The BMW 5 Series has been benchmarking mid-sized luxury performance for decades. To those who have known and loved this model over the years, the 530e will look and feel very familiar. It's the same quality of materials, the same understated style, and the same levels of performance - only now this one will take you 21 miles on battery power alone. Sure, that's not as much EV range as even less expensive cars, but efficiency was never really the point of the 5 Series.
An EV's advertised range is just an estimate. Your mileage may vary, literally! It's important to understand the factors that can affect EV range, so you choose a car that has enough for your lifestyle and habits. Not choosing enough range for your unique needs can prove to be a frustrating and expensive mistake. If you're not sure how range works or how much you need, visit our section on identifying your EV needs.Identify My EV Needs
Would you rather charge for 20 minutes, or an hour? That's essentially what charge rate comes down to, how much time you'll spend at the plug. Different EVs are capable of charging at different speeds, so it's important to understand what your car's "Peak" or "Max" Charge Rate is. Charge rate is measured in Kilowatts (kW) and in 2023, the average peak charge rate is about 150kW. The fastest EVs charge at 250kW and above. Plug-In Hybrids will charge much slower. What does this mean for actual charge times? Well there's a little more to it...Learn more about Charge Speed
MPGe or Miles Per Gallon Equivalent, is a way to compare the relative efficiency of cars using different types of energy. MPGe says there is 33.7 kWh of energy in a single gallon of gas, so we'll use that equivelency to compare to cars using kWh of energy from gas, batteries, or both.
DC Fast Charging
DC Fast Charging allows you to use more-powerful direct-current charging stations.
Adjustable Regenerative Braking
Regenerative Braking is a feature in electrified vehicles that recuperates energy that would otherwise be lost when the vehicle slows down. When Regenerative Braking is in use, taking your foot off of the accelerator will cause the car to slow, similar to the sensation of engine braking.
One Pedal Drive
One Pedal Drive is a feature that allows your car to come to a complete stop without needing to touch the brake pedal.
Batteries lose efficiency when they're too hot or too cold. Especially on cold days, your car may lose quite a bit of range to a cold battery. Preconditioning allows you to warm your battery (and often the car's cabin along with it) before you leave, so that your car will be more efficient and retain more range. Some cars will allow you to schedule a departure time based on your commuting schedule, and others will allow you to precondition anytime using the car's phone app.
Dual Charge PortsSome EVs will offer a charge port on both sides of the car, which can come in handy if a charge cable isn't long enough to reach one side or the other.
Vehicle-to-Load CapabilitySome EVs offer the ability to power external devices using your car's battery. This can be extremely useful, for example, if your home loses power, or when you're at the campsite or worksite and need to power tools and/or accessories.
Heat PumpA heat pump is a more efficient way to heat your EV's cabin. When temperatures drop, EVs equipped with a heat pump will generally perform better (retaining more range) than vehicles that use more traditional resistance heating. A heat pump may be optional on your EV.
Tow chargingThis is a pretty rare feature, but allows an EV to be charged by towing it. This is for emergency situations when you're out of juice but don't have access to power.