Munich, 26 September 2016. In mid-September, the BMW 330e celebrated its world premiere at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show. The model is built at the site in Munich, bringing the total of models manufactured at the parent plant up to five. Production started in mid-October. If the customer demand develops accordingly, one in ten 3 Series vehicles from Munich may in future be a PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle).

At first glance, it is impossible to distinguish between the 330e PHEV and other 3 Series variants. When taking a closer look, however, two particularities stand out: One is the additional ‘fuel filler flap’ on the driver’s side on the height of the fender. Officially called a charging flap, this cover conceals the power outlet. The second particularity is the eDrive designation at the C-pillar, indicating that the model has an electric drive. Depending on the chosen tires, the mileage of the PHEV stands at between 1.9 and 2.1 liters per 100 kilometers, corresponding to 44 to 49 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometer. These figures clearly attest to the above-average efficiency of the BMW eDrive.

THE DUAL POWER STRATEGY

This leap in efficiency is due to the intelligent combination of a four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor: At 184hp, the BMW B48 provides about two thirds of the system performance of 252hp, with the additional 88hp delivered by the electric drive. Integrated in the housing of the eight-speed automatic transmission, it provides a constant torque of 100 Nm, and for short intervals at full throttle even up to 250 Nm. This output is sufficient for cruising along in everyday traffic and swiftly pass other traffic participants. The energy for the electric drive is stored in a lithium-ion battery located below the trunk. This high-voltage battery has a capacity of 7.6 kWh, allowing for a fully electric range of about 40 kilometers.

PERFECT FOR EVERYDAY USE

The battery can be connected to any regular domestic power outlet and is fully charged after three hours and 40 minutes. Drivers do not have to worry about any limitations in everyday use. The rear bench of the 330e is divided into three parts and can be folded down to provide a level trunk floor. Only the trunk volume of 370 liters indicates that there is a high-voltage battery hidden below the trunk. 

A PLANT ELECTRIFIED

The integration of the 3 Series PHEV into ongoing series production brought about numerous challenges for the Munich plant. Following the production launch of the new 3 Series in the summer, the start of production of the 330e was the second launch at the site within only a few months. Just like the 3 Series Touring and the 4 Series Coupe, the 3 Series PHEV is produced exclusively at the parent plant for all markets worldwide. The goal was to integrate the new model into the series process and existing plant structures at no additional costs while sparing no effort to meet the high customer demands.