Kyle Conner steps into the 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e PHEV (US Spec) to see just how much electric range it provides in real-world driving. as well as how efficient the SUV is. According to the EPA, the plug-in hybrid electric crossover offers an estimated 31 miles of electric range.

While we don't rely on the EPA's specific efficiency breakdown, it's arguably worth sharing. With electric and gas power combined, the PHEV returns an estimated 50 MPG-equivalent (or .1 gallons of gas and 63kWh per 100 miles). After the battery is discharged, the SUV returns just 20 mpg (5 gallons of gas per 100 miles).

At InsideEVs, we provide a number of EV highway range tests. If you're not familiar, we drive every electric car we can get our hands on at a consistent 70 mph on a highway loop until the battery is dead. We're proud to say that we think our EV range test is one of the most consistent and realistic of its kind in the news today.

That said, it doesn't really make sense to take a PHEV on the highway and drive it at 70 mph until it's no longer using electric range. Sadly, for PHEV owners, if you're on a road trip and your car has some 30 miles of electric range, it will be gone shortly after you hit the highway, and you'll be using gas until you can stop to charge. Stopping would be silly since you'd have to stop every 20 minutes or so to continue driving on electric-only power.

Where a PHEV shines is for city driving. Some folks can own a PHEV in an urban environment and almost never use gas. I own a Chevrolet Volt, which I've had for over two years, and I gassed it up once for a road trip. Aside from that, I've never exceeded its electric range over the course of a single day, and I only charge at home, overnight, on a normal 110-volt household plug.

With all of that said, how far did Kyle go?

The BMW X5 PHEV impressed in its city range test. Conner was able to travel 33.6 miles before the battery was depleted. As far as efficiency is concerned, the car displayed 2.1 miles/kWh. He points out that PHEVs, in general, are pretty inefficient, even in EV mode since they have to pull around a heavy gas engine.

Let us know what you think of PHEVs, in general. Are they okay for city driving, as long as people charge them and make every effort to avoid using gas? Or, should automakers just do away with these variants altogether, since some owners will just use them as a gas car?

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