Extended Range EV
The 2021 BMW i3 REx is a BMW i3 with a Range Extender added. The i3 provides 153 pure electric miles. The i3 REx, provides up to 200 miles; a combination of pure electric miles, plus additional miles generated by a small 2-cylinder gas motorcycle engine that acts as a generator to charge the batteries, making longer trips possible. The BMW concept was to add a very small gasoline tank providing fuel to be used occasionally, translating 1.9 gallons of petrol into an additional 60 to 80 miles beyond the 80 miles provided by the electric battery. The engine is designed to kick in to action hen the electric power depletes.
There are two trims: i3 REx (MSRP: $48,300), and i3s REx (MSRP: $51,500). Both come with a one-speed automatic transmission and are rear-wheel drive vehicles. Six exterior colors are available: Capparis White, Cashmere Silver Metallic, Fluid Black, Galvanic Gold Metallic, Imperial Blue Metallic, and Mineral Grey Metallic.
BMW made no changes to the 2020 model, and has kept the i3 REx the same for 2021.
The i3 REx has an electric motor rated at 168 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The i3s REx has an electric motor rated at 181 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. Meaning the “s” has a slightly more powerful motor. And a few “sportier” features added, including a lowered sport suspension, wider wheels and tires, faster acceleration, and a SPORT drive mode.
The U.S. Department of Energy (www.fueleconomy.gov) has calculated that BMW i3 REx drivers will save $4,250 in fuel costs over 5 years, compared to driving a comparable new gas car. The EPA gives the EV a 124/102/113 city/highway/combined MPGe rating. Additionally, ev.pge.com has calculated that the car reduces CO2 emissions by 8,890 pounds per year. Eco-conscious drivers looking for a fun-to-drive hatchback which can maneuver into tight parking spots will want to look at the i3.
The 5-door i3 and i3 REx are BMW’s 1st zero-emission mass-produced, all-electric vehicles, designed with electric power trains and a revolutionary carbon-fiber/aluminum structure to improve energy consumption. The i3 was named the 2014 World Green Car of the Year, and captured the 2017 World Urban Car of the Year Award.
The BMW i3 is the smallest, most urban-targeted vehicle in its “i” range of vehicles, which includes, to date, the BMW i3 and BMW i8. "i Performance" is BMW's way of saying "performance Technology." i Performance Technology encompasses the electric motor, the battery and the complex control software that ensures all the separate systems in BMW's Next Gen cars work in harmony. i Performance Technology has been developed to be modular, meaning it can be easily tailored to multiple models. BMW has repeatedly stated that in the not too distant future, virtually every model from the BMW lineup will offer some form of electrification and be available with an "i" designation.
Eight years after its introduction in the USA, the i3’s cabin design remains a forward-thinking, futuristic space. By removing the B-pillar, using rear-hinged coach doors, and cleverly positioning the seats, BMW engineers have given driver and passengers plenty of room. Sustainability sets i3s apart from other EVs. The EV uses lots of recycled materials including eucalyptus wood and olive leaf tanned leather for its trim and seats. According to BMW: “Natural, renewable, and sustainable: the interior of the BMW i3 features door trim panels and a dashboard made from renewable natural fibers, naturally tanned leather, and open-pore eucalyptus wood sourced from 100% FSC-certified forestry. Overall, 25% renewable raw materials and recycled plastics were used in the interior of the BMW i3. The textile upholsteries are made of up to 100% recycled polyester, produced using 34% PET. A further 25% recycled plastics are used in the exterior.” According to BMW CEO Oliver Zipse, all new BMW models will be made using recycled materials by 2025.
The Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3 are two main i3 REx competitors. Bolt’s interior doesn’t match up to the uniquely designed i3 REx cabin, but its 259 e-miles are better than the BMW i3’s 200 miles. The Model 3 is a better EV than the i3 REx in almost every way. Its 0 to 60 time is two seconds faster and its 263 e-mile range is greater. The i3 REx seats four, while the Bolt and Model 3 seat five. The Model 3 is $4,000 to $5,000 less than the i3 REx, and its styling is sleek and streamlined compared to the breadbox look of the i3 REx. The Model 3 is also two feet longer than the i3 REx – an important distinction for eco-conscious urban dwellers who’re looking for a smaller electrified hatchback
The i3 combines a practical 5-door-hatch layout with a small footprint and high maneuverability for inner city driving. Heated front seats and cloth upholstery are standard. Synthetic and genuine leather upholstery are available. The seats are comfortable and supportive. Something to keep in mind: the front doors have to be open if you want to open or close the rear doors. This is because the doors are rear-hinged and open opposite the front doors. Also; the back seat windows don’t open. Parents seating young children in the back row like these two facts.
Any way you look at it, the i3 and i3 REx are unique and revolutionary electric vehicles of a different kind. They don’t follow the standard rules used by other OEM designers, but still offer spunk, peppy driving, decent range, luxury features and a large dose of eco-friendliness.
The i3 REx and i3s REx are eligible for a Federal Tax Credit of $7500.
REWRITTEN MAY 2021
There are currently 4 primary incentives available to the California consumer that substantially lower the cost of buying or leasing an EV. CURRENT provides all the guidance or assistance you may need to apply for these incentives.