The new BMW X1 xDrive25Le has been revealed as a China-only model, featuring a new plug-in hybrid powertrain offering up to 68 miles of EV range.
The BMW X1 xDrive25Le was the best-selling premium plug-in hybrid in China in 2018, and although the xDrive25Le is built just for China, the UK and Europe do have a similar plug-in powertrain in the BMW 225xe Active Tourer.
Now, BMW has launched a new X1 xDrive25Le in China, which we hope will see the powertrain in the 225xe Active Tourer updated to the same specs.
The 225xe Active Tourer can manage under 30 miles as an EV (probably nearer 20 in the real world) but the new X1 xDrive25Le manages a far more practical 68 miles (admittedly on the NEDC cycle) and, as a result, has official economy 72 per cent better at 217mpg.
The improvement in range is thanks to a new BMW battery technology which uses extra nickel to increase energy density, and uses less rare earth cobalt in the process too, and weighs just 2.5kg more than the battery in the previous X1 xDrive25Le.
The battery powers an electric motor on the back axle which, in combination with the 1.5 litre petrol engine powering the front wheels, delivers a total output of 228bhp.
Even if the real world range of the new BMW plug-in hybrid is more like 50 miles, it still means, for most of the time (and if you remember to plug in) you could be using it as an EV most of the time.
And, without much of an increase in range, the new BMW plug-in powertrain could be eligible for the new plug-in grant which requires a 70 mile EV range.