Few drivers would turn down the opportunity to spend less time at the gas station, but most aren’t ready to accept the sacrifices associated with an all-electric vehicle. Range anxiety has lessened as battery technology has improved, but most EVs still lack the equivalent driving range of a gas-powered vehicle, and charging stations have yet to saturate every neighborhood.
This reality has kept traditional hybrid vehicles relevant, but we’re beyond the days of basic gas-electric energy handoffs. Plug-in hybrids offer all-electric driving for short distances, hybrid power for maximum fuel economy, and recharging via the gas engine. It’s the most efficient option for those who aren’t ready to take the all-electric leap.
While plug-in hybrid tech started on the mass-market end of the automotive spectrum, luxury brands have embraced the trend as of late. To compound intrigue, premium automakers have adapted their most popular vehicles (SUVs) to accommodate electrically assisted powertrains. BMW’s X5 xDrive40e is one such example, promising a refined approach to efficiency.