• May 18, 2010
When we first saw the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 Concept and its conceptual 5 Series sibling, we immediately got the sneaking suspicion that the car wouldn't be the last Bavarian with a battery pack. Now it looks like the 3 Series will be the next in the company's stable to get the electric motor treatment. While speaking with shareholders, BMW head-honcho Norbert Reithofer let it slip that we'll be seeing a hybrid version of the company's bread and butter 3 Series fairly soon. When is that, exactly? It's hard to judge from Reithofer's statement, but given that the 5 Series hybrid is slated for sale next year, we would guess the tech-laded 3 will pop up in 2012.

BMW says that its biggest motivation for spreading hybrid tech amongst its models isn't emissions standards. Instead, the German manufacturer said that demand in Japan spurred the move. According to Reithofer, most Japanese consumers won't take the time to look at a brand unless there are multiple hybrid options on the showroom floor.

While the move is mostly sales based, it won't hurt the company's goal of cutting CO2 emissions by 25 percent between now and 2020.

[Source: Autocar]



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  • 27 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why do Japanese consumer demand Hybrids?

      The Japanese governments taxing structure gives massive advantages to Hybrids/high fuel economy on thier testing (which favours hybrids).

      Its a little... funny to say BMW is considering hybrids because of "demand" when the "demand" is caused by the thousands of dollars of incentives (not just straight cash) the Japanese government is giving for Hyrbids/High Fuel Economy cars.

      Diesel, BTW, has a hard time passing Japanese emissions standards and is pretty unpopular in Japan.
        • 4 Years Ago
        One major reason is that they do not have a european style of taxing gas heavily, and barely taxing diesel.

        Basically they have the same fuel pricing structure as us, in that sense.
        Just like us, they aren't diesel fanboys, and they have strict emissions requirements which diesels rarely meet.

        Plus, gas is expensive out there. They probably import 100% of their fuel. I am sure a lot of city driving is done. Hybrids make more sense in that situation.
        • 4 Years Ago
        yeah... and?

        You make it sound like it's some kind of conspiracy... it's called smart planning.

        It is BECAUSE of that strict tax structure that Japanese car makers have led the industry with fuel efficient cars. It is also because of similar policies that the Japanese government has taken that the average Japanese household uses HALF of the energy that one in the US does.

        Maybe if we had imposed more strict fuel efficiency standards (for cars and other items) decades ago we wouldn't be sending 1/4 TRILLION dollars every year on importing oil.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Take that communists! Capitalism can help the environment if the customer wants to help the environment!
        • 4 Years Ago
        The only reason Toyota started developing hybrid powertrains in the first place was in response to the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, a partnership between the US governement and the Big Three. Without that federal program, Japanese consumers wouldn't even know about hybrid vehicles to clamor for.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Though the "Japanese consumers won't take the time to look at a brand unless there are multiple hybrid options on the showroom floor.", it would make more sense (IMO) for BMW to have hybrid 3s more than the others. The 3 series is the meat of the lineup, so any EPA-style nonsense is easier met.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Once you develop the hybrid system, it should be a fairly "trivial" thing to get it to work with the 5 and 7 not unlike how that 3.0L turbo 6 that they have is used on multiple carlines.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So is that a pic of the 335is in Le Mans?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bmw may have gotten ugly for a second a few yrs back but no one can question their engineering prowesd
      • 4 Years Ago
      Will it be called the BMW 335i hDrive35is Coupe?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sweet! 30mpg avg bimmer? sign me up.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Their site states 18/28mpg.
        A lot of people state that it gets less than that.

        I had a 328is and i know that it gets it's stated highway mileage only on longer trips. It got good mpg for what it was, but i'd rather be getting ~30mpg all the time so i got a 4 cylinder car.

        *shrug* maybe that's acceptable to you, but wait 'till gas is $5 a gallon and beyond, attitudes will change quickly then.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ... they've had one on sale for a while now. most people i know with a 335d have no issues averaging 30mpg
        • 4 Years Ago
        Zamafir:

        Correction: 30 MPG BMW that revs to 7,000 RPM and sounds awesome doing it :-)

        I love diesels as work engines, but there's nothing like the high-end rush of a good petrol... especially with an electric motor to give it turbodiesel torque at the low end. I just hope they don't neglect us manual drivers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @neptronix - the cost for the cars will be about the same (diesel vs hybrid power).. actually, since bmw and the other european manufactures are gradually working their way into the hybrid game, they'll cost more than their diesel offerings unless they decide to eat it.

        cheaper to fill? sure. but the fact remains that there's a shiny 335d with your name on it waiting to be purchased with a boat load of torque and 30mpg combined :).
        • 4 Years Ago
        three in my area. why the shock? go to a bimmer dealer and test drive one, they've been out for like a year.
        • 4 Years Ago
        uh the 328i gets 29 mpg highway people!
        • 4 Years Ago
        How many people do you know with a 335d in the US?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Free market at work :)
      • 4 Years Ago
      BMW has shown that it has some damn impressive engineers... now lets see what they can do with hybrid technology! Sounds very interesting.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Woo-whoo! Here's looking forward to a KERS equipped 3-series!
      • 4 Years Ago
      As the owner of a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid I can tell you I'm never buying a hybrid again.

      Terrible performance in cold weather, super annoying batter pack in the trunk area, not really that environmentally friendly (just mining the 25lbs of rare earth metals and shipping them around the world eats up a lot of the CO2 and pollution savings) and the gas mileage improvements really aren't that great over the non-hybrid versions of the same vehicle. Plus the mileage of nonhybrids are making significant strides right now.

      The only reason I got the hybrid version was because I got a great deal (about $800 below invoice) during a brief period of time when gas was cheap and the demand for hybrids dropped. I like my Camry, but if I could do it again I would get the XLE or maybe the SE.
        • 4 Years Ago
        lol, odd, complete opposite here. my camry hybrid turned me onto the hybrid thing which i didn't care for much before but turned me off to the camry and toyota in general with the subpar interior (woot, back to the dealer again for another a pillar cover and to replace bluetooth and attend to the mpg needle, weeee) and generally mundane quality. I'm looking forward to BMW and Audi hyrbids to assure i'll never need to sacrifice quality for better fuel economy again :).
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