(Pocket-lint) - When the new BMW X5 was launched in 2018, we criticised the lack of a hybrid option. But the delay appears to have been worth it, as the BMW X5 xDrive 45e is making moves in the right direction when it comes to electric mobility.

Some PHEVs only have a short battery range - an average that seems to be around 30 miles - but the BMW X5 is going to be offering a range of around 55 miles. That comes thanks to an increase in battery size for the new hybrid system, increasing to 24kWh, with a 113hp motor leading to a total 394hp system when paired with the 3-litre, 6-cylinder petrol engine.

Increasing the battery capacity gives a greater electric independence, meaning you're a lot more likely to be able to drive emission free, one of the aims of this type of hybrid setup. Of course the other side of the equation is using the electric system to reduce the overall emissions and fuel consumption from the car. 

That's going to be the biggest benefit to those who charge at home and regularly do stop-start urban driving, even if once you get on the motorway lugging the additional weight of the battery may be to the detriment of overall efficiency.

BMW is keen to stress that there's no loss of performance, it's still a dynamic all-wheel drive setup, and will do 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds as this PHEV is one of the more powerful options that BMW offers.

There's a small reduction - 150 litres - in the boot capacity, and the overall spec of the xDrive 45e is pretty high, with air suspension on both axles and a range of features designed for electric driving - like that low speed pedestrian warning. That all leads to a price that's fairly high - adding some £5525 onto the price of the 30d diesel, although it is also a lot more powerful.

BMW is also keen to stress that this is a car that can significantly lower the carbon footprint through its life than regular combustion models. There's been criticism that PHEVs increase the carbon use (both in manufacture and then though fossil fuel consumption on the road). BMW reports that it has done a complete audit of the carbon cost of the X5 PHEV and says that the carbon footprint across its life can be significantly lower than if you bought a regular fuel option. 

Of course, to get those benefits you really do need to be motoring using that extended range that the X5 xDrive 45e offers. 

Writing by Chris Hall.