GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

Just read this: http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/Drives/Search-Results/First-drives/BMW-i3-2013-electric-car-test-ride/?content-block=0

Pretty impressive performance. One report say's 0-60 in 7.2 sec and the other in 7.3 so it sounds legit. The writer was even more impressed with the handling and concluded with this:

"The i3 is shaping up to be a breakthrough electric car. It delivers dynamic thrills like no electric car before it. The steering seems highly involving, the drivetrain’s punch would flatten a Leaf, and the handling and road-holding seem up there with BMW’s best. Ulrich Kranz and his team appear to have succeeded in bringing pure driving pleasure to the environmentally friendly car. We’ll know for sure when we drive the car in summer 2013."

If they keep the price under 50K with the range extender before the $7,500 federal Tax credit then I suspect they are going to sell a lot of these.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,188 Posts
Well... They are not gong to sell many if they keep that same paint job. ;-) Wow.

As a PEV it may be OK... But it would not work for me as my only car because sometimes i need to go on longer trips. (Like 300-500 miles in a day.) So I still need a EREV. The Volt is perfect for my needs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well... They are not gong to sell many if they keep that same paint job. ;-) Wow.

As a PEV it may be OK... But it would not work for me as my only car because sometimes i need to go on longer trips. (Like 300-500 miles in a day.) So I still need a EREV. The Volt is perfect for my needs.
Agreed. It's not a 500 mile/day car. The volt would be much better suited for that. But with an 80 - 100 mile AER I think most people won't use the range extender that much, but having it there on the few times it's needed is well worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,464 Posts
That review reads like ad copy.

I'm not sure that I'm sold on the concept, though. 9 liters of fuel is not very much. I'm not sure that I would want to be taking it on long road trips, because it seems like the range extender is really just designed with emergencies in mind.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
8,680 Posts
The most interesting part is the claimed ~2800 pound curb weight. For an EV with what they're saying is a real 100 mile range, that's very impressive, even as tiny as it apparently is. If the Aero holds up, it might be pretty efficient - might even get decent gas mileage despite being saddled with the series configuration and motorcycle engine.

The CARB limited tiny gas tank makes it a non-starter for me, I think - the hundred electric miles would serve me 98% of the time - the other 2%, I need a few hundred or more - and have a lot of trouble imagining stopping every hundred miles (or even less!) for gas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,663 Posts
I doubt $50k too, probably closer to high $50's, low $50's after the federal tax credit.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,156 Posts
Without the range extender this is a smaller version of the Leaf with a lot more performance and a lot less cargo space. It's also not going anywhere close to 100 miles with its 22 kWh battery. My guess is that without the range extender its real world range will probably be 65 miles, more if you're willing to risk ending up calling for a flatbed.

The range extender makes it a lot more usable. With it, you can run the range down to zero miles and not worry. That would give you a lot more EV miles and would let you take trips otherwise outside the electric range of the car. Hopefully you'll be able to raise the SOC setpoint so you don't stress the cells as much. But this is not a Volt. It's much smaller, the range extender will probably not give you full performance, and the couple of gallons in the tank are not getting you from LA to San Francisco, much less LA to Texas. This is probably be design since the i3 is small enough that most who could afford it wouldn't want it for those trips anyway.

Like many things, whether I'd seriously consider it depends on price. I like what I'm reading, but, if the price, with range extender, is towards $50K, then an ELR, depending on price and ride, might be more appealing. In any event, it's great to see more options, because the more EV options out there the more EVs we'll see on the road.

The i8 BTW is show stopper. That is one very cool car (which I'm not buying, LOL).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
Bazinga: In the US the base i3 will be will under 50K, probably close to $45,000 actually. The range extender option pricing hasn't been officially announced but journalists have put it at $3,000. SO the price of an i3 with the range extender will be under $50,000 and that is before the $7,500 federal tax credit.

DonC: The i3 will definitely be capable of delivering 100 miles, probably 115-120 with careful driving. It was officially rated at 140 miles on the European Test Cycle - the same test that rated the LEAF at 107 miles. That translates to a 96 mile per charge EPA rating so expect anywhere between 93 & 97 miles for the official US EPA rating.

I agree 100% with your quote: "The range extender makes it a lot more usable. With it, you can run the range down to zero miles and not worry" Yes, It's not like a Volt and the range extender isn't meant to be used like the Volts, for continued high speed driving. If you need to frequently drive long distances, the Volt is a much better choice. If not, the i3 will more than double the Volts AER and still have the range extender in case you need t to get home so you won't be stranded. It's a different animal and both have their advantages. You just need to choose which fit's your needs better. It's good to have choices. Just a few years ago we had none! BTW, I was at NAIAS when the ELR was presented. Beautiful car no doubt, but the people there seemed to think it will be $60,000+ and it's going to only be a small, limited production run.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
I'm intrigued as to the manner in which the Range Extender (RE) operates in the i3. From what I've read, it's not all that integral to the vehicle's operation in the way the Volt's RE works. In the Volt, the switch from CD to CS mode is seamless with the RE kicking in 'on the fly' while the vehicle is in motion.

In the i3, the (optional) RE is powered by a small, 650cc motorcycle engine located in the rear of the vehicle and may not operate while the vehicle is in motion. When the battery is depleted, the vehicle has to stop and remain stationary for around 60 minutes while the generator puts an approximate 80% charge back into the battery. Once that's done, the driver can continue on their way. That might also explain why the gas tank is so small. I suppose it would also be possible to 'top off' the battery whenever stopped, too.

For all intents and purpose, the i3's RE is not much different from any BEV (like a Leaf or i-MiEV) towing a generator around on a trailer.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
8,680 Posts
I'm intrigued as to the manner in which the Range Extender (RE) operates in the i3. From what I've read, it's not all that integral to the vehicle's operation in the way the Volt's RE works. In the Volt, the switch from CD to CS mode is seamless with the RE kicking in 'on the fly' while the vehicle is in motion.

In the i3, the (optional) RE is powered by a small, 650cc motorcycle engine located in the rear of the vehicle and may not operate while the vehicle is in motion. When the battery is depleted, the vehicle has to stop and remain stationary for around 60 minutes while the generator puts an approximate 80% charge back into the battery. Once that's done, the driver can continue on their way. That might also explain why the gas tank is so small. I suppose it would also be possible to 'top off' the battery whenever stopped, too.

For all intents and purpose, the i3's RE is not much different from any BEV (like a Leaf or i-MiEV) towing a generator around on a trailer.
Where did this come from? Is it confirmed? I'd be shocked if the engine can't run while the i3 drives - shocked and appalled, because as you say, it makes the engine pretty much useless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
Where did this come from? Is it confirmed? I'd be shocked if the engine can't run while the i3 drives - shocked and appalled, because as you say, it makes the engine pretty much useless.
I don't remember where I read it (there are a number of articles with little info on operation) but with the way the range extender is configured (optional, small boxer motorcycle engine located in rear of vehicle with small gas tank in front), that manner of operation sounds logical. The i3 RE is designed for occasional/emergency use. I would imagine BMW's thought process is if you don't want/can use a BEV, then you really should be buying an ICE-only vehicle in the first place.

If that is, indeed, how the i3's RE works, I don't think I'd call it useless, but having to stop every 100 miles or so and wait for an hour while the battery is recharged, would definitely not make for a normal, long-distance driving experience. But at least you wouldn't have to worry and hunt for a fixed charge station.

As you might imagine, if that's how it's going to work, BMW isn't exactly broadcasting that the i3's optional RE won't keep the car going without stopping to recharge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
I don't remember where I read it (there are a number of articles with little info on operation) but with the way the range extender is configured (optional, small boxer motorcycle engine located in rear of vehicle with small gas tank in front), that manner of operation sounds logical. The i3 RE is designed for occasional/emergency use. I would imagine BMW's thought process is if you don't want/can use a BEV, then you really should be buying an ICE-only vehicle in the first place.

If that is, indeed, how the i3's RE works, I don't think I'd call it useless, but having to stop every 100 miles or so and wait for an hour while the battery is recharged, would definitely not make for a normal, long-distance driving experience. But at least you wouldn't have to worry and hunt for a fixed charge station.

As you might imagine, if that's how it's going to work, BMW isn't exactly broadcasting that the i3's optional RE won't keep the car going without stopping to recharge.
Not sure where you read that, but I can tell you with with certainty it isn't correct. You will not have to stop and wait for it to charge the battery, it will turn on seamlessly like it does in the Volt however there are big differences:

The car will go 80-100 miles on battery power alone before the range extender turns on. Offering 2 -2 1/2 times the electric range of a Volt. Advantage i3

Since the range extender is a small two cylinder motorcycle engine with likely only 35 hp it will only deliver 25kW's to the battery. That would seemingly only be enough power to sustain the i3 up to 65-70 mph on flat terrain, and at much lower speeds while driving up steep, prolonged inclines. So it's not meant for really long distance travel, especially mountainous regions like the Volt is capable of doing. This isn't a car you would want to take on a 300 mile trip like you can a Volt. Advantage Volt

You can order buy it in either pure BEV trim, or with the range extender. I like having options and I think offering both definitely gives the i3 an advantage, however the price will likely be ~$5,000 -$10,000 more than a Volt depending on how well appointed it is so that has to be considered and pushes it out of reach for many people so the Volt is more accessible. The i3 will be faster than the Volt (0-60 in 7.2 sec) but the volt certainly isn't slow by any means and it does have a larger cargo area.

These are pretty different cars that will suit different needs. There will of course be some overlap of buyers but I think these cars are different enough (and address different needs) for them both to be successful, viable options for plug-in customers. More choices are always better for the consumer!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,156 Posts
The car will go 80-100 miles on battery power alone before the range extender turns on. Offering 2 -2 1/2 times the electric range of a Volt. Advantage i3
What percentage of daily driving is between 50 and 100 miles? And what percentage of daily driving is over 100? Advantage Volt! (Only giving you a hard time Tom but there aren't that many days when folks go over 50 but under 100).

I'm surprised that, as a veteran EV driver, you wouldn't lust after that range extender security blanket. No more worrying about whether the trip is just out of your EV range. No more getting into the the slow lane doing 60 MPH. Seriously, it will make driving an EV as simple as driving an ICE.

The ability to take the worry out of EV driving is why I think they should just offer the range extender version. It would make things simpler. I can see where a larger range extender would make sense but, as I've said, this is going to be a very small car so it's probably unsuited for longer trips, at least for those with the bucks to buy one.

It's definitely an interesting beast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
I suspect that if the i3 can run 100 miles on battery only, and continue on the extender at reduced capacity, it should also be able to go for longer trip (say 200 miles) on both battery and engine at full performance, but with still good efficiency. Like driving the Volt in hold mode, but with the battery slowing being drained.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
8,680 Posts
I suspect that if the i3 can run 100 miles on battery only, and continue on the extender at reduced capacity, it should also be able to go for longer trip (say 200 miles) on both battery and engine at full performance, but with still good efficiency. Like driving the Volt in hold mode, but with the battery slowing being drained.
Agree - though actually I'm not expecting much performance reduction, assuming BMW holds on to a buffer for acceleration like GM did (and it is much of the same development team...) They'll lose top speed, and may not climb hills well depending on the buffer depth, but I think it'll be a credible drive on the freeway.

The problem for road trips is the 9 liter gas tank - you'd have to refuel every hundred miles, possibly even less.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
724 Posts
Without that range extending "motorbike" engine, it's not much more than a golf cart, like the Leaf .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,579 Posts
Regardless of whether the i3 and the i8 are good or affordable BMW is late in the plugin market. So far they have not demonstrated that they are serious about EVs by putting them on the market. The limited Mini E and the ActiveE programs have been all fine, but it will be a very different game when the John Broders, or Jeremy Clarksons of the world get their mittens on one of these and when BMW will have to compete with the existing offerings (i.e. the half-priced and largely equivalent LEAF, or the Volt, which stole quite a few BMW owners).

I want the Volt to have a meaningful competition as this is the only way the Volt will get better. Let's hope the i3 offers some of that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
What percentage of daily driving is between 50 and 100 miles? And what percentage of daily driving is over 100? Advantage Volt! (Only giving you a hard time Tom but there aren't that many days when folks go over 50 but under 100).

I'm surprised that, as a veteran EV driver, you wouldn't lust after that range extender security blanket. No more worrying about whether the trip is just out of your EV range. No more getting into the the slow lane doing 60 MPH. Seriously, it will make driving an EV as simple as driving an ICE.

The ability to take the worry out of EV driving is why I think they should just offer the range extender version. It would make things simpler. I can see where a larger range extender would make sense but, as I've said, this is going to be a very small car so it's probably unsuited for longer trips, at least for those with the bucks to buy one.

It's definitely an interesting beast.
Don:

I am actually considering the range extender, but I want to see the specs first. Plus there's the extra cost and that will be substantial because it's not just the cost of the option, but then I have to pay sales tax. Here in NJ there is no sales tax on zero emission vehicles. However add the range extender option and you now have a PHEV so you have to pay sales tax. So if the option cost's lets say $3,000, I then have to pay sales tax on the whole car which will add another $3,500 or so. Now it's a $6,500 option. I don't think the range extender is worth it as long as the car has an EPA range rating of ~95 miles as expected.

As far as being an experienced EV driver, yes I have driven over 110,000 electric miles in the past 3+ years but honestly there isn't worry about running out and I'd say only 5 or 6 times a year do I really have to hypermile and drive slower, etc so I make my destination. You become 'range aware' after driving a while and I know what I can do and where I can and can't go. I also have a gas car that I'll take if I know I'll be driving really far on a particular day. If I did worry and had anxiety about driving I would have ditched the EV a long time ago and got a PHEV, but it's really not a problem as long as you have an EV with a good range. My two EV's have delivered a consistent 100 miles in the warm weather and 70-75 in the winter and it's been fine for me, I'm not restricted at all especially since I can charge L2 at work. That makes a huge difference. In a perfect world I'd have a ~100 mile BEV for everyday driving and a PHEV for my wife and what we drive on long family trips. I REALLY wish GM would put the voltec drivetrain in an Equinox. Give it a 30-35 mile AER and sell it for $49,999 and they would sell them all day in my opinion. I'd be the first on line.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top