The inception of the BMW 530e has proved the fact that electric cars are becoming mainstream. The BMW 5 series has proven to be quite successful and its new plug-in hybrid version could revolutionize the automotive industry. BMW now claims that it is now the third largest supplier of electric cars in the world. Plug-in hybrid vehicles work by combining a petrol engine with a battery and an electric motor.
The electric motor can run around for 50km before the engine kicks in. Both the engine and the electric motor can also work in tandem. Only certain details like blue lining to the BMW badge on the alloy wheels, a blue tint to the grille, the Drive logo on the real pillar door and the point flap behind the nearside front wheel gives away this car as the ultra-low emission 5-series.
It has a 2.0 turbo-petrol engine and a 83kw electric motor, producing 252bhp, returning an average fuel economy figure of 141.2mpg. This number is dependent on how much it runs on electric motor. The emission figure is 46g/km.
The battery supports the performance by giving the car a 0 to 97kmph acceleration of 6.2 seconds and reaches a top speed of 235kmph. You can select between 3 driving modes, as for how the battery and engine work. The dashboard dials help in determining the acceleration and how much the car can go without dropping out of battery only usage. It is quite clear and simple in terms of working the car and switching between different driving modes.
The lack of noise makes it a serene and a calming experience with added benefit of not feeling guilty for polluting the environment. The 530-e is available in the same SE and M-sport trim, as the entire 5series range. The SE has satellite navigation, dual zone climate control and front & rear parking sensors. The M-sport has additional body kit that lifts the look, as well as other interior and exterior adornments.
The weight is up, compared with that of the gasoline only 530i, but BMW has done a masterful job of hiding the additional weight. The weight distribution is even and has a low center of gravity. The wireless charging system is on the way. Parking the car atop an inductive charging pad ,which can be installed outdoors, generates an alternating magnetic field with a secondary coil integrated into the underside of the car. It is expected to take 3.5 hours for a full charge. Unfortunately, the pad itself is not yet past the prototype stage. BMW expect it to be approved for production by 2018.
The plug-in will be available only as a saloon, but it is pitched as an alternative to BMW’s performance diesel model, the 530d. The 530d is slightly faster, but much less efficient if the plug-in hybrid is used correctly, that is using the electric power as much as possible.
Plug-in hybrids does not suit everyone. The plug-in hybrids makes sense, when most of the journeys are below 100 km or so, between charges. This model is far superior than the rest of the electric cars in the market.