Will BMW's X5 Plug-in Hybrid Beat Tesla's Model X?

Courtesy of BMW

BMW estimates the Concept X5, a hybrid version of its SUV, will have a range of 20 miles using its electric motor alone.

This story first appeared in the May 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

With Tesla's Model X Electric SUV (about $71,000) a year away, the paucity of luxury plug-in SUVs is especially poignant in Hollywood, which turned Tesla's Model S sedan into a best seller and would presumably do the same for an SUV.

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That could happen as early as next year, should BMW follow through on its plans to manufacture a plug-in hybrid version of its popular X5 SUV, presented as a concept car at the New York Auto Show (pricing unavailable). A plug-in hybrid's unique appeal is the ability to drive on electric power for short trips. BMW estimates the Concept X5 will have a range of 20 miles using its electric motor alone.

Given that the average single car trip is 6 miles, the plug-in option could make the X5 a zero-emissions daily driver for those with short commutes. This being BMW, the Concept X5's electric motor is paired with a 245 hp twin-turbo gasoline engine and eDrive technology that promises "superior driving characteristics," according to the company. Stay tuned.