Extended Range EV
The BMW Extended Range EV (REX) gets a total range of 190 miles; a combination of 120 pure electric miles, plus an additional 70 miles generated by a small 2-cylinder gas motorcycle engine that acts as a generator to charge the batteries, making longer trips possible. BMW claims the car can go up to 200 miles with the range extender. 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. Thanks to an active liquid thermal management system, which keeps the i3’s battery pack close to a constant 70 degrees Fahrenheit, hot and cold temperatures don’t have an extreme impact on its range, though drivers living in very cold climes indicate there’s a loss of range during winter months. This can be prevented by pre-conditioning the car before use.
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.
i3 REX comes in 4 trims: Deka World ($51,500), Mega World ($52,900), Giga World ($53,300) and Tera World ($54,100). With it’s avant-garde, cutting-edge looks, aerodynamic design and electric efficiency, the 2019 BMW i3 provides a major dose of appeal on both a visual and emotional level. Depending on whom you ask, it’s either dorky-looking, or space-age and strikingly attractive. One thing’s for sure: this isn’t your average Bimmer: this break from the past can’t be mistaken for any other EV on the road.
The 5-door i3 is BMW’s 1st zero-emission mass-produced, all-electric vehicle. It uses an electric power train 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. It seats 4 adults comfortably. The i3 combines a practical five-door, hatchback layout with a small footprint and high maneuverability.
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.
In its 6th model year now, the BMW i3 electric hatchback is still as funky and futuristic as ever. New available paint colors are also available as well as options like wireless device charging, automatic high-beam headlights, and a WiFi hotspot. The i3 is available in standard base trim or the slightly better equipped i3s.
The new electric powertrain underneath the i3 is a 42.2-kWh battery, replacing the old 33.2-kWh version from 2017. Expect fuel economy to reach 124 MPGe city, 102 highway, and 113 combined. The i3’s output is 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The i3s trim has a higher output at 181 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque, and it will do 0-60 miles per hour in 6.8 to 7.2 seconds (depending on which test drive review you read). Charging from empty to full takes 6.5 hours on a normal connection, while DC fast charging at 50-kW happens in an hour and a half.
6 years after its introduction, the i3’c 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 i3 uses lots of recycled materials, on its seats and end its trim. All trims incorporate natural materials including eucalyptus wood and olive leaf tanned leather.
Eco-conscious customers will be interested to know that BMW produces its i3s at its renowned Leipzig Plant, considered one of the most modern and sustainable car plants in the world. Green energy for the production of these cars is provided by four purpose-built wind turbines on site; the factory is considered a carbon-neutral facility.
While most cars are built with single component body and frame, i3 is built with 2 separate modules known as the “Life” module and the “Drive” module. The aluminum Drive module is comprised of a sturdy foundation chassis which contains the battery pack and powertrain system. The Life Module – made of high strength, ultra-lightweight CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) – is the cabin above the chassis, where the passengers sit. BMW i3’s lightweight CFRP materials and large-scale use of aluminum make the car much lighter – just 2,799 pounds—versus 3,362 pounds for the BMW 328i Coupe, and 3,208 pounds for the BMW 128i Coupe. What is carbon fiber, and why is it important? Carbon fiber materials are widely used in vehicles where a high strength-to-weight ratio is desired, such as Formula One racecars. Carbon fiber is made of pure carbon atoms. Reinforcing it with plastic means the fibers are bonded with resins, and then formed into parts which can absorb an enormous amount of impact energy. When subjected to high-speed impacts, the CFRP panels on the BMW i3 show barely any deformation. In the event of a crash, the ultra rigid carbon fiber structure creates a very safe space for passengers. The reduction of weight in in the i3 – around 500 pounds – makes the car easier to move and generates into better maneuverability and more range.
Concerning the 2019 BMW i3, CarGurus reviews say: “The BMW i3 electric hatchback is still as funky and futuristic as ever. New available paint colors are also available as well as options like wireless device charging, automatic high-beam headlights, and a WiFi hotspot. The i3 is available in standard base trim or the slightly better equipped i3s. The new electric powertrain underneath the i3 is a 42.2-kWh battery, replacing the old 33.2-kWh version from 2017. Expect fuel economy to reach 124 MPGe city, 102 highway, and 113 combined. The i3’s output is 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The i3s trim has a higher output at 181 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. Charging from empty to full takes 6.5 hours on a normal connection, while DC fast charging at 50-kW happens in an hour and a half. Drivers can access the rear seats via small rear-hinged, pickup-style doors.”
Car Connection reviewers say: “Despite its wild look, the 2019 BMW i3 manages to look average compared to other cars, somehow. Geek-chic and once BMW’s vision for future mobility, the 2019 BMW i3 looks like few cars on the road. It still draws attention, but it’s clear that BMW has moved away from the futuristic look for future electric cars. The spa-like interior is the i3’s best look, a simplistic layout with reclaimed materials that fits the i3’s ethos. The Scandinavian feel extends through the dash with a 10.2-inch touchscreen perched atop the flowing dash and a steering column and shift knob on the stalk that’s unlike any other we’ve seen.”
The EV is eligible for a Federal Tax Credit of $7500, a California State Rebate of $2500 and HOV stickers.
REVISED JULY 2019
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.