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Are there really people cross-shopping the i3 with the Tesla Model S?
 

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Almost looks like Californias carpool decision will benefit Calfornia Based Tesla.


Weird.
 

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Given that the i3's range extender option is so expensive while offering such limited capability and while adding some negatives (less storage space, removal of heat pump, less ideal weight distribution), I don't agree with this article's assumption that most buyers would want the range extender.
 

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The idea with 100 miles + range extender caught my attention. But when range extender details were out it quickly went away. Too small tank, under powered extender and not able to run it until battery is empty were the reasons I'm not impressed. It was made for california, and now it's "design purpose" was removed. All that remains is the EV version.
 

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Solution: cancel your BMW i3 REx order and buy a Volt NOW, while green stickers are still available.

Side-effect: there may be some real deals on i3' s in CA soon.
 

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The idea with 100 miles + range extender caught my attention. But when range extender details were out it quickly went away. Too small tank, under powered extender and not able to run it until battery is empty were the reasons I'm not impressed. It was made for california, and now it's "design purpose" was removed. All that remains is the EV version.
I also recall reading a report that on the highway they only got about 50 miles from the range extender. I can't wait to see the EPA numbers on this ridiculous version of a REX EV.

I'm glad CA removed this dumb loophole. It was starting to create a very silly class of automobile. But why are they limiting green stickers to 40K total? It's either a good idea, or it isn't. It's not like they're giving money away with stickers.
 

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I also recall reading a report that on the highway they only got about 50 miles from the range extender. I can't wait to see the EPA numbers on this ridiculous version of a REX EV.

I'm glad CA removed this dumb loophole. It was starting to create a very silly class of automobile. But why are they limiting green stickers to 40K total? It's either a good idea, or it isn't. It's not like they're giving money away with stickers.
There are very few owner reports on the i3 (a handful on one of the i3 forums), but the initial impression (and I hate to even call it that given the limited data) is that range is coming up a bit light especially when the cold or freeway speeds are factored in. In theory it should be more than double my Volt's if they use the full battery pack (especially given the huge weight difference), but we'll see. I would not be surprised to see the official range rated at 80 and winter drivers reporting figures in the 50s and 60s. If that is the case, I guarantee the only way I would consider the i3 is with the rEX - I would just view it as being like a high performance Leaf with a great in town backup plan.

On the one hand, I too will be glad if this stupid rule is abolished (Heck, it practically smacked of an insider deal with BMW), but it does seem unfair if the rule was one thing and got changed to something else after-the-fact.

Ironically, I think it was The Street that reported on this whole loop hole originally (declaring how BMW had it made).

GM's approach is seeming more like genius all the time...
 

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Wow. BMW built this car based on their agreement with CARB about this loophole. I wonder if they have grounds for a suit?

I also wonder if they have time for a little re-engineering... With a 10 gallon gas tank and programming that embraced Hold mode and a large operational buffer, this car could still be a viable Volt competitor.
 

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Weeks ago I predicted BMW would increase the size of the gas tank, and I'll repeat myself now. They might as well cancel the small tank and put in a 7 or 9 galloner.
 

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Weeks ago I predicted BMW would increase the size of the gas tank, and I'll repeat myself now. They might as well cancel the small tank and put in a 7 or 9 galloner.
So you can limp along even longer? IMO, they need to go back to the drawing board. Sticking a moped engine under the floor as an underpowered and inefficient generator is not exactly adequate engineering. It's a pretty cool EV in base form. But it's a lousy EREV.
 

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The idea with 100 miles + range extender caught my attention. But when range extender details were out it quickly went away. Too small tank, under powered extender and not able to run it until battery is empty were the reasons I'm not impressed. It was made for california, and now it's "design purpose" was removed. All that remains is the EV version.
I think you are not correct abiut the battery having to be empty. The rule is that it cannot be user-selectable. As far as I know there's nothing to stop BMW having the computer decide to blend with it on a long trip indicated by the nav.
 

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So you can limp along even longer? IMO, they need to go back to the drawing board. Sticking a moped engine under the floor as an underpowered and inefficient generator is not exactly adequate engineering. It's a pretty cool EV in base form. But it's a lousy EREV.
That's a good point. But what mitigates the feeble motor capability is the EV range which is roughly double that of the Volt. As long as the motor propels the car at steady highway speeds, some people are going to be willing to live with it, being that their EV range which gives them more day to day full electric driving is their top priority.
 

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The Volt carries a regular-sized ICE and a small battery, while the i3 sports a big battery and a small&light ICE. It makes little sense to carry around both a big ICE and a big battery, so the small 25kW range-extender ICE in the i3 is the optimal choice for a 80 mile EV that drives electric 98% of the time. Its there for peace of mind against range anxiety.

With the white CA carpool sticker out of reach, little should stop BMW from upping the size of the gas tank and adding hold and mountain mode like in the Volt. That would make the i3 viable for the occasional road trip.

You don't need 55kW of sustained power (as in the Volt), since the battery buffer can make up for the occasional sprint. I drive ~95% EV in my Volt, so I would not mind having a smaller ICE in exchange for more room or more EV range. 25kW should be enough to cruise at 65MPH, and by using hold or mountain mode its easy to drive without noticeable performance degradation.
 

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I think the I3 would be a fantastic car with a 8-10 gallon gas tank and a hold and mountain mode. They should also figure a way of putting the heat pump back in on the Rex model.

With this configuration I could drive 95% electric and never feel range anxiety. If I didn't already own a Volt I would have seriously looked at this I3 Rex if it was out in this improved configuration.
 

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The i3 REx still qualifies for the BEVx designation for BMW. So the important thing for BMW is that they will be getting 3 points for the ZEV program. Also for buyers, the REx will get the full $2500 CA rebate vs $1500 for the Volt.

My lease is up in November and I will be seriously looking at the i3 REx. Since I don't live in CA, none of this affects me. I also only keep 2 gallons in my Volt so the same in the REx doesn't bother me.
 
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