Plugging in

BMW has added two plug-in hybrids to its range, bolstering the popular 3 Series and X5 lines.

The 330e (the ‘e’ denoting electric-petrol hybrid) uses the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine from the 320i teamed to a 65kW/250Nm electric motor claimed to give an electric-only range of 37km. Despite similar outputs, the 330e is slightly slower to 100km/h than the 330i, at 6.1sec. But fuel use can be zero if you’re only doing short (and slow) trips around town.

The X5 40e uses a more powerful version of the same basic petrol-electric drivetrain but matched to an 83kW/250Nm electric motor. Claimed electriconly range in the bigger, heavier SUV is 31km.