 hybrid incorporates a number of driving modes, to include: hybrid, hybrid eco pro, electric or sport/XTRA boost. The all-wheel drive X3 plug-in hybrid has a 2.0-litre (four-cylinder) petrol engine paired with an electric motor (80 kW). The top speed on electric mode is 83 mph, which is more than sufficient for driving around in congested urban centres. When the EV is being propelled by the internal combustion engine (ICE) the top speed is 130 mph. The electric SUV can achieve 0-62 mph in 6.1 seconds (maximum power: 292 hp).

By leveraging the hybrid technology i.e. an internal combustion engine (ICE) paired with an electric motor, this family hybrid SUV achieves, both, lower tailpipe emissions and financial savings. The X3 plug-in hybrid has claimed tailpipe emissions up to 48g (CO2/km), much lower than the conventional petrol engine X3 SUV (177 CO2/km). Lower tailpipe emissions help improve local air quality. Moreover, due to the lower tailpipe emissions, company car drivers can take advantage of the reduced Benefit-in-Kind (BiK-12%) tax rate, resulting in lower monthly bills.

The claimed fuel economy is 134.5 mpg, but this will depend on a number of factors to include, the amount the EV is driven on the pure electric mode. The longer the duration driven on emission-free electric mode, the better the fuel economy. So best to take full advantage of the electric motor and EV battery!

The PHEV does not qualify for the UK government plug-in car grant (PiCG).


PROS CONS
Good looking exterior styling high quality interiorsSmall EV battery and limited electric range
A comfortable ride and performanceCheaper alternatives available in the market
Cheap to drive on pure e-modeOn-board charger limited to 3.7 kW. DC charging not available

Gallery


The BMW X3 Plug-In Hybrid (credit: BMW)


At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body Type:SUV
Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG):Not Available
Engine:Petrol-Electric
Available In UK:Yes

Variants (1 Option)
BMW X3 xLine (from £53,730)

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 11.15 kWh
Charging:DC charging not available. On-board charger 3.7 kW AC (0% – 100% in 3.7 hrs)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:48 – 45g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Average Cost Of Residential Charging
Battery net capacity : 8.8 kWh£1.27
Battery net capacity : 11.6 kWh£1.67
Battery net capacity : 12.0 kWh£1.73
Battery net capacity : 13.10 kWh£1.89
Battery net capacity : 14.10 kWh£2.03
  • Note 1: The average cost of residential electricity in the UK varies depending on the region, supplier and type of energy used. An average for the UK is 14.40 p/kWh.
  • Note 2: Not all EV manufactures make available the data on net EV battery capacity, and in a number of instances the EV battery capacity advertised, does not state if it is gross or net capacity. In general, usable EV battery capacity is between 85% to 95% of the gross available capacity.

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

Dimensions
Height (mm):1676
Width (mm):1891
Length (mm):4708
Wheelbase (mm):2864
Turning Circle (m):12.6
Boot capacity (L):450

BMW X3 xDrive30e xLine
EV Battery Capacity:11.15 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):29 – 30 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (miles/kWh):3.2 – 3.3
Fuel Consumption (MPG):134.5
Charging:DC charging not available. On-board charger 3.7 kW AC (0% – 100% in 3.7 hrs)
Top Speed:130 mph (electric mode: 83 mph)
0-62 mph:6.1 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):80
Max Power (hp):292
Torque (Nm):300
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Unladen Weight-EU (kg):2,065
Colours:6
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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