BMW Working On 588 MPG Plug-In Hybrid

JUL 18 2015 BY MARK KANE 31

BMW Carbon Fiber

BMW i’s Carbon Fiber

According to Automobilwoche, BMW is working on ultra efficient car, which will achieve 588 miles per gallon fuel economy or 0.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers.

It will be a small, 4-seater, with an ultra-low drag coefficient and weight of just 2,645 pounds (1,200 kg) made from carbon-fiber reinforced plastic.

The mysterious car will be equipped with a two cylinder gas engine just to generate power and an electric motor to drive the wheels.

If BMW is really working on such car (for demonstration purposes or limited production run), Volkswagen’s XL1 diesel plug-in hybrids with “just” 240 mpg will look like a gas guzzler.

Performance will not be the top priority with this BMW.

Source: Automobilwoche via

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31 Comments on "BMW Working On 588 MPG Plug-In Hybrid"

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There has got to be a CATCH Here…I wonder what they’re leaving Out …Let’s Stay Tuned Until the truth come to Light…..


It’s going to be a non production concept car… otherwise performance would be a priority (it is a BMW).


BMW Production target date: 2050

In other news, Tesla Model VaPoR delivering electric vehicle powered by perpetual energy engine. “Recharge” once every 4th human generation. Great great grandchildren must pay $1 for recharge material. 😉


I presume you are not trained in the laws of physics? Otherwise, your jest at actual human progress would make you look foolish.

*your response = “I was kidding, hence my inability to recognize the unstoppable transition from fossil fuels to renewable technologies, most of which will be in the form of electrons”.


They get 520 miles EV recharging many times and 68 mile gasoline is how, which is kind of cheating.
Even on electric unlikely to get over 120mpge.
Fact is at 2600lbs rather heavy in CF vs the Visio.M they are sponsoring at 1k lbs only or the Toyota 1/x CF future Prius slightly less.
So not much way they can do better than the i3 other than lower the RE weight. Which would BTW give the weight quoted for this ‘advanced lightweight’ EV.
I have a stronger than steel 2 seat sportwagon body/chassis, 2/3rds of the BMW done in medium tech composites only weighs 235lbs or 350lbs as a 4 seater.
Total weight about 1200lbs with 150 mile range and RE.
So just why does the i3 or the mentioned one weigh so much in CF?

khai l.

color me skeptical, but this sounds like them funny i8 math, where the charge in the battery isn’t included when calculating fuel economy.

Now that mpge is in place, plug-in hybrids should really be calculated based on the combined energy+fuel consumption to travel a fixed distance. At 1200kg, this hybrid should be only as efficient as an i3 (130+mpge), not dramatically more so.


Didn’t they already make this car? It’s called the i3.


Exactly, but it is rated at only 470 mpg in UK. Maybe they’re adding a few extra EV miles with better batteries.


If this 588 MPG is valid, the same vehicle could go 17.45 miles per kWh.
ie: IF using a LEAF 24 kWh battery pack, it would be able to travel ~400 miles per single charge!

Ref: 33.7 kWh per 1 gallon of gasoline (MPGe)

David Murray

588mpg is nothing but marketing math..

Someone out there

If you discard the requirement that the car must be practical to use then sure, 588 mpg isn’t very difficult at all.

mr. M

The 588 MPG are on the NEDC. kWh used are not counted for MPG assumption. Based on the NEDC calculation a car with a consumption of 0,4l/100km you can calculate the electric range (De) if you know the consumtion x of the gas engine for battery emtpy state.

Assumed x is known:
x = 3 l/100km -> De = 162,5 km
X = 4 l/100km -> De = 225 km
X = 5 l/100km -> De = 287,5 km.

i3rex has 170 km range and a combined consumtion of 0,6 l/100km.

So all we know is that the new motor will use little less gas in battery empty state or range will go up a little. I dont expect the new rex to be more efficient (i3 rex must be rated around 3 l/100km). So this assumes that the range goes up, but probably not above 225 km (30% more range).

Khai L.

By that calculation, then would it mean that an i3 Rex with only a 0.5 gallon tank would get the SAME mpg rating?! That’s nutz!

mr. M

This is true, efficiency doesnt change with tank size. But range will be lower.

Still i agree that the NEDC is nuts, because for not counting kWh consumed.

mr. M

Well weight actually has an effect on eficiency, but 2-3 gallon weight the effect is close to nothing.


The i-MiEV satisfies well over 90% of our daily-driving trip needs, but we are looking for a viable replacement for our Gen1 Honda Insight (lifetime true 77mpg) for our long-distance drives. This could be it…


A Chevy Volt would be a better choice for long distance drives. The i3’s gas tank is less than 2 gallons, so you have to fill up every 70 miles or so. Also it does not have enough gas engine power to climb long grades at safe speeds.

The Volt has over 300 miles of gas range, and can climb any mountain at 65-70 mph.



I’d rebuild the Insight. It is unlikely to find a better car or the money unless you need more room.
Afterall it’s a hand built alum chassis that is hard to find.
Many are turning them into EV’s but the value as a collector car as the first modern hybrid plus the mpg savings while you own it, I’d hold on to it an 5 yrs at least selling if you can.


I had lifetime average below 0.8L/100km with my Volt plus a significant kWh energy consumption for sure…


The lifetime fuel economy to date for my Volt is 0.38 Litres/100km, which equals 619 mpg. That’s after travelling about 52,000km (or 32,500 miles).

I don’t hypermile at all – in fact I drive it pretty aggressively. But I’ve still spent less than $250 on gas since I’ve owned the vehicle.

Those figures speak volumes about GM’s achievement – and also about how far behind them the other major automakers are.

Chris O

Nope, those numbers speak volumes about how you use the car, being careful to stay within its AER. In ER mode the car isn’t actually that economical compared to hybrids like the Prius.


The Volt has more AER (38+ miles, for the 2015s, 50 for the 2016) than any other PHEV except the i3 rex.

Daily driving requirements vary. Some people don’t have to be careful to keep daily driving 100% electric.



Focusing on ER efficiency is stupidity.

A Prius consumes 2 gallons per 100 miles for all its mileage. A Volt consumes 2.5 gallons per 100 miles for only 20% or even less of its miles.

Cost, AER, and performance are what matter for EVs and PHEVs.


“588 MPG Plug-In Hybrid”

Sigh. That’s nonsense, just like GM claiming the Volt got “230 MPG” was nonsense.

These ludicrous* claims are not helping promote EV adoption.

*ludicrous™ by Tesla Motors. 🙂

Chris O

Actually “ludicrous™” by Mel Brooks…


At last a real series-hybrid, not handicapped like the i3.

But probably too late and too expensive.

Chris O

Actually i3 is a real series-hybrid too and this ultra efficient variant will be as handicapped as i3 is with its underpowered range extender.


And an ultra small gas tank to insure the gas range is less than the EV range. Just to get “BEVx” credits from CARB.




Stop publishing these total BS Euro test cycle mpg figures for plug-in hybrids without at least explaining that they’re total BS.

It’s totally misleading to your readers. And it should be totally embarrassing for you to appear as clueless as you’re appearing.

FFS, stop it!


“It will be a small, 4-seater”

That is so unBMW.

We expect large standard 5 seater sedan from them.

Now is the time to bite a little in your money making ice machine or you risk losing it all at once.


Yeah, I’m “Working On” one too.