BMW has launched a full range of five iPerformance plug-in hybrid models along with the 94 Ah i3 in Singapore. The range of iPerformance PHEV models launched includes the 225xe Active Tourer, the 330e, the 530e, the 740Le xDrive, and X5 xDrive40e.
Among the five PHEV models launched, three are familiar to us in the Malaysian market, namely the 330e, 740Le, and X5 xDrive40e. The other two, the 225xe Active Tourer and the 530e are being offered in an ASEAN market for the first time.
Of particular interest to our market is the 530e, a model with strong likelihood of being locally-assembled here to take advantage of EEV incentives. The 5 Series' two key rivals in Malaysia, the Volvo S90 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, are both set to introduce PHEV variants of their own, meaning BMW cannot afford to be left out of the game at any rate.
Following a setup similar to the 330e, the 530e mates BMW’s 2.0-litre B48 petrol engine generating 184 hp and 290 Nm with a 113 hp / 250 Nm electric motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission. Net system output is rated at 252 hp and 420 Nm.
The 530e is able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 235 km/h. A full charge of battery is said to provide up to 50 km of pure electric cruising up to a maximum speed of 140 km/h. The 330e, in comparison, is claimed to do only 35 km.
Priced at SGD 280,800 including COE, the 530e joins BMW Singapore’s line-up of the G30 5 Series that also includes the 2.0-litre petrol 530i, 3.0-litre petrol 540i, and 2.0-litre diesel 520d variants.
Meanwhile, the 225xe Active Tourer features the 1.5-litre three-cylinder B38 powerplant supplying the front wheels with 136 hp through a six-speed automatic transmission joining forces with an 88 hp electric motor driving the rear axle.
Powering the motor is a lithium-ion battery installed under the rear seats with energy capacity of 7.6 kWh, enough to propel the 225xe on electric power for 41 km on a full charge. Maximum speed in full EV mode is 125 km/h, whilst the vehicle’s overall top speed is 202 km/h.
To accommodate the battery, the rear seats are raised by 30 mm compared to regular versions of the 2 Series Active Tourer. The 225xe Active Tourer is priced at SGD 176,800 inclusive COE.
Two of Singapore’s government agencies – the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Economic Development Board – have recently joint forces to launch an electric vehicle car-sharing programme that will see 1,000 EVs and 2,000 charging points being rolled out across the island republic from now till 2020.