While these first BMW mild hybrid models won’t be coming to the US they signal a clear shift in the brand’s approach to ICE power-plants. Look to find this type of subtle electric assistance in everything from MINIs to M models in the future.

BMW mild hybrid

Official release: BMW to Release First Mild Hybrids

Electric pulling power for efficiency and dynamics: Mild hybrid technology with 48-volt starter generator for further models.

BMW is extending the use of mild hybrid technology to further models. This innovation, first introduced in the autumn of 2019 for the four model variants of the BMW 520d, comprises an extremely powerful 48-volt starter generator as well as an additional battery, and enhances both efficiency and dynamics of vehicles equipped with this technology. As from the spring of 2020, mild hybrid technology will also be featured as standard in the models BMW 320d Sedan, the BMW 320d Touring, the BMW 320d xDrive Sedan, the BMW 320d xDrive Touring, the BMW X3 xDrive20d and the BMW X4 xDrive20d.

Mild hybrid technology provides significantly greater possibilities to make use of brake energy recuperation. The energy recuperated when accelerating and braking is not only used to provide electrically powered vehicle functions with energy but also to generate additional drive power. The 48-volt starter generator delivers an additional power output of up to 8 kW/11 hp. The electric over-boost is made available very spontaneously, thus enhancing dynamics when starting off and accelerating from a standstill. During the journey, the electric over-boost can be used to support the combustion engine, enabling it to run as frequently as possible within an efficiency-optimised load range and to reduce consumption peaks. Moreover, when driving within inefficient operational ranges, it is possible to supply the 48-volt battery with additional energy from the starter generator by raising the load point when required.

Furthermore, the 48-volt starter generator provides for exceptionally smooth switching off as well as a faster and thus more comfortable re-starting of the combustion engine when the Auto Start Stop function is used at road junctions or in traffic jams. When the vehicle decelerates, the combustion engine can be disconnected at a speed of less than 15 km/h. The kinetic energy gained when decelerating further to a standstill is then used for recuperation. The efficiency-enhancing effect of the “coasting” function has also been optimised. At a speed of up to 160 km/h, the combustion engine is no longer switched into idle mode but is completely disconnected. During the journey, engine re-start is also fast and comfortable. The optimised “coasting” function is available both in the COMFORT and ECO-PRO modes of the Driving Experience Switch.