Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Could This Spark the Industry? the Government Offers No Incentive So BMW Prices Plug-In Hybrid Equal to Petrol Power

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Could This Spark the Industry? the Government Offers No Incentive So BMW Prices Plug-In Hybrid Equal to Petrol Power

Article excerpt

Grant Edwards

ADOPTION of the combustion engine took time. Customers weren't flocking from the horse and cart in favour of the Ford Model T when the dealership doors flung open.

That's the sentiment driving BMW's foray into electrification.

Having just launched its fourth plug-in hybrid vehicle in the 530e, a quadrant that sits alongside the pint-size all-electric i3 and the three-cylinder i8 sports car.

Keen to bolster its credentials Down Under, BMW has priced the 530e the same as its petrol-power equivalent - $108,900. Yet for your coin there is extra torque and average fuel consumption of less than three litres for every 100km.

The new 530e has an all-electric range of more than 30km - which surpasses the average distance travelled by most Aussies every day.

Value

Those chasing best bang for buck would need to regularly face congestion or undertake short trips. The 530e does its best work in stop-start conditions when you can make full use of the battery power and operate emission-free.

Equipment remains strong and matches the 530i, with a 10.25-inch colour screen, 19-inch alloys, automatic boot opener, 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system, satnav and leather trim.

Charging the battery takes about five hours from a standard power point but the BMW wall box can be installed for about $2000 (depending on your home set-up), which halves the time.

Expect a wireless charging pad function next year, which, using camera guides, you simply park the vehicle on top of a mat to refuel.

Safety

It's top-notch in this area - there's six cameras, five radar sensors and 12 ultrasonic sensors used for the standard functionality of radar cruise control, steering and lane keeping assist, constant speed limit sign recognition, automatic parking and cross traffic alert.

Along highways the car can steer itself for up to 40 seconds before you are asked to touch the wheel again.

On the road

Among the benefits of electric vehicles is the instantaneous take-up. While combustion engines take a little time to wind up, all the torque from electric motors is available at the get-go.

You can really launch off the line with gusto. …

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