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Thursday, April 24, 2014

WEC 6 hours of Silverstone 2014 (full race) [VIDEO]

With the FIA having put the World Endurance Championship live TV coverage behind a pay-wall for 2014, we are indeed fortunate that enthusiastic Youtubers are willing to upload the entire 6 hours for those of us who prefer free TV.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Daimler-BYD Unveil All-Electric DENZA with 300 km range

BYD Daimler New Technology Co., Ltd. (BDNT) officially unveiled its DENZA all-electric vehicle at Auto China 2014, in Beijing. The world premiere of the serial production model is the culmination of cooperative efforts at the 50:50 R&D technology joint venture established by Daimler and BYD back in 2010 – the first Sino-German joint venture dedicated to an all-electric vehicle in China. Combining Daimler’s renowned tradition and engineering expertise as a worldwide leader in safety technology and quality excellence with BYD’s leading battery technology, DENZA is styled as an honest and modern urban vehicle concept that fits both private and fleet customers.

“Daimler is constantly moving forward with emission-free mobility; and with our DENZA we are also on the right track in China, which is destined to become the world’s most important market for electric vehicles“, said Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for China, and Chairman and CEO of Daimler Greater China. “With DENZA we deliver the safest, most reliable, and most convenient electric vehicle to our Chinese customers – designed, engineered, and produced in China, for China, once again proving our full commitment to the country.”

DENZA has been designed around its lithium iron phosphate battery which is framed by a lightweight aluminium case with extrusion profiles. Designed to absorb large amounts of energy, it is located at the safest place in the car - underneath the body. The layout also ensures that all powertrain components are separated from the passenger compartment. Additionally, DENZA’s intelligent Power Flow Management System constantly monitors the energy flow between the battery and powertrain to guarantee that, in the event of an accident, the battery is disconnected automatically and, if needed, quickly discharges to levels below critical values.

As a forerunner in electric vehicle safety, BDNT worked closely with China’s official safety certification body, CATARTC, to jointly develop an electric vehicle safety standard for China. By also considering real life accident data, DENZA has gone even further than these legal requirements to ensure that its customers enjoy the highest level of safety.

“DENZA is the first complete vehicle that Daimler has developed together with BYD outside of Germany and it is undoubtedly one key pillar of Daimler’s electric vehicle strategy in China“, noted Prof. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Research and Development. “No compromises have been made to design and develop, in China, an all-electric car that raises the bar in its segment. We assure our Chinese customers the highest standards of safety, paired with maximum convenience, outstanding reliability and unique driving fun as part of a superior overall concept.”

The DENZA has been put through 18 months of intensive testing that saw various cars drive over 1.2 million kilometres across all of China under extreme and various weather and road conditions – be it hot, cold, dusty or icy. This testing program, which looked at overall quality and endurance, was complemented by additional component testing and crash test programs. In total, BDNT crashed more than 20 cars, including high-speed, low-speed and rollover-scenarios. DENZA also became the first electric vehicle to be tested according to C-NCAP consumer ratings at C-NCAP facilities, obtaining the highest possible rating of 5 stars.

It goes without saying that the quality of the production is secured at a modern, independent production line in Shenzhen, following Daimler’s proven production philosophy and quality control methods.

With a driving range of up to 300 kilometres, the DENZA offers the ease and convenience of emission free mobility for day-to-day use – in urban areas, and beyond. Charging the battery is highly flexible, as it can be done at any household power outlet, public charging facilities or special wall boxes. The latter of which can be installed at homes or in offices at the request of DENZA customers, guaranteeing fast charging, ranging from seven hours to less than an hour. With the DENZA app, available for both Android and iOS phones, wall box customers can even remotely check on their charging status and vehicle location using their smartphones and, if needed, get connected right away to a dealership or customer service centre.

DENZA clearly aims to change mobility, but not the mobility behaviours of its customers. That is why, thanks to its luxury class level wheelbase, it can comfortably accommodate up to 5 passengers, with ample legroom and an inviting 460 litre trunk volume. The roominess of the interior is complemented by a clean, functional design and high craftsmanship.

DENZA’s package is convincing, and so is its heart, the electric powertrain and battery technology. The vehicle is powered by an 86 kW (peak) all-electric engine that provides a maximum speed of up to 150 km/h and impressive peak torque, at 290 Nm. Together with its big 47.5 kWh battery capacity, and a convenient suspension, customers can rest assured that they can enjoy both maximum driving fun and comfort with a range of up to 300 km. In light of the fact that the average daily driving distance in China is 50 to 80 kilometres a day, the typical customer will only have to recharge DENZA twice a week. This bi-weekly pit stop will be met with joy as driving 100 km with a DENZA cost less than 20 RMB (2,35 EUR). All this classifies the DENZA as the perfect vehicle for day-to-day use – in urban areas, and beyond.

Wang Chuanfu, Chairman of BYD Company Limited, stated: “With our DENZA, I see my vision come true as we make big steps towards sustainable development in and for China. Backed by a supportive government and the win-win alliance between BYD and Daimler, and its Chinese heart, DENZA offers a convincing package to our Chinese customers, pointing the way and contributing strongly to the development of the electric vehicle market in China.”

Tesla Will Make Cars in China in Next 3-4 Years

Tesla Motors Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, who’s preparing to begin deliveries of the Model S electric vehicle in China, forecast the company will be making cars in the country in the next three to four years.

The company is also building a “big” network of battery-charging stations in China, including superchargers in Beijing and Shanghai, the billionaire CEO said at a packed Geekpark Conference in the nation’s capital yesterday. Musk is scheduled to host an event tomorrow to mark the beginning of Model S deliveries in the country.

“At some point in the next three or four years we’ll be establishing local manufacturing in China,” Musk said. “China is very important to the future of Tesla. We’re going to make a big investment in China in terms of charging infrastructure.”

Local production in the world’s biggest auto market would allow Tesla to sell cars at cheaper prices by avoiding China’s 25 percent import tariff. While entering the country presents an opportunity for Tesla to sell as many vehicles there as in the U.S. by as soon as next year, Musk, 42, will attempt to accomplish what the Chinese government has struggled to do: get people to buy electric cars.

“I think they can sell quite a few here in the market,” said Finbarr O’Neill, president of J.D. Power & Associates. “There’s a lot of talk about Tesla but, you know, their numbers are not huge. Mr. Musk has been successful in many fields. I wish him luck, but there’s a limit to every market.”

Source: Bloomberg

Saturday, April 19, 2014

UK motorway to charge electric cars on the move

The Highways Agency intends to equip an English motorway to test wireless charging of moving electric cars.

The Highways Agency (HA) has yet to give details of the trial site or dates. But it has issued criteria for system adoption, including a lifecycle comparable to that of asphalt (typically around 16 years), cost-effective maintenance, resistance to vibration and weather, and efficient charge collection at high speeds.

Static inductive charging experience to date in the UK involves test cars parking at existing plug-in stations in London and an electric bus service launched in January 2014 in Milton Keynes, where vehicles top up their overnight charge during drivers’ rest breaks. Managing this five-year demonstration is the eFleet Integrated Service joint venture between Mitsui Europe and consulting engineers Arup.

Arup helped create a wireless power transfer system branded HALO in Auckland, New Zealand in 2010. US wireless technology developer Qualcomm, which bought HALO in 2011, is running the London static car trial and planning a dynamic test track in Auckland.

For operational experience, the HA can look to Asia, where the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is running two online electric vehicle (OLEV) buses on a 12km continuous charging route in the city of Gumi. It claims 85 per cent maximum efficiency in power transfer.

The HA will also be monitoring the semi-dynamic charging trial highlighted by Transport Scotland chief executive David Middleton at a Chartered Institute of Highways & Transportation conference in March 2014. A halfway house between static and dynamic technologies, it will enable a hybrid bus to pick up charge from a series of modules installed under the road surface at strategic points along the route so it can run for long periods in fully electric mode.

A Transport Scotland spokesman explains that the approach “is likely to cause less disruption than, for example, installing dynamic charging along the length of a road”.

A similar technique is being used in Braunschweig, Germany, where a bus fitted with Bombardier Primove fast-charge technology went into passenger service on 27 March.

Source: E & T

Audi unveil TT plug-in hybrid SUV concept car [VIDEO]

The Audi TT offroad concept breaks the mold, combining the sportiness of a coupe with the lifestyle and utility of a compact SUV. The four-door model, which Audi is presenting at the Beijing International Automobile Exhibition, adds an entirely new expression to the Audi design language. Its plug-in hybrid drive with two electric motors and a system output of 300 kW (408 hp) provides for dynamic performance, yet consumes on average just 1.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (123.8 US mpg).

“The Audi TT offroad concept provides a glimpse of how we might imagine a new model in the future TT family,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development. “It combines the sporty genes of the TT with the strengths of a compact Audi SUV. Its plug‑in hybrid drive with the option of inductive charging is a major step toward the mobility of the future. We chose to present the Audi TT offroad concept in China, our second domestic market, because it represents the urban mobility of tomorrow: It is sustainable, dynamic, intelligent and connected.”

The plug-in hybrid drive

The plug‑in hybrid drive in the Audi TT offroad concept delivers 300 kW (408 hp) of system output and 650 Nm (479.2 lb‑ft) of system torque. The show car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.2 seconds and reaches the electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph) without any trouble. It consumes just 1.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (123.8 US mpg), a CO2 equivalent of 45 grams per kilometer (72.4 g/mile).

The Audi TT offroad concept can drive over 50 kilometers (31.1 miles) solely on electric power and thus with zero local emissions, and has a total range of up to 880 kilometers (546.8 miles).

The combustion engine is a 2.0 TFSI producing 215 kW (292 hp) and 380 Nm (280.3 lb‑ft) of torque. The two-liter, four‑cylinder unit with the large turbocharger is packed with Audi's potent efficiency technology. At part load, indirect injection supplements gasoline direct injection for lower fuel consumption. The exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder head – the foundation for the high-performance thermal management system.

A separating clutch links the transverse 2.0 TFSI to an electric motor producing 40 kW and 220 Nm (162.3 lb‑ft) of torque. The slim, disc-shaped electric motor is integrated into the six-speed e‑S tronic. The dual-clutch transmissions sends the torque to the front wheels. Mounted on the rear axle of the Audi TT offroad concept is a second electric motor independent of this drive unit. This produces a maximum of 85 kW and 270 Nm (199.1 lb‑ft).

In front of the rear axle is a liquid-cooled, lithium-ion battery comprising eight modules. It contributes to the balanced 54:46 weight distribution between the front and rear axles and to the low center of gravity. The battery stores up to 12 kWh of energy, enough for an electric range of 50 kilometers (31.1 miles). An Audi wall box, which manages the energy feed conveniently and intelligently and can deal with a variety of voltages and outlets, is used for stationary charging.

The show car is also designed for use with Audi Wireless Charging technology for contactless inductive charging. The infrastructure side – a plate with a coil and an inverter (AC/AC converter) – is placed on the parking spot of the Audi TT offroad concept and connected to the power grid. The charging process begins automatically when the car drives onto the plate. The alternating magnetic field of the infrastructure side induces a 3.3 kW alternating current across the air gap in the secondary coil, which is integrated into the vehicle. The current is inverted and fed into the electrical system.

Charging stops automatically when the battery is fully charged. It takes about as long as charging via a cable, and the driver can interrupt the process at any time. The Audi Wireless Charging technology is more than 90 percent efficient, and is not affected by weather factors such as rain, snow or ice. The alternating field, which is only generated when a car is on the plate, is not harmful for people or animals.

The intelligent plug‑in hybrid concept of the Audi TT offroad concept really shines when driving, making the show car every bit as efficient as it is sporty. The Audi drive select management system offers three driving modes. EV mode gives priority to electric driving. In this case, the front drive unit is inactive, and the electric motor at the rear axle with its powerful torque can rapidly accelerate the four‑door car to a maximum of 130 km/h (80.8 mph). In Hybrid mode, all three drives work together in various ways as necessary. In many situations the front electric motor assumes the role of a generator.

Powered by the engine, it recharges the battery and thus extends the electric range. Full system output is available in Sport mode. During “boosting,” i.e. strong acceleration, the rear electric motor works together with the 2.0 TFSI. The same thing happens when the hybrid management system decides that all‑wheel drive is appropriate. In such situations, e.g. on a slippery road or in light off-road conditions, this essentially makes the Audi TT offroad concept an e‑tron quattro.

When the driver takes his or her foot off the accelerator, free-wheeling or “coasting” is activated. Recuperation occurs here at low speeds and when braking. The driver can use the “Hold” and “Charge” functions in the MMI system to specifically influence the battery's charge state, e.g. to increase storage of electric energy so that it can be used over the final kilometers to the destination.

Chassis

The Audi TT offroad concept shows its strong character on any road surface and in any terrain. On asphalt the show car is sporty and composed, and it can easily handle light terrain thanks to its high ground clearance, short overhangs and e‑tron quattro all-wheel drive. 255/40-series tires are mounted on 21‑inch wheels, whose delicate five-arm design draws on the look of the Audi e‑tron models. Dark trim provides contrast.

Many of the components of the McPherson front suspension are made of aluminum; the four‑link rear axle handles longitudinal and transverse forces separately. The ratio of the progressive steering changes with the steering input. The Audi drive select system allows the driver to modify the function of various technical modules in multiple steps.

Driver assistance systems

The Audi TT offroad concept show car features two Audi driver assistance systems that are almost ready for production: the intersection assistant and online traffic light information technology. The intersection assistant aims to help to avoid side-impact collisions, or reduce their severity, where lanes merge and at intersections. Radar sensors and a wide-angle video camera scan zones to the front and sides of the car. If the system detects a vehicle approaching from the side and assesses it to be critical, graduated warnings are displayed in the Audi virtual cockpit.

Online traffic light information is a technology that connects the Audi TT offroad concept via the cell phone network to the central traffic computer, which controls the traffic light systems in the city. Based on the information from this system, the Audi virtual cockpit shows the driver what speed to drive in order to reach the next traffic light while it is green. The cockpit displays the time remaining when waiting for the light to turn green.

New Record: 431 EVs in world's quietest parade

The Québec electric-car group has set a new world record for plug-in electric cars gathered in one place.

431 battery-electric and plug-in hybrid cars gathered in a car park near the Jacques Cartier Bridge along the Saint Laurence River, in Montréal Canada.

The cars included not only the usual Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and Ford Focus, but also a variety of other plug-in vehicles including a VIA V-Trux Plug-in Hybrid truck, a BlueCar Bolloré (the car in car-sharing AutoLib Paris' ), a Porsche EV conversion and hundreds of Tesla S and Roadster,

The AVEQ also considered applying for the world record for quietest parade!

Source: AVEQ

Friday, April 18, 2014

Electric Car sales set to take off in South Korea

In 2010 the South Korean government unveiled a plan to produce 1.2 million electric vehicles a year by 2015, or 21 percent of the domestic automobile market, and a nationwide goal of one million registered electric vehicles by 2020.

The South Korean government’s Ministry of Environment is providing a 15 million won ($13,900) nationwide subsidy for EV purchases, and 10 major cities or provincial jurisdictions are providing additional subsidies ranging from 3 million to 8 million won ($2,800 to $7,400).

The semitropical island of Jeju, which is located about 60 miles (100 km) south of the Korean peninsula in Korea’s East Sea, Plans for all cars to be electric by 2030.

The Jeju government adds a hefty 8 million won subsidy to the federal incentive for EVs purchased on the island. The combined price abatement of 23 million won ($21,000) nearly halves the EV’s purchase price in some instances, dramatically reduces it in all others and makes the Chevrolet Spark EV less than the cost of a gasoline-powered Spark.

While the federal subsidy is open-ended and applies nationally, there is a limit to the number of subsidies Jeju will grant. For 2014 Jeju has a cap of 500 subsidies, but officials say they are swamped with thousands of applications.

Jeju is a natural fit for EVs because it has been a smart grid test bed for years, which included building public charging infrastructure. Also, Jeju is a relatively small, oval-shaped island (about 70 km by 30 km), so drivers can easily get around the island on a single battery charge.

There are currently only about 360 electric vehicles amongst the population of about 607 000, a figure that the province wants to expand to more than 500 this year. The provincial government expects about 370 000 total cars on the road in Jeju by 2030 compared to about 300,000 today.

This will be achieved in steps, with the initial subsidy phase adding 500 new EVs this year, then more subsidies to boost the number to 29,000 by 2017 and to 94,000 by 2020. The island has 500 easily accessible 240V recharge stations, said to be the highest density anywhere in the world. More stations are being added every month.

South Korean buyers, who buy almost exclusively cars made in the country, have several Korean-made electric cars from which to choose. The current sales champion on Jeju is the Samsung SM3, which is a clone of the Renault Fluence ZE sedan.

Kia's Ray EV, Samsung/Renault's SM3 EV and General Motors Spark EV got off to a modest sales start in 2013. Nissan will begin selling the Leaf in South Korea in the second half of this year along with BMW's i3 and Kia's Soul EV. Hyundai plan to launch their first battery-powered electric car in 2016.

South Korea has installed 1,510 charging stations for electric cars across the country, including 110 quick charge stations. As of June 2013, a total of 1,146 electric cars were used in the country, mostly by government agencies and public corporations.

Li-Sulfur Batteries with Metal-Organic Frameworks offer 800 km Range

Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) added a kind of nanomaterial called a metal-organic framework, to the battery’s cathode to capture problematic polysulfides that usually cause lithium-sulfur batteries to fail after a few charges.

A paper describing the material and its performance was published online April 4 in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters.

“Lithium-sulfur batteries have the potential to power tomorrow’s electric vehicles, but they need to last longer after each charge and be able to be repeatedly recharged,” said materials chemist Jie Xiao of the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. “Our metal-organic framework may offer a new way to make that happen.”

Today’s electric vehicles are typically powered by lithium-ion batteries. But the chemistry of lithium-ion batteries limits how much energy they can store. One promising solution is the lithium-sulfur battery, which can hold as much as four times more energy per mass than lithium-ion batteries. This would enable electric vehicles to drive farther on a single charge, as well as help store more renewable energy. The down side of lithium-sulfur batteries, however, is they have a much shorter lifespan because they can’t currently be charged as many times as lithium-ion batteries.

The reason can be found in how batteries work. Most batteries have two electrodes: one is positively charged and called a cathode, while the second is negative and called an anode. Electricity is generated when electrons flow through a wire that connects the two. To control the electrons, positively charged atoms shuffle from one electrode to the other through another path: the electrolyte solution in which the electrodes sit.

The lithium-sulfur battery’s main obstacles are unwanted side reactions that cut the battery’s life short. The undesirable action starts on the battery’s sulfur-containing cathode, which slowly disintegrates and forms molecules called polysulfides that dissolve into the liquid electrolyte. Some of the sulfur—an essential part of the battery’s chemical reactions—never returns to the cathode. As a result, the cathode has less material to keep the reactions going and the battery quickly dies.

Researchers worldwide are trying to improve materials for each battery component to increase the lifespan and mainstream use of lithium-sulfur batteries. For this research, Xiao and her colleagues honed in on the cathode to stop polysulfides from moving through the electrolyte.

Many materials with tiny holes have been examined to physically trap polysulfides inside the cathode. Metal organic frameworks are porous, but the added strength of PNNL’s material is its ability to strongly attract the polysulfide molecules.

The framework’s positively charged nickel center tightly binds the polysulfide molecules to the cathodes. The result is a coordinate covalent bond that, when combined with the framework’s porous structure, causes the polysulfides to stay put.

“The MOF’s highly porous structure is a plus that further holds the polysulfide tight and makes it stay within the cathode,” said PNNL electrochemist Jianming Zheng.

Metal-organic frameworks—also called MOFs—are crystal-like compounds made of metal clusters connected to organic molecules, or linkers. Together, the clusters and linkers assemble into porous 3-D structures. MOFs can contain a number of different elements. PNNL researchers chose the transition metal nickel as the central element for this particular MOF because of its strong ability to interact with sulfur.

During lab tests, a lithium-sulfur battery with PNNL’s MOF cathode maintained 89 percent of its initial power capacity after 100 charge-and discharge cycles. Having shown the effectiveness of their MOF cathode, PNNL researchers now plan to further improve the cathode’s mixture of materials so it can hold more energy. The team also needs to develop a larger prototype and test it for longer periods of time to evaluate the cathode’s performance for real-world, large-scale applications.

PNNL is also using MOFs in energy-efficient adsorption chillers and to develop new catalysts to speed up chemical reactions.

“MOFs are probably best known for capturing gases such as carbon dioxide,” Xiao said. “This study opens up lithium-sulfur batteries as a new and promising field for the nanomaterial.”

This research was funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Researchers analyzed chemical interactions on the MOF cathode with instruments at EMSL, DOE’s Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at PNNL.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

More than 400,000 Electric Cars on the Road Worldwide

The number of electrically powered automobiles worldwide climbed to just over 400,000 in early 2014. This figure, which only counts battery electric and plug-in hybrids, was determined in an analysis conducted by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW).

The vehicle count doubled over the twelve months of last year, increasing by an impressive 200,000 units. The Ulm-based researchers found that demand is greatest in the USA, Japan and China, which are currently the globally leading markets. Germany is just seventh in the ranking, trailing France, the Netherlands and Norway. The most telling statistic is that countries with incentive programs have taken the lead in electric mobility, a market with a bright future. The top-selling cars are made by Japanese and American automotive companies; batteries are sourced mainly from Asia.

Incentive programs have sparked a run on electric cars in the lead markets. This benefits especially the pioneering companies Nissan, General Motors and Toyota. "Efforts in Germany are also quite impressive,"says Prof. Werner Tillmetz, a member of ZSW's board of directors at Ulm. Research into batteries has been stepped up significantly and automobile manufacturers are fast-tracking the development of advanced electric drives. "However, it will take far more effort to establish a lead market in this country with an end-to-end value chain that includes the key component, the battery. Otherwise we will be left behind by the global competition."

According to ZSW's study, the number of registered electric vehicles increased at an annual growth rate of over 100 percent in the last three years. Nearly 100,000 electric cars were on the road worldwide in early 2012. A year later the vehicle count came to 200,000, and already reached 405,000 early this year. If the past three years' growth rates are sustained, then more than one million electric vehicles will be out and about worldwide as early as the beginning of 2016. The researchers tallied the global registration numbers for cars with battery powered electric drives, range extenders and plug-in hybrids. They did not count motorcycles, trucks, buses or full hybrid vehicles, of which there are now more than six million.

The United States are well ahead with 174,000 electric cars, followed by Japan (68,000) and China (45,000). Close to 30,000 electric vehicles are registered in the Netherlands, compared to just 17,500 in Germany. A similar picture emerges in the automotive company rankings. Nissan is in the lead, having sold more than 90,000 of its Leaf models, followed by General Motors with combined sales of its Ampera and Volt models topping the 60,000 mark. Toyota, which has moved over 40,000 Prius Plug-Ins, is in third place

BMW Powers Up with Concept X5 eDrive Plug-In Hybrid

The new BMW X5 has already raised efficiency to a whole new level in the world of the luxury Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV). BMW is using the New York International Auto Show 2014 to present what it sees as the logical next step towards bringing about a radical reduction in fuel consumption and emissions in the SAV segment.

The BMW Concept X5 eDrive succeeds in fusing the familiar brand of driving pleasure generated by the xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system and a luxurious ambience enshrined within an interior offering tremendous versatility of use with a plug-in hybrid drive system. A conventional combustion engine works together in perfect harmony with the cutting-edge BMW eDrive technology to produce the brand's hallmark sporty drive coupled with a significant reduction in fuel consumption, making it an impressive example of the effectiveness of the BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy. As a result, the car is able to drive on electric power alone at speeds of up to 120 km/h (75 mph) and for a distance of up to 30 kilometres (approx. 20 miles), while recording average fuel consumption figures of less than 3.8 l/100 kilometres (more than 74.3 mpg imp) in the EU test cycle.

The concept study underwent a series of detailed refinements in preparation for its appearance at the New York International Auto Show and is equipped with a drive system comprising a 180 kW/245 hp four-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and a 70 kW/95 hp electric motor likewise developed by the BMW Group. The motor is supplied with power from a lithium-ion battery that can be charged from any domestic socket and has sufficient capacity to enable all-electric driving with zero local emissions for a range of up to 30 kilometres (approx. 20 miles). To ensure a particularly high level of crash safety, the high-voltage battery developed for the BMW Concept X5 eDrive is housed underneath the luggage compartment, whose everyday usability remains virtually uncompromised thanks to the 40:20:40 split-folding rear backrest and an almost level loading floor.

In addition to the settings that can be activated using the characteristic BMW Driving Experience Control switch, three driving modes can be selected according to requirements and the situation at hand: intelligent hybrid drive with an optimal relationship between sportiness and efficiency (AUTO eDrive), pure electric and thus local emission-free driving (MAX eDrive) and SAVE Battery to maintain the current charge level.

Majestic poise at its most sophisticated: dynamic, flexible, luxurious, plus zero local emissions if required.

Thanks to the BMW eDrive technology that has been specifically honed for this model as part of the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy, the concept car brings a whole new brand of poise and assurance to the SAV segment. The formidable power reserves produced by its duo of drive units, its outstanding levels of motoring comfort and the optimised traction, handling stability and dynamic performance qualities over any terrain courtesy of BMW xDrive technology all endow it with the all-round sporty prowess typically associated with BMW X models, while its landmark efficiency blazes a trail for its rivals to follow. The ability to operate purely on electric power with zero local emissions, especially in city traffic, puts a whole new slant on the SAV driving experience that shows the shape of things to come. At the same time, the plug-in hybrid drive concept does not impinge in any way on the exemplary versatility offered by the Sports Activity Vehicle's interior or its distinctly luxurious ambience. In short, the BMW Concept X5 eDrive shows itself to be supremely talented in every way, deftly bringing major advances in cutting fuel consumption and emissions into harmony with state-of-the-art functionality and everyday practicality that never fails to impress.

A number of understated styling touches have been meticulously incorporated into the exterior design to underline the groundbreaking character of the BMW Concept X5 eDrive. The kidney grille bars, air intake bars and the insert in the rear bumper are all finished in the BMW i Blue colour developed for the BMW i brand, for instance, creating a stunning contrast to the Silverflake metallic exterior paintwork. The BMW Concept X5 eDrive also comes with body-coloured wheel arches, specially styled roof rails, a connector for the charging cable which – as on the BMW i models – lights up during charging, as well as 21-inch light-alloy wheels in an exclusive, streamlined design.

To make sure that the styling of the luxurious passenger compartment echoes the highly sophisticated drive concept, light blue double-felled seams adorn the Ivory White exclusive leather upholstery covering the seats, door trim panels and dashboard. Further highlight features of the specially designed interior include the Piano Finish Black interior trim with blue accent strips, "eDrive" lettering embossed in the front of the headrests, ambient lighting with a blue hue, and an eDrive button that is also illuminated in blue. In the luggage compartment lined in black velour, a transparent cover – again illuminated in blue – affords a clear view of the high-voltage battery for the electric motor.

BMW eDrive in a Sports Activity Vehicle: intelligent hybrid technology promises outstanding efficiency and hallmark driving pleasure.

Electrification of the powertrain is a key component of BMW EfficientDynamics technology and allows BMW to unlock tremendous potential for reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The BMW eDrive technology developed for this purpose comes in various versions, each precisely tailored to the particular vehicle concept. Both the BMW i3, the first all-electric production vehicle from the BMW Group, and the soon-to-be-launched BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car are powered by BMW eDrive technology. The BMW Concept X5 eDrive now follows in the tyre tracks of the BMW Concept Active Tourer unveiled in 2012 by demonstrating how model-specific BMW eDrive technology can be employed in plug-in hybrid models from the BMW core brand.

This is the first time that BMW eDrive technology has been hooked up with the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system. The BMW Concept X5 eDrive boasts the superior driving characteristics that stem from the permanent and fully variable distribution of drive power between the front and rear wheels. Regardless of the selected driving mode, the drive power generated by the electric motor, the combustion engine or the two units acting in unison is channelled swiftly and precisely to wherever it can be converted into forward propulsion most effectively. This allows the concept study to deliver all the qualities that SAVs are renowned for – superb traction and optimised handling stability in all weather and road conditions coupled with enhanced agility when taking corners at speed – in remarkably efficient fashion. The highly versatile and sporty driving abilities of the BMW Concept X5 eDrive are accompanied by average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of less than 3.8 l/100 km (more than 74.3 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of under 90 grams per kilometre.

Both driving pleasure and efficiency in the BMW Concept X5 eDrive are given an extra boost by an electric motor generating a maximum output of 70 kW/95 hp together with the instantaneous power delivery that has become a hallmark of electric drive units thanks to the high levels of torque available from the word go. The electric motor variant developed for the BMW Concept X5 eDrive as part of the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy also boasts sporty performance credentials, a compact design and optimised weight. The electric motor alone is capable of propelling the BMW Concept X5 eDrive to a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). With 250 Newton metres (184 lb-ft) of torque on tap from stationary, it gives the vehicle wonderfully spontaneous response that translates into thrillingly dynamic acceleration. It also works in tandem with the combustion engine to boost its power significantly whenever a quick burst of speed is called for. The BMW Concept X5 eDrive is able to complete the standard sprint from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 7.0 seconds.

The task of ensuring the engine and electric motor team up together to optimum effect is handled by the power electronics that were developed by the BMW Group and apply the same basic concept used in the BMW i cars. The power electronics combine a liquid-cooled inverter for driving the electric motor, supplying energy to the onboard electrical system from the high-voltage battery and for centralised control of the hybrid-specific drive functions into a single integrated system.

ECO PRO mode and all-electric driving: BMW EfficientDynamics

As in other members of the current BMW production line-up, the Driving Experience Control switch in the BMW Concept X5 eDrive can be used to select not only the COMFORT and SPORT settings but also the ECO PRO mode that fosters a particularly economical driving style. This driving mode is programmed for highly intelligent hybrid functionality, whereby the energy management system orchestrates the interaction between engine and electric drive unit as the driving situation changes in order to maximise efficiency. As a further component of the BMW EfficientDynamics technology, a hybrid-specific Proactive Driving Assistant has also been included, which works together with the navigation system to allow the route profile, any speed restrictions and the traffic situation to be factored in as well for the purpose of drive management.

In addition to this, the driver also has the option of engaging the all-electric driving mode by switching from AUTO eDrive to the MAX eDrive setting at the push of a button. With the battery fully charged, the vehicle is able to cover a distance of up to 30 kilometres (approx. 20 miles) on electric power alone, which means zero local emissions. There is also a SAVE Battery mode, which can be selected to deliberately preserve the battery's energy capacity. This might be the case, for example, if a longer journey is due to end with a final stage through urban traffic that drivers wish to complete in all-electric mode.

Everyday usability: flexible charging scenarios and impressive viability. In order to capitalise as much as possible on the superior efficiency of its electrified powertrain, the BMW Concept X5 eDrive is designed as a plug-in hybrid, allowing its high-voltage battery's energy levels to be renewed from any domestic power socket, a special Wallbox that can handle higher currents, or at a public high-speed charging station. The Wallbox Pro is designed for installation in the customer's garage and offers complete ease of use as well as exceptionally short battery recharging times, thanks to a maximum charging rate of 7.4 kW. It is controlled by means of a high-resolution touchscreen including proximity sensor, while LED light strips provide an additional indication of the charge status. The built-in load management facility governs the charging current in accordance with the current draw on the household electricity supply. The Wallbox Pro even makes it possible to use home-generated electricity, such as that obtained from solar panels. There is also a function for creating different user profiles and displaying the respective charging histories. On request, the corresponding data can be sent online, e.g. for billing purposes.

The high degree of flexibility drivers can enjoy when it comes to choosing an energy source is given an added boost by the charging cable that is carried in the vehicle. The battery unit is located underneath the luggage compartment, so that there is only a small loss of load capacity overall – the luggage compartment is able to hold two large suitcases or four 46-inch golf bags. The SAV's excellent versatility – helped by the 40:20:40 split-folding rear backrest – has been fully retained, along with its ample sense of spaciousness and the impressive level of comfort offered to the occupants of all five seats.

Intelligent connectivity for yet greater efficiency.
Innovative functions from BMW ConnectedDrive assist with planning journeys in such a way as to maximise the amount of time spent driving on electric power alone. In the BMW Concept X5 eDrive, the current electric range thus appears as a numerical value in the instrument cluster. Intelligent connectivity enables the vehicle's dynamic range display to constantly make allowances for any factors affecting the range, such as traffic conditions, route profile and driving style.

When route guidance is activated, the location of local charging stations is added to the selection of points of interest shown on the navigation map. Drivers are able to call up charging stations situated along the planned route or at their destination, while the system additionally notifies them of the charging time needed to fully replenish the battery's energy levels. Furthermore, information graphics indicating the current operating status when engine and motor work together in unison, the impact of the driving style on vehicle efficiency and the fuel consumption history for selected periods of time can be shown in the iDrive operating system's Control Display, along with other information.

Drivers are also able to view all information relating to the battery's charge level and electric driving range on their smartphone. A Remote app from BMW ConnectedDrive that has been specially designed with electric mobility in mind even enables them to control the charging process from their phone. It also allows the vehicle to be pre-programmed whenever it is connected to an electricity supply: the heating and air conditioning systems can be activated remotely in this way to get the passenger compartment to a pleasant temperature ready for the start of the journey.