BMW 745e Plug-In Hybrid: The Complete Guide For India

BMW 745e 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): 30 - 32 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 48-45g (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 745e 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 7 Series, a luxury saloon, has been manufactured since 1977. The vehicle is currently on its sixth generation. The BMW 7 Series is available as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

When it comes to ultra-luxury saloon plug-in electric cars, few can compete with the Mercedes S-Class PHEV, except if the competitor is BMW! The 745e PHEV is a good alternative to the S-Class PHEV, albeit with a slightly lower price tag.

No doubt, the introduction of the 7 Series plug-in hybrid variant has been a good move by the German automotive group, making the EV attractive for both private and company-car owners, given the reduced tailpipe emissions (48 CO2/km) and the lower motoring costs. However, given the upmarket price for the 7 Series PHEV, the size of the onboard EV battery (11.15 kWh), onboard charger (3.7 kW) and emission-free electric range (32 miles) is disappointing.

Yes, it is true that the average distance travelled per day is a mere 30 miles, and even given that the real-world electric range of the BMW 745e PHEV (closer to 25 miles), is sufficient for most shorter urban trips, a larger EV battery could be leveraged for motorway driving, to further enhance the fuel economy of the electric vehicle.

BMW claims a fuel economy up to 141.2 mpg, but to achieve this, the EV has to be driven sufficiently on EV mode. It is worth noting that the latest plug-in electric cars have far more efficient engines. Moreover, by driving the BMW electric car on EV mode, the driving cost per mile is reduced significantly and cheaper than using the internal combustion engine (ICE).

For the BMW premium-badge, a 7.4 kW onboard charger should have come as standard with the EV. However, given the smaller EV battery size, the 3.7 kW onboard charger will suffice, though, will take longer to charge the electric vehicle (up to 3.5 hours). The EV can be charged using a domestic 3-PIN socket, however, we at e-zoomed encourage charging via a dedicated home EV charging point, like Easee. The EV does not offer fast DC charging.

In any case, the plug-in electric car can be charged overnight at home, and we recommend EV drivers to develop a habit of ‘topping up’ the EV battery charge on a regular basis. This way, the EV can be driven as much as possible on the electric mode and also better for the overall health and maintenance of the EV battery. BMW offers a 8 years or 100,000 miles warranty.

The rear-wheel drive (RWD) plug-in electric saloon pairs the BMW 83 kW (eDrive electric drive technology), with a 3.0-litre (six-cylinder) petrol engine. Despite the additional weight of the EV battery, the EV can achieve 0-62 mph in 5.2 seconds (maximum power: 394 hp). Top speed in EV mode is 86 mph and using the combustion engine, the top speed is 155 mph.

In terms of practicality, the boot space is slightly impacted by the placement of the EV battery and offers 420 L cargo volume. However, there is the usual excellent headroom and legroom for passengers. The interior is top-quality and is technology-laden. Executive Nappa leather upholstery comes as standard, ambient lighting, BMW intelligent personal assistant, remote software updates, driving assistant professional, steering and lane control assistant, and a lot more.

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


PROS CONS
A comfortable drive and quality build (exterior and interior)An expensive PHEV with a limited electric range
Good infotainment systemAn outdated exterior styling for some consumers
Cheap to run on electric modeOnboard charger limited to 3.7 kW. DC charging not available

Gallery


The BMW 745e 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 (1 Option)
BMW 745e 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:48-45g (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):1467
Width (mm):1902
Length (mm):5120
Wheelbase (mm):3070
Boot capacity (L):420

BMW 745e M Sport Saloon
EV Battery Capacity:11.15 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):30 – 32 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (miles/kWh):3.3 – 3.4
Fuel Consumption (MPG):134.5 – 141.2
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger 3.7 kW AC (0% – 100%: 3.5 hrs)
Top Speed:155 mph (electric mode: 86 mph)
0-62 mph:5.2 seconds
Drive:Rear-wheel drive (RWD)
Electric Motor (kW):83
Max Power (hp):394
Torque (Nm):450
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:4
Unladen Weight-EU (kg):2,075
Colours:9
NCAP Safety Rating:N/A

Air Quality: The Basics


It does not matter where in India one lives, no one can escape the increased level of air pollution engulfing our villages, towns and cities, across the country. However, this is not unique to India.

Air pollution has been documented globally as one of the key issues in increased mortality rates, in particular, for those that are most vulnerable: the children and the aged. Increased air pollution has been linked to increases in premature deaths, higher rates of cancer, heart attacks, stroke and lung diseases.   

In India, air quality worsens closer to more densely populated urban centres, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier cities. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru are just some of the examples of cities with dangerous levels of toxic air pollution or poor air quality. In fact, air pollution levels have been so high in India in the recent years, that it has captured the attention of the world media. 

Many factors affect the level of air pollution, but one that is significant, is the pollution released from road transportation, commonly referred to as ‘emissions’ or tailpipe emissions. For the majority of the globe, to include, India, emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles contribute more than 30% to air pollution. This is an average, and certainly, in more populated cities like Delhi and Mumbai, the level of toxic contribution from vehicle exhausts will be even higher. The other major contributor to air pollution is energy production and consumptions (fossil fuels).  


So, what is air pollution?


  • Air pollution is the release of pollutants in our atmosphere that have a negative impact on the health of individuals and the environment as a whole. 
  • The majority of pollutants are invisible. The are minutely small particles (finely divided solids) or gases that cannot be seen with the naked eye. These extremely small solid or liquid particles are also called particulates. Examples are: fumes, smoke, dust and soot. The majority of these particulates are less than 10 micrometres.    
  • Air pollution can affect the environment both outdoors and indoors. There are a number of different types of pollutants, but the most well known are particulate matter, carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.  
  • Both carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxides (NO2), contribute to smog formation, very common in the winter months. Sulphur dioxide (SO2) contributes to haze and also acid rain formation. Particulate matters also contributes to haze and acid rain. All the above negatively impact health by increasing irritation of breathing passages, aggravation of asthma and irregular heartbeat. 
  • Pollutants like carbon dioxide have a far reaching consequence on our lives. It is not only air pollution that it impacts, but as being a major source of greenhouse gas, CO2 has a long-term and detrimental impact on our environment and ecosystem. More commonly refereed to as ‘climate change’.
  • Most of us know in India are familiar with PM 2.5 (fine particulate matter). These are tiny particles or droplets that are two and one half microns or less in width. A micron is a unit of measurement of length equal to one millionth of a metre. An increase in levels of PM 2.5 concentrations result in an increase in unhealthy air quality, haze etc. Vehicle exhausts are a major contributor to higher levels of PM 2.5 in the air.    
  • Though measures like reducing traffic (odd-even system in Delhi), wearing air masks etc. can help reduce the impact of pollution, the reduction is not far-reaching. Zero-emission road transportation i.e. electric cars, are a panacea for a sustained and comprehensive improvement in air quality. The sooner, we in India, migrate to electric vehicles, the sooner can we start to improve our local air quality.  

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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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