It’s the end of the line for diesel-powered BMW, with the manufacturer focusing its energy towards the PHEV market in the United States from 2019 onwards.
“We’re putting all our eggs in the PHEV basket,” said BMW spokesman Alexander Schmuck.
BMW currently sells five plug-in hybrid models in the U.S. Those include the 3-Series, 5-Series, 7-Series sedans, the X5 SUV, and the i8 coupe.
Mr Schmuck said added the next-generation X5 plug-in hybrid could return around 65 kilometres of pure electric range, which is a significant improvement from the current model’s 25 kilometres of estimated range.
Finding enough space for batteries has been a challenge in BMW’s plug-in hybrids, but a company supplier recently showed a prototype BMW i3 with three times the battery capacity in the same footprint of the original, which could allow BMW to pack far more range into its plug-in hybrids.
The majority of current BMW’s plug-in hybrids are designated by an “e” at the end of their model names, such as the BMW 330e, 530e, and X5 xDrive40e.
It is at this stage unclear what BMW’s plans are the Australasian market, but it would seem inevitable that the focus will eventually turn towards PHEV as well.