Currently reading: BMW plans more hybrid models
Peter Tuennermann reveals BMW's future hybrid plans in a Q+A with Autocar

On the launch of the new BMW X6 ActiveHybrid, Autocar's Greg Kable caught up with the model's project leader Peter Tuennermann for a question and answer session to discuss the firm's future hybrid plans.

First drive review of the BMW X6 ActiveHybridSee the hi-res pics of the BMW X6 ActiveHybrid

Why has BMW decided to begin offering hybrid models?

Electrification will play an ever increasing role in personal mobility in the future as emission regulations become ever more stringent. The hybrid is the first step towards realizing the goal of emission free motoring. It might not end up being the final solution but no car maker can afford to ignore its importance.

The ActiveHybrid X6 runs a full hybrid system while the ActiveHybrid 7 uses a simpler mild hybrid set-up. Why has BMW developed two different hybrid architectures?

Each system is different. The mild hybrid requires far less modification of an existing vehicle structure and can be supported with a lithium ion battery, which offers rapid recharging. But it isn’t capable of zero emission capability. The full hybrid is far more complex and requires a much larger battery which adds to the cost enormously, which is why we’ve chosen nickel metal hydride. However, it can support full electric drive.

What BMW models can we expect to be offered with the choice of petrol hybrid drive?

Volume models like the 3-, 5- and 7-series are clearly more suited towards a mild hybrid set-up on the basis of their packaging and broad appeal. But larger and heavier models like the X3, X5 and X6 lends themselves to a full hybrid solution. It’s too early to say which models we will bring to market with a hybrid option but I can reveal we will launch a third hybrid model within the next 12 months.

Will we ever see a diesel-electric hybrid?

The BMW EfficientDynamics concept car revealed we are looking at mating diesel engines with electric drive. The question we’ve got to answer is just what layout provides the best benefits for the customer. At the moment the concept of a range extender certainly looks interesting but it’s not the only solution.

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caddy06 9 November 2009

Re: BMW plans more hybrid models

Maybe I am over cynical but I wonder if BMW's sudden conversion to hybrid is connected with the new EU CO2 limits for each manufacturer? Even though they got the German government to give them special treatment for several years the new average CO2 limits per manufacturer will hit BMW and Mercedes hard so they have a big challenge to keep selling their profitable high power cars.

Given that ( as I understand it) the curent EU urban/extraurbam tests form the basis of the calculated CO2 per maker then anything that helps the tests results means pure profit to BMW, and any other manufacturer.

Gues what the mild hybrid set up looks ery atrractive to get through the test cycle which is, I think, only 4km for the urban section. So a mild hybrid that gives you 3 miles of battery range for a 300bhp 3 series is magic in terms of keeping htat , highly profitable, model on sale whilst claiming super mpg/CO2 resutls on the official EU tests.

Whether it actually reduces CO2 at al is a different matter but that is not how the rules wil be measured. Sorry if I am being too cynical!

Old Toad 9 November 2009

Re: BMW plans more hybrid models

Hope any new hybrids arent as hopelss and as expensive as the X6 . A whole 1.6 miles on battery power whoopeedoo !

I mean who is going to spend 90k on one . If I was in the US market for a hybrid X6 I would buy a Rangerover sport supercharged and keep the 30 odd grand I saved for bigger gas bills.

Surely the X6 is just a testbed as there cant be many people who want one.