• Apr 17th 2007 at 8:53AM
  • 8

We already know that BMW isn't interested in making any hybrid gas/electric vehicles unless they can find a way to make the system more efficient than their most efficient diesels (click here for more from AutoblogGreen). But, that does not mean that some of the technology pioneered in hybrid vehicles can't find a place in the BMW model range.

Take for instance regenerative braking. While your standard hybrid is capable of recapturing energy normally wasted in braking with their electric motor(s), the same technology can be used in a more mainstream application by aiding the alternator in energy production. The BMW 5-Series and 1-Series have already used this type of system with good effect, so it comes as no surprise that BMW would implement it in their best-selling 3 Series as well.

The system is capable of coupling and decoupling the alternator from the engine, which has the dual benefits of slowing down the vehicle when engaged and freeing up more engine power for the wheels when disconnected. It's nice to see that performance and fuel-economy can cohabitate under the same hood.


[Source: Motor Authority]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      As much as some may argue, I feel that hybrids to no belong in a small car company like BMW. BMW should just continue doing what they do best, which is making BMW's. BMW has never been a company to appeal to the masses, like Toyota creating cheap cars for the young college crowd, trucks for people who need them, minivans for families so an so forth, although recent models that they have put out have made BMW more accessible to more consumers (1series for example). BMW has an image to uphold and I feel that this would hurt more than help. Don't get me wrong I'm all for helping the environment, but say the word "hybrid" out loud and the last company you should think of is BMW. A prius pops in my head, not a m3. BMW should stick to creating pure drivers luxury performance cars.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Excellent use of the technology...it will definitely lighten the alternator's load.
      • 8 Years Ago
      With all BMW's amazing engineering you would think they would look into hybrids. I would think they would be very capable of pulling it off. Slap the test version in the MINI a car that already gets 35-40mpg in base North American (not Europe's diesel) form and you've got an extremely fuel efficient vehicle. If BMW just sticks with it's efficient diesels they are missing the North American market which is huge and doesn't get many diesels.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hybrids are not profitable for car companies. Perhaps that's why BMW has avoided them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      What does BMW market this technology as? What 5 series models are currently equipped with it now (in the US)? I don't know anything about BMW, nor can I afford one, but I was just curious to look at the stats.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Congratulating to BMW for designing a clutch...

      This "technology" has been in use for the past 40+ years on every A/C compressor in every car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      These guys are not stupid! Going the hybrid route a la gas/electric makes no sense, and they know it! They would be wasting their time. Everyone knows that the true economical/green hybrid is the diesel/electric!

      BMW were never keen on anything other than their gassers. The gassers do have a very unique sound and BMW wanted to preserve that...a bit like Harley and their "sound". They switched relatively late to diesels, but have come to recognize their virtues.
      • 8 Years Ago
      BMW does have some other interesting technology. They have one where they use the heat of the exhaust gas to power a mini-steam turbine system to generate power/electricity.

      With regards to a hybrid system...it is possible, but it may significantly hurt what makes every BWM a BMW, and that's handling. Batteries/electic motors/associated electronics aren't light! Plus, with their diesels (which I think will go on sale here in 2008), they already get very good gas mileage. At this point, I don't think there's a very good business case for it. That could always change later on.