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BMW: Paving The Way For A Sustainable Future

By Maddy Price
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 16:03

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BMW330e

The BMW Group has long been at the forefront of technological development. From boosting engine performance through recent innovations such as the EfficientDynamics programme to its first foray into hydrogen powered vehicles nearly 40 years ago and the first electrically-powered 1602 Saloon in 1972, BMW has always pushed the envelope of progress. Now with government funded initiatives, increasing customer demand, not to mention rapid development in areas such as battery technology and other scientific knowledge and application, BMW is well placed to offer its broadest ever spectrum of transport possibilities to customers.

In 2016 BMW will have an electric powered vehicle and a range extender variant, Plug-in-Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) and highly efficient petrol and diesel internal combustion engines, while also continuing to develop hydrogen cars. Outside of pure product BMW is also working with key partners on how people use and fuel their cars and the growing link between varying transport options. BMW is now the Ultimate Mobility Provider while still retaining the crown as Ultimate Driving Machine too.

The new BMW 225xe and BMW 330e Plug-in-Hybrid Electric vehicles.

The new BMW X5 xDrive40e Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle was the first such production car from the BMW core brand. Now for 2016. BMW will offer an additional four PHEVs to broaden the opportunity to drive ultra-low emission vehicles with all electric drive capability.

The four new PHEV models, indebted to the BMW i brand for technology, come in the shape of the BMW 225xe Active Tourer, BMW 330e Saloon, and later this year the BMW 740e and 740Le xDrive from the marque’s flagship model. This means BMW will soon offer innovative PHEV technology in everything from compact models through to luxury-class cars.

The soon to be launched BMW 225xe Active Tourer shares the BMW eDrive technology previously seen in the BMW X5 xDrive40e. This technology includes a number of cutting-edge plug-in hybrid components that makes a significant contribution to reducing fuel consumption and emissions. In addition to this, the BMW 225xe also builds on the experience gained from the BMW i8 as it features xDrive technology.

Producing a total output of 224hp (a combination of the three-cylinder combustion engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, 136hp and an electric motor developing 88hp). The combustion engine sends its power to the front wheels via a six-speed Steptronic transmission and produces a peak torque of 220Nm but under heavy acceleration from rest and for overtaking manoeuvres, the power from the two drive systems combines to gives a peak torque of up to 385Nm. Its combined fuel consumption of 141.2mpg makes the 225xe one of the best in its class.

As a PHEV, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer with eDrive can charge its lithium-ion high-voltage battery (gross capacity: 7.6 kWh) by either brake energy recuperation during a journey or when plugged into a domestic power socket (in three hours 15 minutes from empty) or the optional BMW i Wallbox (two hours 20 minutes from empty).

In addition to the BMW Driving Experience Control switch – with its SPORT, COMFORT and ECO PRO settings, familiar from other BMW models, the eDrive button in the centre console offers three driving modes: AUTO eDRIVE, MAX eDRIVE and SAVE BATTERY.

AUTO eDRIVE is the basic setting activated when the car is started. It ensures the combustion engine and electric motor work together to optimum effect in all driving situations and gives a pure-electric top speed of 50mph. MAX eDRIVE allows the car to run on the electric drive system alone up to a speed of 78mph. With SAVE BATTERY, the charge of the high-voltage battery can be maintained or, if it’s already depleted, raised to over 50 per cent during a journey so that the available electric range can be used later in urban areas, for example.

BMW ConnectedDrive is also on hand to help lower fuel consumption. The ConnectedDrive package adds the proactive energy management function to the mix, which responds to the driving style and route profile to ensure the plug-in hybrid drive system is used as efficiently as possible.

The new BMW 225xe builds on the standard equipment of other 2 Series Active Tourer models, but with even greater specification and unique eDrive design elements. One example of this is eDrive Services which is offered as standard.  This allows the driver to access various features of the vehicle remotely and also integrates features of the BMW Online system into the vehicle.

The new BMW 330e Saloon offers a combined fuel consumption of 148.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 44g/km when it joins the range in 2016. Its state-of-the-art plug-in hybrid technology combines an 184hp 2.0-litre petrol engine with a 65kW (88hp equivalent) electric motor. The combined output of 252hp and combined maximum torque of 420Nm give the BMW 330e Saloon a 0-62mph acceleration time of just 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 140mph.

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 25 miles, perfect for city dwellers and commuters.

The integration of the high-voltage battery in the compartment under the boot gives the BMW 330e Saloon 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 therefore offers all the everyday practicality of a conventionally powered BMW 3 Series Saloon.

Similarly to the BMW 225xe, with the 330e Saloon there is a choice of three driving modes: AUTOeDRIVE, MAX eDRIVE and SAVE BATTERY. With AUTO eDRIVE the top electric speed is limited to 50mph and ensures the combustion engine and electric motor work together to optimum effect in all driving situations. This mode is activated automatically as the default setting every time the car is started up. In MAX eDRIVE mode the BMW 330e Saloon uses the car’s electric power only, drawing on the electric drive system’s full output. A top speed of 75mph is possible. SAVE BATTERY mode only utilises the petrol combustion engine for driving and allows the battery’s energy stores to be deliberately maintained – or increased again if the charge level has dropped below 50 percent. This energy can then be used for pure-electric driving.

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, ensuring 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 330e perfectly to offer local 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 330e has a comfortable and stylish interior featuring five seats, practical details and the ergonomic operating concept typical of BMW. Moreover, the BMW 330e Saloon comes as standard with auxiliary heating and cooling (output: 5kW). This function can be activated by a button on the 330e’s remote key or can be pre-programmed for a specific departure time using either the iDrive operating system or via the BMW Remote smartphone app. The details are shown on the Control Display.

Standard specification is extensive and includes sports multi-functional leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles, front and rear Park Distance Control and BMW eDrive services, allowing the driver to access various features of the vehicle remotely. In addition to this the 330e features LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights with the option to upgrade to LED headlights or BMW Icon Adaptive LED headlights. Business Navigation also comes as standard as does an extensive arrange of on-board technologies. BMW Online Services also come as standard, which allows the driver to purchase additional ConnectedDrive Service subscriptions such as Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI) and Online Entertainment via the on-board ConnectedDrive store.

BMW Light & Charge technology provides a cutting-edge charging solution.

Innovative technology announced by BMW Group will soon allow electric cars to be charged using state-of-the-art LED street lights. This offers a solution to those electric vehicle users, who do not have their own charging equipment at home but need to charge on-street. Light & Charge combines highly efficient LED street lighting with an integrated EV charging solution in a fully connected system. The luminaire enables energy consumption to be significantly reduced while the integrated charging station enables more people to rely on electric mobility. Furthermore, the system provides a connected platform for sensor-based applications such as lighting control based on occupancy or real-time parking space monitoring.

With its modular LED design, the Light & Charge street light is much more energy-efficient than conventional street lighting and provides more effective illumination. It can be installed anywhere and its modular design can to be tailored to different locations.

The Power Link, a pole-mounted EV Charging Station integrates with existing city infrastructure, making it highly cost-efficient without taking up additional sidewalk space. An integrated smart energy meter keeps track of energy taken from the grid, so that existing power cables can be used to run the charging unit.

The charging station is also part of BMW i ChargeNow network, which means its users also enjoy convenient cashless payment – a system already familiar to users of the large number of public charging stations already participating in this network. Via its built-in internet access (GSM), the Charging Station can be remotely managed, maintained and serviced. A high level of component standardization ensures full compatibility across all electric vehicle types and enables easy integration into existing infrastructure and charging station management systems.

Another component of the Light & Charge technology is the City Link system a low-cost wireless controller integrated into each luminaire of the LED street light. It works by using intelligent sensor-based light adjustment which can be communicated from one luminaire to the next. Therefore providing real-time data across the city such as data for smart city applications, including traffic flow analysis and real-time parking space monitoring.

Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, said: “The BMW i ChargeNow card already offers access to the world’s largest network of charging stations, and now it gives us great pleasure, in cooperation with our partners, to further expand this network with the help of the Light and Charge project. After all, a seamless charging infrastructure is essential if we want to see more electric vehicles on the road in our cities in the future.”

Hydrogen fuel cell technology offering long range, short refueling times and zero emissions.
BMW Group has focused on the use of hydrogen as an energy source for nearly 40 years and has experienced a constant stream of significant advances in terms of efficiency, performance and capabilities as parts of its Efficient Dynamics strategy.

Now by combining fuel cell technology with BMW eDrive, the marque has successfully created several hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) prototypes including the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo. With a long-distance range of more than 300 miles available, the FCEV provides all-electric, locally emission-free driving with fast and convenient refuelling in under five minutes.

The gaseous hydrogen contained in the storage tank is converted into electric power and water vapour. The vehicle’s high-voltage battery serves as an energy storage unit and can therefore be considerably smaller than in battery-electric concepts. Hydrogen storage comes in the form of a tunnel tank between the front and rear axle; industry standard vessel technology and cryogenic pressure vessel technology patented by the BMW Group for storing gaseous hydrogen at low temperature.

BMW will continue to develop these hydrogen-powered vehicles with a view to an application that might make series production in the future.

DriveNow and Moovit team up for enhanced journey flexibility

The car sharing service DriveNow is to expand its visibility and enhance ease of use and transportation choice with the integration of the app, Moovit. The news comes, partly, after a global survey conducted by Moovit in 2015 showed London users commanded on-demand mobility services five or more times per week, despite the fact that 29 per cent of users had access to a household car.

Now with the integration of DriveNow into Moovit users will have one-touch access to all available forms of transportation right within the app. Moovit users will be able to view the entire fleet of available DriveNow cars in their area and rent one at exactly the moment they need it. Moovit will be launching the DriveNow integration first in London, with availability in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Stockholm to follow.

Ulrich Quay, Managing Director of BMW I Ventures, said: “We are very excited about the integration of DriveNow and Moovit, both brands are aiming to develop smart urban mobility solutions for our cities and we are happy to continue to work together towards this common goal.”

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