BMW 330e Saloon Plug-In Hybrid: The Complete Guide For India

BMW 330e Saloon Plug-In Hybrid
Price: N/A
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: Saloon
Battery size: 11.15 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 34 - 36 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 37-31g (CO2/km)


Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:


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The BMW 330e Saloon PHEV


BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG), is a leading global automotive manufacturer headquartered in Munich, Germany. BMW is well known for its portfolio of luxury vehicles, to include the famed Rolls-Royce luxury cars. The group manufacturers a number of cars under its BMW brand, to include battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The company currently has the following portfolio of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs):

The BMW 3 Series is currently on its sixth generation. The BMW 3 Series saloon is also available as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

The BMW 3 Series has always been considered a good all-rounder, and the 330e plug-in hybrid saloon is no different. The medium-sized electric vehicle (EV) is a good option for those seeking practicality, quality and keen to leverage the benefits of plug-in electric power.

Though the onboard EV battery size is limited to 11.15 kWh, the BMW plug-in hybrid is able to deliver a fuel-free zero-tailpipe emission electric range up to 36 miles (WLTP). Of course, do keep in mind that the real-world EV range will be lower than the claimed range, and assuming a 30 mile pure electric range is more realistic.

However, ample e-range to take advantage of the lower cost of driving an electric car. The cost of electric driving is far cheaper compared to driving on a petrol or diesel combustion engine. Also, the best way to enjoy the smoother and silent electric mode, is to make sure that the EV battery is ‘topped up’ on a regular basis. This also helps with the long-term health and maintenance of the EV battery. BMW offers a 8 years or 100,000 miles warranty.

The EV has a 3.7 kW AC onboard charger, which is disappointing, given the upmarket price tag. A 7.4 kW onboard charger should have been incorporated as standard. Nevertheless, do take advantage of the faster and safer charging using a dedicated EV charger like Wallbox. The BMW electric car can be fully charged in 3.5 hours. We at e-zoomed discourage the use of a domestic 3-PIN plug for EV charging. Using a domestic plug will take up to 5.5 hours to charge the EV. The PHEV does not offer fast DC charging compatibility.

The more the EV is driven on EV mode, the better is the overall efficiency and fuel economy of the vehicle. BMW claims that the BMW 330e PHEV can deliver up to 201.8 mpg. Of course, the real-world fuel consumption will depend on how well you leverage the use of the pure electric motor/ EV battery. The more, the better!

Like all PHEVs, the pairing of an electric motor with the internal combustion engine (ICE), also helps reduce the tailpipe-emissions for the BMW 3 Series plug-in electric car. The claimed tailpipe-emissions is up to 37g (CO2/km). The lower the emissions, the lower the local air pollution. A win-win for all!

The performance of the 2.0-litre (four-cylinder) BMW 3 Series demonstrates its capability as a good all-rounder. Top speed of the car on electric mode is 86 mph, sufficient for both urban and rural driving (top speed using the combustion engine is 142 mph). The EV is quick, despite the extra EV battery weight. It can achieve 0-62 mph in 5.8 seconds (maximum power: 292 hp). The EV also benefits from instant torque. The PHEV is available as a rear-wheel drive (RWD) and an all-wheel drive (AWD).

The BMW PHEV has a good quality interior, as would be expected from a premium-badged EV. The four-door electric saloon is practical too, though the boot space has been reduced due to the placement of the EV battery (available cargo volume is 375 L). In terms of technology, the EV includes: BMW head-up display, BMW curved-display, BMW digital key, reversing assistant, BMW intelligent personal assistant and a lot more. The drivers cockpit is modern, intuitive and practical.

Bottom-line, electric driving is good for the environment and the wallet! The BMW electric car is not available in India.


PROSCONS
High quality interior and specificationsSmall EV battery and limited electric range
Refined drive and decent performanceOnboard charger limited to 3.7 kW. DC charging not available
Cheap to run on electric modeAll-wheel drive not standard for all variants

Gallery


The BMW 330e Saloon Plug-In Hybrid (credit: BMW)


Driving an electric vehicle (EV) is cheaper than driving a petrol or diesel vehicle. As an example, in India, filling a full tank of fuel for the internal combustion engine (ICE) Tata Nexon SUV will cost up to Rs 5,000 (assuming an average cost per litre of Rs 100. The Tata Nexon has a fuel tank capacity of 44 L).

In comparison, the Tata Nexon Pure Electric SUV will cost less than Rs 300 for a full EV battery charge (EV Battery size: 30.2 kWh). In India, the average cost for residential electricity is between Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kWh(unit). Therefore the cost to drive per km (or mile) in a pure electric vehicle is substantially lower than a petrol or diesel vehicle.

At an average one can expect a cost per km of Rs 1 for a zero-emission EV, while for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, the cost per km could be up to Rs 7 per km. The annual cost savings achieved by switching to electric driving is significant!


At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Vehicle Type:Saloon
Engine:Petrol-Electric
Available In India:No

Variants (2 Options)
BMW 330e M Sport Saloon
BMW 330e xDrive M Sport Saloon

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size (11.15 kWh)
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger 3.7 kW AC (0% – 100%: 3.5 hrs)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:37-31g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

Dimensions
Height (mm):1444
Width (mm):1827
Length (mm):4709
Wheelbase (mm):2851
Boot capacity (L):375

BMW 330e M Sport Saloon
EV Battery Capacity:11.15 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):34 – 36 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (miles/kWh):3.6 – 3.7
Fuel Consumption (MPG):176.6 – 201.8
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger 3.7 kW AC (0% – 100%: 3.5 hrs)
Top Speed:142 mph (electric mode: 86 mph)
0-62 mph:5.8 seconds
Drive:Rear-wheel drive (RWD)
Electric Motor (kW):83
Max Power (hp):292
Torque (Nm):300
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:4
Unladen Weight-EU (kg):1,845
Colours:6
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

BMW 330e xDrive M Sport Saloon
EV Battery Capacity:11.15 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):34 – 36 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (miles/kWh):3.5 – 3.7
Fuel Consumption (MPG):176.6 – 201.8
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger 3.7 kW AC (0% – 100%: 3.5 hrs)
Top Speed:142 mph (electric mode: 86 mph)
0-62 mph:5.8 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):83
Max Power (hp):292
Torque (Nm):300
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:4
Unladen Weight-EU (kg):1,895
Colours:6
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

Electric Car Charging: A Snapshot


Charging an electric vehicle (EV), is really quite as simple as charging your smart mobile phone i.e. plug and play! Both, battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are charged in the same manner. Below is a brief guide to charging an electric car:

  • Just like a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle is filled with fuel, similarly, an electric car is filled with ‘fuel’, the only difference being that the fuel is electricity and not petrol or diesel. In a petrol or diesel car the fuel is stored in a fuel tank, while in an electric vehicle, the electricity is stored in an EV battery, usually a lithium-ion battery.
  • Electric cars can be charged at home or at public charging points. Most EV charging is done at home overnight via a dedicated EV charging station. However, some households still use a 3-PIN domestic plug to charge an EV. We strongly discourage the use of a 3-PIN domestic plug and instead encourage the installation of a high quality home EV charging station, like Webasto or EVBox.
  • Pure electric cars take longer to charge than plug-in hybrid electric cars, as pure EVs have a larger EV battery. In most cases a pure electric car will have an EV battery between 30 kWh and 100 kWh, while a plug-in hybrid electric car will usually have an EV battery between 8 kWh and 15 kWh. Charging an EV at home can take between 3 to 15 hours, depending on the size of the EV battery and the type of charge point or 3-PIN plug engaged for charging. Home charging is AC charging, and in most cases up to 7.4 kW, as most homes, to include, India, are singe-phase.

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

  • Public charging, to include workplace charging, is quite similar to home charging, except, the charging stations are faster and sometimes more expensive to charge per kWh. Public charging stations are both AC and DC charging, however, the AC charging is at a much faster rate (22 kW). DC charging, is the fastest way to charge an EV and depending on the EV battery size, DC charging can fully charge an EV battery in less than 40 minutes. In general, plug-in hybrid cars do not use DC charging i.e. DC charging is mostly used by pure electric cars. DC charging stations can range between 50 kW to 300 kW.
  • We always encourage EV owners to carry an EV cable in the car, as not all public charging points are tethered (attached cable). We recommend the use of a 5m EV charging cable, and preferably a high visibility colour. Of course, you can buy high quality EV charging cables and EV charging stations via e-zoomed.

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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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