At the 36th International Vienna Motor Symposium yesterday, Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development presented the company's latest plug-in hybrid drive technology - Power eDrive.
Building on the experience gained from the one-motor eDrive system used in the i8 and the X5 eDrive, Power eDrive is said to deliver "all-round electric driving experience and even further enhanced dynamics at higher speeds," thanks to its two-motor system - each powering one axle at either ends of the vehicle.
"With an electric drive on both front and rear axles, electric driving fun becomes a palpable experience. But the dynamic potential of this drive concept really comes into its own when accelerating from standstill and during mid-range acceleration on the open road. At higher speeds the combustion engine can also be called on as a supplementary drive source. Thus, as well as providing dynamics as required, Power eDrive also guarantees a significant boost in efficiency during everyday operation," said Klaus.
In the BMW i8 for example, a single 250 Nm electric motor drives the front wheels while the rear wheels are driven by a 1.5-litre three cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. Claimed total driving range is 440 km (when tested under the combined European driving cycle methodology), out of which 37 km can be driven purely in electric power.
Similarly with the X5 eDrive (to be launched in Europe later this year), a single 250 Nm motor is used, but this time it is integrated within the X5's 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission.
With the more sophisticated two-motor Power eDrive, Klaus said a total range of 600 km is possible. He didn't mention the electric drive range, but said "In statistical terms, some 80 per cent of the average annual mileage of a typical commuter could be covered in all-electric mode."
BMW has yet to show any concept car fitted with Power eDrive but the company said that a demonstrator model has already been built.