BMW X3 Plug-In Hybrid: The Complete Guide For India

BMW X3 xDrive30e Plug-In Hybrid
Price: N/A
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: SUV
Battery size: 11.15 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 29 - 30 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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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 X3 compact luxury SUV has been on sale since 2003. It is currently in its third generation. The SUV is manufactured in South Africa. The BMW X3 is available a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

For those private and company-car drivers, keen to take a step towards lower-tailpipe emission electric driving, but still keen on an internal combustion engine (ICE), a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is a natural next step. Global automotive manufacturers, like BMW, recognise the important role played by PHEVs for the immediate transition to zero-emission electric driving, and have been hard at work in offering their conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) petrol and diesel range, with plug-in hybrid variants.

The BMW X3 PHEV has much to offer an aspiring electric car driver. First, it is practical: large enough to feel spacious, yet small enough to drive and park in congested town and city centres, with ease. Given the exterior styling of a more traditional SUV roofline, the EV offers ample headroom and legroom for adults seated in the rear. The front seats also offer generous space.

Despite, the addition of an onboard EV battery, the EV boot space is still useful (450 L). The interior is completed to a high quality, as would be expected from a premium-badged BMW SUV. The EV is well specified in terms of technology, to include: driving assistant, steering and lane control assistant, active slide collision protection, BMW intelligent personal assistant, BMW Digital Key and a lot more.

The X3 plug-in SUV has an average size onboard EV battery (11.15 kWh). The claimed emission-free electric range up to 30 miles (WLTP certified) is also very similar to other plug-in electric cars available today. Real-world range will be closer to 25 miles, impacted by a number of factors, to include: driving profile, road conditions, passenger load, regenerative braking, speed, wheel size, weather conditions, etc. For shorter distances, in particular, in towns and cities, a pure electric range over 25 miles is more than sufficient. In fact, 2/3rds of motorist drive only 30 miles per day.

We recommend charging the EV overnight at the convenience of your home, when the electricity tariff rates are lower. It is worth noting that the onboard charger for the X3 PHEV is limited to 3.7 kW. Given the upmarket badge, a 7.4 kW onboard charger should have been incorporated as standard.

Charging the EV from 0% to 100% SoC (state-of-charge) using a dedicated EV charger like Easee will take up to 3.7 hours. We encourage EV charging via a dedicated residential EV charger, and discourage the use of a domestic 3-PIN plug. An EV charging station is safer and achieves a faster charging speed. The EV does not offer DC charging. BMW offers a 8 years or 100,000 miles warranty.

The X3 EV delivers a decent driving performance. The X3 hybrid incorporates a number of driving modes, to include: hybrid, hybrid eco pro, electric or sport/XTRA boost. The all-wheel drive X3 plug-in hybrid has a 2.0-litre (four-cylinder) petrol engine paired with an electric motor (80 kW). The top speed on electric mode is 83 mph, which is more than sufficient for driving around in congested urban centres. When the EV is being propelled by the internal combustion engine (ICE) the top speed is 130 mph. The electric SUV can achieve 0-62 mph in 6.1 seconds (maximum power: 292 hp).

By leveraging the hybrid technology i.e. an internal combustion engine (ICE) paired with an electric motor, this family hybrid SUV achieves, both, lower tailpipe emissions and financial savings. The X3 plug-in hybrid has claimed tailpipe emissions up to 48g (CO2/km), much lower than the conventional petrol engine X3 SUV (177 CO2/km). Lower tailpipe emissions help improve local air quality.

The claimed fuel economy is 134.5 mpg, but this will depend on a number of factors to include, the amount the EV is driven on the pure electric mode. The longer the duration driven on emission-free electric mode, the better the fuel economy. So best to take full advantage of the electric motor and EV battery!

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

Good looking exterior styling high quality interiorsSmall EV battery and limited electric range
A comfortable ride and performanceCheaper alternatives available in the market
Cheap to drive on pure e-modeOn-board charger limited to 3.7 kW. DC charging not available


The BMW X3 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:SUV
Available In India:No

Variants (1 Option)
BMW X3 xDrive30e xLine

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size (11.15 kWh)
Charging:DC charging not available. On-board charger 3.7 kW AC (0% – 100% in 3.7 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)

Height (mm):1676
Width (mm):1891
Length (mm):4708
Wheelbase (mm):2864
Boot capacity (L):450

BMW X3 xDrive30e xLine
EV Battery Capacity:11.15 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):29 – 30 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (miles/kWh):3.2 – 3.3
Fuel Consumption (MPG):134.5
Charging:DC charging not available. On-board charger 3.7 kW AC (0% – 100% in 3.7 hrs)
Top Speed:130 mph (electric mode: 83 mph)
0-62 mph:6.1 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):80
Max Power (hp):292
Torque (Nm):300
Unladen Weight-EU (kg):2,065
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

Top Reasons To Buy An Electric Vehicle (EV)

The past few years, in particular, 2020 and 2021, have witnessed a phenomenal increase in the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). Major global economies, to include, the United States and the European Union, have documented a surge in the sales of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). In many of these countries, lower emission to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) now account for up to 15% of annual new vehicle registrations, and in some countries like Norway, even greater than 50%.

This is not a short-term trend. Instead, it is the emergence of a long-term shift towards cleaner forms of travel. Though there are many reasons to own an electric vehicle (EV), we list below some of the key reasons fuelling consumer demand for EVs.

1). Vast choice of electric vehicles

It is true, that in India, the choice of electric vehicles is still restricted, compared to international markets. In India, we have access to only up to 15 electric vehicle models to include the MG ZS EV, Hyundai Kona, Jaguar I-PACE and the Tata Nexon EV. However, in many of the matured international markets, the choice of pure electric cars and plug-in hybrid electric cars are up to 200 models. We expect this to only increase! However, we do hope India will see an increase in the variety and supply of EVs on sale, giving consumers a greater choice.

2). Increased zero-emission range

The emission-free driving range of electric cars have improved significantly in recent years, and the latest models of EVs can achieve well over 200 miles (WLTP), if not over 300 miles (WLTP) on a single charge. In general, EV battery size and efficiency have improved. As an example, the all-electric Kia e-Niro compact SUV has a range of 282 miles. The best-selling pure electric Nissan Leaf has an electric range of 239 miles on a single charge. Of course, the likes of Tesla electric cars have a range well over 300 miles on a single charge!

3). Increased public charging infrastructure

Yes, it is true that the public charging infrastructure in India is at a nascent stage, but in a number of international markets, AC fast charging and DC rapid charging stations are now widespread. As an example, in the UK, there are as many public charging stations as there are petrol pumps! This increase in charging accessibility has driven confidence in consumers who were hesitant to migrate to zero-tailpipe emission electric cars i.e. no more range anxiety! Of course, many homes in the UK also have a dedicated EV charger. For EVs to succeed in India, the deployment of public and home EV charging infrastructure is mandatory.

4). Lower running and maintenance costs

Electric vehicles have far fewer moving parts compared to conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. The lower number of moving parts has reduced the maintenance burden of EVs, resulting in lower maintenance costs. Electric cars are also cheap to drive. 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!

5). Lower air pollution

However, in our view the greatest benefit of driving electric vehicles, in particular, pure electric vehicles, is the absence of tailpipe emissions. Electric cars do not even have a tailpipe! Zero-emission electric driving has a real and immediate impact on local air quality i.e. reducing air pollution. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have reduced tailpipe pollution compared to traditional petrol and diesel vehicles.

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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 large-scale 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 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 has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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