BMW of North America will release the 330e and 330e xDrive on the US market on 20 May. Prices for the plug-in-hybrid sedans in the States start at $44,550 for the 330e and $46,550 for the 330e xDrive.
This is the second generation of the 330e PHEV, which BMW released in Europe last year. The updated 330e features a new 12 kWh battery, which managed to increase the electric range of the vehicle by more than 50 per cent. To compare, the last 330e ran on a 7.6 kWh battery. The electric range of the new 330e was set by BMW as between 59 and 66 kilometres, depending on the trim.
The vehicle presentation was part of a strategic shift to plug-in hybrid vehicles, which will be expanded next to the continued development of BMW’s electric i-vehicle line. Just a few months ago, BMW also announced the extension of their 3 series by another 3 hybrid vehicle models.
For the current release in the USA, there is another notable aspect: The BMW 330e released in Europe has a battery capacity of 10.4 kWh, but for the US it’s listed as only 9.09 kWh. This calculates to about 15% more battery in the European versions. The publication Insideevs postulates this may be due to warranty issues: “By building in a larger battery buffer for the US market, BMW can gradually release more battery when the capacity naturally degrades, and customers will still experience nearly the same range as they did when the vehicle was new.” They write that this is speculation, however, added that BMW had made a similar move in the past with the original release of the i3.