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.
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.