By 2022, All BMWs Will Be Electric – Mostly AWD Extended-Range EVs

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 33

BMW 3 Series eDrive Plug-In Hybrid

BMW 3 Series eDrive Plug-In Hybrid

BMW 3 Series eDrive Plug-In Hybrid

BMW 3 Series eDrive Plug-In Hybrid

Autocar put out a report on BMW’s future electrification plans.  The report states:

“BMW is getting ready to embark on a radical engineering and technology drive which could see all future models from the 3-series upwards, including the Rolls-Royce range, become all-wheel-drive range-extender electric cars.”

“In will come bodies made from a mix of steel, aluminium and composites and powertrains that use electric motors as the primary drive source, backed up by a large battery pack and a fundamentally rethought internal combustion engine family that spends much of its time acting as a generator and running at peak efficiency.”

Additional changes will be made to improve aerodynamics and reduce rolling resistance, all in an effort to improve efficiency and range.

The report essentially concludes that from 2022 on (2022 is the year that new versions of all BMWs will be on the roads), all BMW offerings (excluding Mini and the BMW 1 Series) will be plug-in hybrids or electric and most will be AWD EREVs.  And yes, the switch is largely due to emissions regulations:

“BMW’s ‘big car’ sales — not including the 1-series and the Mini family — amount to about 75 per cent of its output. This means getting the CO2 emissions of the mainstream 3-series, 4-series and 5-series models down to 50g/km (on the current test regime) or even lower.

So the adoption of some kind of plug-in hybrid powertrain — the sort that will appear in the 3-series eDrive in 2016 — will be necessary for all of BMW’s larger cars over the next decade. The downsides of today’s plug-in hybrid technology are weight, the need to make space for a battery and the high cost.

BMW’s plan to make all of its cars from the 3-series upwards plug-in hybrids has forced the company’s engineers to rethink the make-up of its cars from first principles.”

The plug-in hybrid setup that BMW will largely turn to is scalable, meaning that it can be applied with minor changes to most all BMW models:

“This new hybrid powertrain is described by BMW as being “scalable from the 3-series to a V12 Rolls-Royce”. It uses two electric motors, one on the rear axle and one mounted directly behind the engine.

A large battery occupies the centre tunnel and some of the space usually occupied by the fuel tank. The front-mounted engine acts as a generator in most driving situations, creating electricity to help drive the electric motors. The front electric motor is key to the new powertrain.

In normal use, it drives the front wheels via a still-secret new type of transmission. At speeds above 50mph or so, the engine ‘assists’ the electric motor by attaching itself to the new transmission and helping to drive the front wheels at motorway speeds.

BMW won’t reveal the details of this new combined electric motor and transmission system, but company engineers told Autocar that the combustion engine would probably be driving the front wheels only about 10 per cent of the time in a typical journey.”

You’ll find loads of additional information on the operation of this powertrain and on BMW’s future electric plans by clicking the source link below.  Autocar’s article is extremely detailed and includes lots of insider information.

Source: Autocar

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33 responses to "By 2022, All BMWs Will Be Electric – Mostly AWD Extended-Range EVs"

  1. Chris says:

    So… They are turning all of their cars into Chevy Volts? Too bad Chevy didn’t do this first considering the head start they had.

    1. Brian says:

      Nice use of past tense, but notice that BMW is talking about future offerings. There is still time for Chevy to see the light, and expand the Voltec into more of their lineup. I doubt they’ll go all-in by 2022, but it would be nice to see it applied to more vehicles.

      And for the record, I know Chevy used much of the Voltec system for the new Malibu hybrid. But they left off the single most important feature – the plug!

    2. Speculawyer says:

      Seriously. Chevy built the future and hasn’t run with it. I guess they were a little early and disappointed by the sales so far such that they didn’t expand much.

      And the expansion they did do was pathetic . . . the ELR . . . a gussied up Volt with the Caddy badge. The badge that appeals to your granddad that watches Fox News all day. And they priced it above $70K. Like that was gonna sell.

      They need a Voltec SUV, mini-van, CUV, etc. Not a Caddy land-barge.

      1. Dave86 says:

        GM should have intially brought out their Voltec technology in a CUV, not a sedan. Buyers who need the utility of a CUV probably will not consider a sedan. However, sedan shoppers might be willing to consider a CUV if the power train (Voltec) is not available in a sedan body style.

        To say that it is just plain thrilling to see an auto maker like BMW make such a commitment to electrification is an understatement. While I never considered myself to be a “BMW type of person”, I may have to consider buying an electrified BMW in the future.

    3. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Not surprising…

      Didn’t BMW hire the GM Volt director? Well, he is finally heard at BMW…

  2. kdawg says:

    “most will be AWD EREVs”
    ——–
    They way I read it described, they will be PHEVs not EREVs.

    1. protomech says:

      Read again.

      “BMW won’t reveal the details of this new combined electric motor and transmission system, but company engineers told Autocar that the combustion engine would probably be driving the front wheels only about 10 per cent of the time in a typical journey.

      This, they said, allowed them to run the engine at ‘Lambda 1’ for 90 per cent of the time. This means that the engine is run very lean, with no need for any kind of enrichment by the fuel injection system, resulting in reduced fuel use.

      Indeed, because the engine works mostly as a generator, it can be totally rethought in its design and operation. And because the engine is only working mechanically at limited times and with substantial assistance from electric motors, it can potentially be much simpler and less expensive to build than today’s complex turbo engines.”

      1. Jeff N says:

        EREV means no gasoline use at all while there is usable EV charge remaining in the battery. EREV, at least by GM’s proposed SAE definition written back in 2007, means that a car runs as an EV only and does not start the engine for vehicle speed or torque/power output reasons. Once the usable EV range is used up then a range extender starts up and EREV does not define whether it must be series, parallel, or series/parallel.

        So, by that definition, the BMW powertrain being described would not be an EREV.

        1. kdawg says:

          To add to Jeff’s post; an EREV can be driven at 100% full speed at 100% full acceleration, and this should not trigger the gasoline engine to come on.

          Basically the vehicle is a ‘BEV’ first, then a ‘PHEV’ second.

          1. pjwood1 says:

            The Volt would be a PHEV then, because its full performance, per Motor Trend, gets better with the engine. No matter. Volt then could neither add a 6th mode, bringing engine acceleration times down without our reclassifying it a PHEV, like the ELR would already be.

            My EREV standard isnt as high as yours, Kdawg.

        2. protomech says:

          “EREV means no gasoline use at all while there is usable EV charge remaining in the battery.”

          As described, the BMW powertrains aren’t EREVs. They could perhaps be adapted if that was important to BMW, or there may be a switch to operate in a strict EV-only mode that would satisfy the EREV requirements.

          “The front electric motor is key to the new powertrain. In normal use, it drives the front wheels via a still-secret new type of transmission. At speeds above 50mph or so, the engine ‘assists’ the electric motor by attaching itself to the new transmission and helping to drive the front wheels at motorway speeds.”

          By the definition you presented, the Volt is an EREV (ignoring certain times when the engine turns on, for heating or periodic cycling reasons). Is the ELR, using a slightly modified version of the Voltec powertrain, also an EREV? Or does the presence of an additional, non-default combined gas + electric mode make it not an EREV?

          “Additionally, the 2016 ELR has a modified Sport mode that enables the propulsion system to combine engine and electric motor power to take the ELR from 0-60 in 6.4 seconds, a 1.5 second improvement from the current model.”

          http://insideevs.com/2016-cadillac-elr-gets-substantial-price-cut-along-with-more-power-range-optional-performance-package/

          Per kdawg:
          “an EREV can be driven at 100% full speed at 100% full acceleration”

          The Volt powertrain is very similar to the ELR, though it lacks the modified sport mode that combines gas and motor for acceleration. Is the Volt then not an EREV because it doesn’t have “100% full acceleration” that would be possible with the combined powertrain?

          Volt: EREV or PHEV?

          ELR: EREV or PHEV?

          1. kdawg says:

            I’d say the ELR is also an EREV. Only in modes other then the normal mode, can the user force the engine to come on (Mountain mode, Sport mode, Hold mode).

            1. pjwood1 says:

              Seeing the other way, that user “forced” decent all-electric performance mode, and acceptable range = EREV

              A V8 that halves 0-60 time, still EREV to me. BMW won’t chose REx’s that kill track performance across their whole line. Other do-gooders may wish for this, but not serious car enthusiasts.

        3. Lensman says:

          Well, I’m sure of one thing after reading this exchange: Using the term “EREV” merely creates confusion, as nobody can agree on what it actually means.

          But then, I already knew that.

          All EV enthusiasts know what “PHEV” means. Let us please stick to terms we can all agree on.

      2. Priusmaniac says:

        The interesting part is that an engine, rethought as a pure generator, will sooner or later drop the energy scavenging crank and shaft model and move on to the free piston direct generator model.

        1. Lensman says:

          ICEngine auto makers have had more than a century now to figure out a more mechanically efficient way to generate power than using pistons attached to a rotary crankshaft. Despite many attempts, nobody has done better. It seems unlikely at this late date that anyone will.

  3. CDAVIS says:

    By 2020 the biggest differential between EV car makers will be how they address range anxiety:

    PHEV

    vs.

    EV + Access to Fast Charge Network

    It will be interesting to see how that plays out and will likely be the X-Factor.

    1. kdawg says:

      I think the x-factors are

      *cost of large batteries
      *expansion of DCFC
      *cost of gasoline

      1. The emission regs require large scale deployment regardless of the price of gasoline.

        Most automakers now concede that ratcheting CO2 limits (already on the books in Europe) can not be met with ICE only drivetrains.

        With BMW proving that in can be done with such bold leadership, the laggards have very little to say in their defense.

        Inspiring to see some real leadership.

        1. kdawg says:

          True, legislation is also an X-factor.

        2. ggpa says:

          Part of what is behind this announcement is that BMW cannot afford to design unique powertrains for the US market, so they go all in with Euro spec powertrains.

          The mega manufacturers like GM, VW, Toyota have more options, and I do not expect them to be totally BEV/EREV by 2022.

          1. Stimpy says:

            And if they don’t start following along by 2022, I predict they are going to have their lunch eaten by those that have moved fully to electrics.

            1. ggpa says:

              Stimpy, everyone in this forum share your loyalty, but the 95% ICE market share in the USA will not disappear by 2022. Good luck with that!

              I would be happy if that falls to 75% in 2022.

          2. pjwood1 says:

            VW did an awful job adapting its diesel power tranes, for US regs. Look at reliability and cost.

            1. ggpa says:

              My point is that VW will continue to make different cars with different power trains for Europe and USA. They can afford to do that.

              The fact that they dropped the ball on TDI reliability is a sad but separate topic.

  4. przemo_li says:

    Nice. But it create large market for wrong type of batteries!

    Hope there will be enough BEVs offered from BMW.

  5. Anton Wahlman says:

    Yes, according to the source story from January 5 🙂

  6. speculawyer says:

    Merkel must have given them word that plug-in incentives are coming. Climate change is a big issue to her and most of Germany. And this is also a great way to stick it to Putin.

    Go forward!

    1. Mikael says:

      Merkel big on climate change? *lol*. If that was the case then she would be a bit more active in shutting down coal mines and coal plants. And a small start would be to get rid of the major coal power exports.
      What Germany are doing is just environmental fraud. And yet another reason why they are lagging in EV adoption.
      Words but no will and no action.

  7. QCO says:

    It is becoming clear this is the path most manufacturers will go over the decade or so. It is the only viable solution for performance and emissions that will satisfy consumer expectations.

    But it is interesting to see there will be an ICE only low end vehicle for a long, long time (1 Series is low end in Germany). The lower socio-economic groups are usually driven only by initial price/affordability.

  8. Lensman says:

    The article says:

    “The report essentially concludes that from 2022 on (2022 is the year that new versions of all BMWs will be on the roads), all BMW offerings (excluding Mini and the BMW 1 Series) will be plug-in hybrids or electric and most will be AWD EREVs.”

    I would love to think that any auto maker will be making all but its lowest-priced cars as PHEVs or BEVs within as little as 7 years, but I think there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that this will actually happen.

    For the record, Rolls-Royce has made exactly one (1) experimental, prototype PEV. And we’re supposed to believe that in 7 years or less, all Rolls-Royces will be PEVs, along with the vast majority of BMW models?

    I say it ain’t gonna happen. Someday, yes. But not within 7 years.

    Go ahead, BMW, prove me wrong. Please!

  9. Mike I says:

    The way the technical details read in this story, it sounds like a big BMW will be very much like a 2015 Accord Hybrid, but with a larger plug-in sized battery and an additional drive motor at the rear wheels, likely with about 200kW output.

    For those that don’t know, the Accord hybrid has no actual multi-speed transmission. It has a 100kW+ traction motor directly geared to the wheels. It also has a smaller motor-generator directly geared to the ICE. Then, there is a clutch that can couple the ICE to the wheels, starting at about 45mph. Below that speed, the ICE would be lugging because of the fixed gear ratio.

    So, in my fictitious BMW application, you would have an EREV with 100kW available at the front wheels, 200kW available at the back wheels, and a range extender that can also directly drive the front wheels at highway speeds. That sounds like a respectable BMW to me.

    The details of the ICE in this example are relatively unimportant in comparison to the overall topology.

    1. OppChg says:

      Yes, but in reality this describes more like a PHEV like the Ford Fusion/CMAX Energi, that has strong all-electric drive under ~50 mph, but is then dependent on the engine (direct torque/and or generated kW) for good highway performance. So more like a Energi on steroids; nothing wrong with that, and will reduce gasoline consumption greatly like the Volt…but it’s a different concept that won’t allow you to briskly merge on to the highway gas-free all EV like the Volt does (and up to 101 mph all EV, if you dare!;) But I don’t think most BMW drivers will car, as like the i8, the *combined* performance will be much greater.