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On a charge: new plug-in hybrid BMWs launched

  • Company car drivers promised lower bills with BMW’s plug-in hybrids
  • Monthly BIK costs as low as £30* for the 225xe Sport Active Tourer
  • Petrol-electric 330e Saloon available but no Touring version

Company car drivers looking to reduce their monthly outgoings now have two more plug-in hybrid options to choose from with the introduction of the latest BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and 3 Series Saloon derivatives.

Plug-in hybrid powertrain for 2 Series Active Tourer

The 2 Series Active Tourer, known as 225xe, will challenge established rivals such as the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron and the Lexus CT 200h, as well as its diesel-engined 220d sibling.

With a P11D value of £36,680 the 225xe Sport Active Tourer will appeal more to senior employees, being significantly higher than not only the 220d Sport (£28,440) but also the £25,440 CT 200h Sport hybrid alternative. At £35,635 the A3 e-tron is closely-matched to the BMW.

Emissions of just 46g/km of CO2 place the 225xe plug-in hybrid in the five percent BIK banding, equating to a monthly cost of £30* for 20 percent rate payers.

At 112g/km, BMW’s 220d Sport is the least clean alternative, costs lower-rate tax payers £70* each month, thanks to its 20 percent BIK band, including the three percent diesel surcharge.  

Audi’s A3 Sportback e-tron emits only 37g/km, placing it, like the BMW, in the five percent BIK band, again costing a mere £30* each month.

Although the Lexus is one of the least expensive, its 94g/km CO2 emissions place it in the 13 percent BIK band, meaning its monthly tariff is £55*, lessening its attractiveness to company car drivers.

3 Series Saloon also receives the plug-in hybrid treatment

Also receiving a plug-in hybrid powertrain is the BMW 3 Series Saloon, which powers from 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds.

BMW claims a range of 25 miles on electric power alone and it recharges from empty in a mere three hours via a domestic power socket.

Designed and marketed to snatch business users from the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, in C300h specification and presenting a stern challenge to BMW’s own 320d, the 330e in M Sport guise counters a high £36,680 P11D value with exceptionally low running costs. Emissions of 49g/km CO2 mean a 20 percent rate payer foots a paltry £31* monthly bill thanks to its 5 percent BIK band.

BMW’s own 320d M Sport emits 116g/km of CO2, falling into the 21 percent BIK band. With a P11D value of £34,265, the monthly cost will be £120*.

Directly competing against the 330e is Mercedes-Benz’s C350e plug-in hybrid. In Sport specification its P11D value is higher than the BMW’s at £38,215, but slightly lower emissions of 48g/km mean it will cost a 20 percent rate payer £32* each month.

In the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and 3 Series Saloon plug-in hybrids, BMW has given business users with city-centric client bases ideal vehicles. Diesel alternatives will still hold sway with those covering longer distances at motorway speeds, though.

Fast-charging technology that replenishes batteries quickly, paired with competitive electric mode ranges, means drivers with easy access to charging points at home or office will benefit most from these new BMWs.

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 *BIK rates based on 2015/16 rates – correct at time of publication