Car News

BMW Juices Up 530e xDrive Plug-in Model with More EV Range

BMW has plugged a higher-capacity battery into its mid-size 530e xDrive plug-in hybrid for more all-electric driving range.

New battery cell technology and better energy density bump the battery's capacity to 12.0 kWh from last year's 9.2. That adds 21 km of promised EV driving capability for a new total of 66 km on a full charge for the rear-drive 530e, or 58 km for the all-wheel-drive xDrive variant sold in Canada.

Performance is otherwise unchanged. BMW says the 530e's combo of electric motor and turbo gas four-cylinder engine is good for 252 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. That output is good enough for a 0–100 km/h acceleration sprint of just over six seconds and will take the car to a top speed of 235 km/h.

BMW says charging the larger battery takes six hours when plugged into a conventional household socket, or about 3.5 hours using a 240-volt charger. The battery lives in the same place in the car: under the rear seat, where it takes up a small amount of cargo space.

In test drives of 2018 and 2019 versions of the 530e with the old battery, we saw real-world EV driving range between 25 and 30 km.

BMW doesn't specify whether the 530e's larger battery is a late addition to the 2019 range or part of a 2020 model year update. We've reached out to BMW Canada on that question and to find out when the improved 530e will be available to Canadian buyers.