Archives – February 6, 2015

A Review of BMW’s 2016 328e Plug-in Hybrid

BMW_i8_IAA_2013_01BMW has released a plug-in 3-series dubbed the 328e. This is following the release of such cars by other automakers such as Audi and Mercedes Benz. A major question arising following the production of such a plug-in hybrid by BMW is concerning the extent of the electric vehicle range that people can expect from the car. Audi has set its baseline at 30 miles on pure electric energy. BMW on the other hand has set a maximum of 22 miles on pure electric energy for its plug-in hybrid vehicle. For the Mercedes C350 plug-in hybrid car, they have cited a range of 20 miles on pure electricity.

Considering the fact that the new plug-in car by BMW will have a short range, there are some advantages that will be enjoyed. One of the key advantages is that its lithium-ion cells are fewer than those of Audi, making the BMW’s plug-in battery smaller than the Audi’s. This implies that it will be much cheaper than Audi. The whole component set of the hybrid car would also have less weight. According to the development engineer of BMW, this new model will have numerous advantages, including minimal emissions. This means that it is an environmentally friendly plug-in vehicle.

The new model by BMW has a 2-liter gasoline engine that is turbocharged. The car has an automatic transmission through which the rear axle receives output. There is an eDrive’s trick within this transmission in that BMW has replaced the conventional torque converter with a torque transformer. This transformer is commonly referred to as the electric motor. The electric motor in question performs its functions on the input shaft and for this reason, there is no energy that goes to waste. When the car decelerates, the electric motor serves as the generator. The car has a battery pack situated at the back that plays the role of providing the juice needed for car operation. A disadvantage is the battery pack’s housing is so big that it causes the trunk floor to be pushed up by an inch or more.

Two-hundred and forty-five horsepower is achieved by incorporating the two plug-in hybrid’s power plants. A short test drive revealed that the new plug-in hybrid by BMW begins in the electric mode. In this way, the car is ready to move when the start button is pushed. A notable feature is that the car provides a wide range of driving modes such as Max eDrive and EcoPro. The car performs well in the Max eDrive, which is a pure-electric mode.



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Hybrid Sales Slow but Steady Following Lowered Gas Prices

gasGas prices have greatly dropped over the last few months and can go as low as $1.69 a gallon. Even with the decreased price, the cost of hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius has remained constant. According to Toyota owner, Rick Collins, shoppers have a tendency to have a short memory when shopping for cars. Most opt to purchase trucks and SUVs when the prices of gas go down. Meanwhile, the hybrid cars are left sitting on the lots. It is however, worth noting that the hybrid cars in question do not sit on the lots for a very long. Shoppers still prefer hybrid vehicles mainly because of their aggressive deals and pricing from car manufacturers. Contrary to this, Chevrolet dealer Mr. Knoepfler, claims that shoppers are not really attracted by the hybrid car’s pricing.

Knoepfler adds that a majority of the customers are aware of the fact that gas prices will eventually go up. They clearly know that they will be in possession of the vehicle for a long time during which gas prices will not remain constant. Knoepfler added that the automaker does not sell conventional hybrid vehicles. Instead, it sells electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt. Despite the gas prices, people are switching from hybrid to electric cars. Car dealers have noted that considering the fact that the economy is gradually improving, consumers will not have a problem driving cars, whether hybrid or non-hybrid cars.

Those who will choose hybrid cars will have numerous reasons to celebrate. There are several benefits of owning or driving a hybrid car. One of the major reasons is with respect to minimizing environmental pollution. Emission of fuel fumes rich in greenhouse gases is a major disadvantage of conventional gasoline cars. These emissions are extremely low when driving electric or hybrid cars. Another reason why it would be beneficial to choose hybrid cars is in terms of mileage and range. Hybrid cars have a better range and can cover longer mileage compared to traditional gasoline-fuelled cars.

Buying a hybrid car during this period when the gas prices are low is even better since owners can fill up their tanks for as low as $20 to drive as far as 600 miles. This is according to Rick Collins of Toyota. He emphasized the fact that shoppers need to take advantage of the low prices of gas and purchase hybrid and electric cars. Toyota is a global automaker that has manufactured several hybrid cars, as well as plug-in hybrids and electric cars.


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