BMW is expanding its plug-in hybrid range for the 3 Series and 5 Series by two additional models each from March. The 320e and 520e will be added to the saloon portfolio and Touring versions of both model series. In Germany, prices will range between 47,450 and 55,900 euros before subsidies.
BMW is changing its electric strategy and is now developing a dedicated electric car platform to utilise in the new plant in Hungary after 2025. The company also intends to start building a fully electric model in the city of Regensburg from 2022.
BMW again has a problem with the high-voltage batteries in plug-in hybrid vehicles. Due to possible impurities in the production process of the battery cells, there is an increased risk of fire in several series.
BMW has now officially confirmed that the next-gen 7 Series will include a fully electric model for the first time but not exclusively as a BEV. However, there is still no official confirmation for the presumed battery-electric version for the 5-series.
BMW wants to offer the top model of the 7-series with a fully electric drive starting in 2022, while the 5-series will be made available in electric versions a little later. Both series will also continue to be offered as diesel, gasoline and hybrid vehicles.
The BMW Board of Management has apparently given the go-ahead for electric versions of the 5 Series and the X1 compact SUV. An all-electric 5 Series is also part of BMW’s product plan in China. A fully electric 3-series will also be added.
Audi Q7 e-tron quattro: Audi has revealed the first official photos and details of its upcoming SUV which is to premier at the Detroit Auto Show. The Q7 will be offered as plug-in hybrid variant with a six-cylinder diesel engine which produces 190 kW and an electric motor with an output of 94 kW. The Audi Q7 e-tron is said to come with an all-electric range of up to 56 kilometers (35 miles). electriccarsreport.com, puregreencars.com, greencarreports.com
New BMWi services: At the Detroit Auto Show, BMW will not only present its fuel cell stack developed together with Toyota (we reported) but also new services for its electric range. The ChargeNow, ParkNow and DriveNow apps will be extended to include new features like ParkNow LongTerm, which will let drivers find a permanent parking space where they can fill up their batteries. green.autoblog.com, electriccarsreport.com
Tesla’s China president resigns: Veronica Wu, head of Tesla’s Chinese operations, will leave the company after just 9 months on the job. Wu provided no reason for her departure. Tom Zhu, who now runs Tesla’s charging network development in China, will take over her role. reuters.com, inautonews.com
Spy shots of the 5 series: BMW has been caught testing the new BMW 5 series. When taking a close look, one can see a little door at the front left fender which might be the charging port for a plug-in hybrid version. The new 5 series is expected to arrive by 2016. autoblog.com
ePrix in Uruguay: Sebastien Buemi (e.dams-Renault) drove to victory in the third race of the Formula E at Punta del Este, Uruguay. He was joined on the podium by Nelson Piquet Jr. (China Racing) and Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt), who remains the championship leader. motorsportstalk.nbcsports.com, youtube.com (race highlights)