1. The battery pack located under the boot floor is like your mobile phone battery, supersized. But that’s not to say it’s one huge battery. Think of the chunky battery pack on the back of a news crew’s profession video camera. Now think of 96 of those, all linked together and stacked into two decks.
2. It’s theoretically possible you could own an xDrive40e and never visit a petrol station again. The big caveat is each journey would need to be less than 25km and you recharged the car each time.
3. Some people don’t like having to plug the power cable into the car each time it needs recharging. So BMW is developing a system where you just park the car over what’s called an “induction plate” fixed to your garage floor. Then it all happens cordlessly, but the company won’t reveal when this tech will be ready.
4. The official fuel consumption figure of the xDrive40e is posted as 3.3 litres per 100km, but the methodology used to arrive at this figure is more complicated than a chat with Stephen Hawking about black holes. You may use none (as mentioned above) or you may use more than 11L/100km; it just … depends.
5. The battery pack in the BMW X5 weighs 120kg. So the vehicle’s rear suspension has been upgraded with a clever system that uses air pressure to stop it sagging under that extra weight. This set-up normally costs over $3000 to add as an option in lesser X5s, improving the xDrive40e’s value equation.
6. An app for the xDrive40e is available for your phone, so you can tell at a glance the state of the battery’s change, the remaining range, of if it’s recharging, how much longer it needs to reach full charge. The app will also guide you to your nearest public recharging station…
7. …which are becoming more widespread, Not only are they often free (to lure you to the shopping centre car park) but they recharge much faster than a regular power point; in the xDrive40e’s case, about 1.5 hours versus over five hours on domestic supply.
8. The battery pack takes up the underfloor space that, in a regular BMW X5, is occupied by a skinny ‘space saver’ spare wheel to get you to a dealer in the event of a puncture. By foregoing this, the xDrive40e requires you to use a sealant-based inflation kit if you get a flat. This system is effective but fiddly, and only works for say, a nail hole, not a tear in the sidewall.
Read our review on the BMW X5 xDrive40e here.