GWA have a look at the BMW 330e plug in hybrid.
With plug in hybrids becoming a very popular with businesses due to the many benefits, we wanted to show you than eco-friendly cars can also be fun to drive.
With its bold i3 hatchback and i8 supercar, BMW has been at the cutting edge of electric car engineering for a number of years. It’s clear their popularity is increasing as battery-powered models now make up four per cent of the brand’s European sales.
So it comes as no surprise to find BMW has squeezed some of its pioneering plug-in engines under the skin of more mainstream models. The first car in the UK to benefit from this makeover is the 3 Series.
The new 330e combines a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and electric motor to deliver some astonishing figures. The petrol & electric powerplant serves up 249bhp and 420Nm of torque, yet depending on wheel size emits as little as 44g/km and claims up to 148.7mpg. More importantly, with a full charge in its batteries, the BMW will travel around 25 miles in zero emissions electric mode before needing assistance from the petrol engine.
The most remarkable aspect of the 330e is how normal the car looks and feels. The only clues to its green status are the subtle eDrive badges on the C-pillars and an extra filler flap in the front wing for charging.
It’s a similar story inside the car where the 330e is virtually indistinguishable from standard models. You may spot the eDrive button behind the gear lever, and a small power gauge just below the rev counter.
The boot has been reduced in size by 10 litres to make way for the lithium-ion cells. The battery can be fully recharged in just over two hours using a BMW i Wallbox, while using a traditional three-pin plug increases this to three hours.
Hit the starter button and the dash displays spring into life, but there’s no sound from under the bonnet. Squeeze the throttle and the 330e accelerates Silently and swiftly. The 87bhp electric motor is mounted on the back of the 2.0-litre engine and drives the rear wheels through an eight-speed box.
The 330e can travel on electric power at speeds of up to 50mph. Even when the battery is depleted the system makes sure there’s a minimum amount of charge available, so you can always access the 330e’s considerable performance potential. 0-62mph is claimed 6.1 seconds which is sporty enough for a hybrid saloon.
The rear wheel drive gives a neutral balance with good feedback but the extra weight of the hybrid powertrain is noticeable compared to the conventional models
This is a very capable car that ticks boxes for style practicality and eco credentials. It also benefits from a £2,500 Government grant and business users can save up to £2,138 a year due to the 330e’s seven per cent Benefit-in-Kind rating.
For more information on the BMW 330e plug in hybrid get in touch with our sales team: