BMW Sales Chief Confirms Significant Range Increase Coming For 2017 i3

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 126

Fluid Black BMW i3

Fluid Black BMW i3

BMW is now further confirming that its i3 electric car will get “much more usable range” for the 2017 model year.

This information comes straight from Ian Robertson, BMW’s chief of sales and marketing.

At the 2016 NAIAS, Robertson told Automotive News that later this summer BMW will launch the Model Year 2017 i3 with an improved lithium-ion battery pack “which puts it into a much more usable range,” says Robertson.

Speculation is that range will increase rather substantially, perhaps by 50% or so to 120 miles per charge.  Even with a 120-mile range, the i3 will still be well short of the upcoming 200-mile Chevrolet Bolt. However, it would have more range than most other competing models, including the 30 kWh Nissan LEAF.

Source: Automotive News

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126 responses to "BMW Sales Chief Confirms Significant Range Increase Coming For 2017 i3"

  1. jh says:

    Can anyone say Osborne effect?

    1. jelloslug says:

      I’m fairly certain that the ’16 model year will be a short one. BMW is also going to be offering huge incentives to blow out the remaining stock.

      1. RexxSee says:

        ALL established ICE car makers announce better range for 2017, why not 2016? … Oh! Wait, the Model 3 is scheduled for 2017..
        They are trying to drown Tesla.

        Have you notice that NONE of the upcoming cars even for 2020 NEVER have better specs than Tesla’s : The competition is still /OFF

        1. Assaf says:

          No, silly, they’re trying to expand market appeal.

          They know that at current ranges, they cannot venture far beyond early adopters like us, and particularly savvy households willing to make compromises in how they use and manage their cars.

          Up to the holy grail of an affordable 200-mile BEV, every bit of added range expands the appeal into the mainstream.

          1. RexxSee says:

            No kidding? What about consistent and decent adverting campaigns that none of the big players have done.. In fact they did the opposite, announcing new models one full year in advance, killing sales of existing ones, retiring models for no reason, un-selling them at dealerships, pricing them too high with much less range expressly to NOT sell them.

            1. Roy LeMeur says:

              One big point everyone including the big automakers seem to miss…

              Where is their charging infrastructure? They don’t appear to have a clue about this.

              Tesla, on the other hand…

              1. Big Solar says:

                lots of people including me dont need one or at least not much of one.

              2. jimbo says:

                Yes, It’s in my garage.

          2. James says:

            I think the “holy grail” for EVs would be much more than a 200 mile BEV. If we’re saying this is the tipping point to which mainstream buyers begin opting for an electric car as the family car, there is that big issue of reliable, convenient, quick refueling opportunities, and Tesla already has a huge head start in that arena.

            We early adopters see planning ahead for refueling, and waiting, and hoping for more build-out as mere inconvenience. For John and Jane Q. Carbuyer to consider going electric, there either has to be pain at the pump, or easy, very fast charging…or both. 350-400 mile electrics at $30,000 would also be much closer to that “holy grail” point.Crossovers with AWD would also speed up the point to which the masses consider electric mobility.
            The current charging landscape isn’t enough at this point.

            Tesla’s genius is “wow!” factor. I’ve noted recently that the age demographic buying Teslas is quite young. Also note how many Tesla owners also own a mid-to-large-sized ICE CUV or SUV in their garage. This shocked me. So Tesla owners are not as activist as you may now believe. This says they made that purchase and waited in line in many cases for a car that is FAST and creates buzz. BUZZ is something Tesla cultivates, even a CUV with zowie doors and windshield. The show-your-friends, uber quick car factor doesn’t lure the early-adopter EV crowd.

            I like Tesla’s approach – earning customers because they build an exciting car, versus buying a smarter car that requires lifestyle changes and sacrifices.

            1. James says:

              Think for a moment, a TV ad spot for a family EV might be showing some children, and tugging at the hearts of viewers by a seguey to showing a smog-covered city choked with smoke-spewing traffic…Then asking: “Is this the world you want to leave to them?” End shot showing family cruising off into the beautiful mountain wilderness highway in their BEV…
              This is the approach Toyota used to slingshot the once- quirky Prius into the mainstream. Toyota’s ads were a bit softer, merely showing rain forest animals and smiley human sunflowers.

              Now envision Tesla’s approach – First off, they don’t advertise. They just propagate this cache over Internet media that says- “If you own one, you are so smart, modern and cool!” The environmental message is a backstory, not the initial tug. Face it, people just trying to save money on gas disappear with $30/barrel oil.

              Image plays so much into so many buyer’s decisions. The fall of the minivan was due to image. The rise of the tall, inefficient station wagon marketers named the Sport Utility Vehicle was due to image.

              In my mind, SO MUCH of the future of EVS depends upon how they are marketed. If you are seen by young people as COOL for owning one…There is your key to mass adoption. Legacy ICE MAKERS truly do not want to sell too many EVs. If they do, they lose all that lucrative parts and service cash they live on. This gets complex because they also want consumers to view thier brand as environmentally conscious.

              If GM builds a slightly more usable EV as a second car…without breaking the bank and having to jumpstart a fueling infrastructure…so be it, they can afford it. They are making BMW look bad, that is for sure. Others now have to step up thier game, but not make thier EVs too darn exciting because, heck, they might just catch on!

              Look for Tesla to propel this market for some time ahead, as they solely have the fine focus to elevate the electric car. They alone can advertise EVs as smarter, without making their primary products look old, outdated and inferior.

              1. Skryll says:

                corrections:

                – most people being able to buy a tesla today are older generation not newer. younger generation wants one but can’t afford – this will change with model 3.

                – tesla car buyers don’t care about oil price at the gas pump, they understand the cost of using oil is much higher than that in terms of environmental impact, just not yet priced into the product

                – bmw is looking good, at least they know that stop-and-go-traffic automation (acc) is a critical feature of a modern car driven in commute, and they have invested heavily into electric mobility – I expect to see a lot more from them in the future. i3 sales and even i8 sales are higher than I expected for sure, just look at recent score card. range extender is a peace-of-mind crutch to enable skeptics to buy into BEV, will go away soon.

            2. ggpa says:

              What is the source for this information “Also note how many Tesla owners also own a mid-to-large-sized ICE CUV or SUV in their garage. This shocked me.”?

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                I think it’s pretty well established that most Model S’s are second cars owned by families or individuals, not first cars.

                But his assertion that most Model S buyers are young… well, not according to what I’ve read, which is that they’re mostly older affluent buyers.

                1. ggpa says:

                  Bad decisions often begin with the word “assume”.

                  😉

                2. ggpa says:

                  And I am mildly amused that your own assumption shocked you. Quite amazing!

              2. James says:

                Try scanning Tesla ownership groups…The mean age is under 50. Watch YouTube videos of Tesla owners using the newest updates like Firmware update 7.1… You’ll see numerious DIFFERENT videos, most with a gas CUV or SUV sharing the garage!

                You ASSUMING I am ASSUMING is kind of ludicrous, right?

                1. ggpa says:

                  LOL James …

                  Even if you looked at 50 videos … quite a lot, that is not representative. It is less than 0.1% of what Tesla shipped in one year.

                  You assume you know a lot …. I am not convinced you have a true picture.

                2. Sting777 says:

                  I’ve looked at Tesla shareholder meeting. The mean age there is not 50.

        2. Pajda says:

          It is misunderstanding. Most of car makers releases new MY(Model Year) in the middle of the actual calendar year. For example MY2017 will be available in the summer 2016.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Most?

            It used to be that a new MY began in September, like clockwork, at least in the USA.

            I think that’s no longer as uniform across all auto makers as it was, but I question that “most” car models now have their new MY to start in the middle of the year.

            1. Pajda says:

              You are right, I mean most German car makers 🙂

      2. liberty says:

        I’m not expacting blow out sales, they will cut production to follow sales.

        2016 start will be bad for bmw and nissan, good for tesla and chevy. bmw knows its got to up the range, especially in the rex version where gas tank is constrained by electric range.

        1. Benjamin says:

          With larger battery range I think the CARB rules will allow larger gasoline range for the REx too. Could provide easy regional range if they provide 120 miles battery +110 gasoline range. Up the power, too, so that the REx is more of a performance car and BMW could have a real sweet little ride.

          1. Nix says:

            Benjamin — That is correct. If they increase the range it will allow them to use the full gas tank, instead of having to software limit the amount of gas the car can use.

            But CARB still won’t allow the REX motor to be turned on early, like the European version. So people will still have to hack the ECU in order to get that feature.

    2. AlphaEdge says:

      And maybe the Bolt effect also. 😉

      1. Chris O says:

        Wait until the Model 3 effect kicks in. 200 miles ánd proper quick charge support.

        1. Open-Mind says:

          Probably true. Unfortunately, “wait” is the operative word, based on Tesla’s previous rollout timelines. For now, GM is ahead of Tesla in the affordable EV model space.

          1. ffbj says:

            Probably true, but I don’t think Tesla is worried in the least. For one thing the proceeds are much higher for the luxury models, which is what I consider all Tesla’s, at least currently.

          2. Bob Nickson says:

            I like to fantasize that one of the reasons for the Model X delay and sluggish roll out is that Tesla realized that the Model 3 was already in reach, and they allocated the majority of their resources towards the Model 3, at the expense of the Model X, which although a great car, doesn’t do anything to accelerate the mass market EV future.

            So, first Model 3 off the assembly line in 2017? One can dream! Anxiously awaiting the March reveal.

            1. Mike I says:

              I take a somewhat different view. I think they did not push the X to market faster because the Model S was doing so well that they didn’t need the X to reach their aggregate sales target. Pansonic was holding them back from producing more cars, so why rush the X into competing for those limited number of battery cells?

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                I share your opinion; I think the available evidence points to that. I’d love to believe the Model X delay was due to accelerating development of the Model ≡, but I haven’t seen any evidence to support that idea.

            2. Bret says:

              It’s well known that the Model X was delayed because of the complexity of the windshield and the falcon-wing doors. They wanted to make it both compelling and perfect and that took more time than they anticipated.

              Let’s hope the Model 3 is also compelling, but much simpler and easier to manufacture. I am getting excited for the reveal in March.

              1. Roy LeMeur says:

                I am betting that even the entry-level Model 3 will have all-wheel drive that works like the systems in all their other models excluding the roadster.

                No one else has near-instantaneous feedback to and from each wheel like Tesla does providing the best possible traction in all conditions from ice and snow to the limits of adhesion under drag racing conditions.

                When the big automakers can do this like Tesla does, they “might” have a vehicle that is as good.

                1. I hope it does, but I want it in a usable CUV/SUV package like a Subaru Forester or something similar (e.g. 8″ or more ground clearance, short front/rear overhangs, tight turning radius, usable cargo area, usable roof). I want to take the car everywhere I would reasonably expect to go (which with our Subaru is everywhere except mud-bogging).

                2. Ambulator says:

                  Elon has already said that the base model will be two wheel drive, but all wheel drive would be an option. It wouldn’t surprise me if the all wheel drive model appears first.

                  Interestingly, I don’t think he has ever said whether it will be the front or rear wheels that drive the base model. I’m still hoping for FWD, but the consensus seems to expect RWD.

                  1. Mr why fy says:

                    Why the heck you opt for FWD???

                    1. Spec9 says:

                      Better in the snow.

                  2. Trace says:

                    Most likely RWD. They’re aiming to compete with BMW 3 series. Those are RWD.

              2. ggpa says:

                “well known”???? more like “frequently speculated”

                1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                  Indeed. In fact, Elon said the second row seats proved more problematic than the falcon wing doors, despite all the very loud bashing on Internet forums about the doors.

                  Let us all remember that the Internet is better at spreading bad memes than good ones. Speculation does not become fact simply because it’s repeated frequently.

                  1. ggpa says:

                    Correct, and the same applies to the “shocking” comment above.

                    1. James says:

                      @ggppa – I was shocked.

                      As I said up above, go to YouTube, look at the age of Tesla owners posting videos. Many owners in 30s and 40s. This is relatively young for high-end ( $100,000+ ) automobiles in context to total car sales in N. America.

                      As for the “shocking” comment you seem to have your boxer shorts so twisted about…Look on YouTube and assess yourself the ( surprising, unexpected… ) amount of SUVs and CUVs in Tesla owner’s garages.

                      You seem “shocked” that I was shocked!

                      LOL

                    2. ggpa says:

                      LOL James …

                      Even if you looked at 50 videos … quite a lot, that is not representative. It is less than 0.1% of what Tesla shipped in one year.

                      You assume you know a lot …. I am not convinced you have a true picture.

                  2. Bret says:

                    It’s a lot more than Internet speculation Pushmi-Pullyu.

                    Check out all of the articles today about Tesla suing the designer of the doors for causing delays.

      2. jerryd says:

        The Bolt effect will kill the i3 though 20 miles and a far better REx without the fuel restriction having say 5 gal instead.
        But they will have to greatly cut the price which is hard to do unless they completely redesign it.
        If they were to make it all composite, better aero the same battery pack could give it 175-200 mile range by cutting weight by 40%.
        Then it would actually be an advanced EV instead of the weighing more than a steel car one.
        Even the Rex at 365lbs weighs over 2x’s what it should.
        And they could produce it at a profit at $22k if designed right.

  2. jelloslug says:

    With a ~120 mile pack BMW will still market it as a “200 mile” car when they factor in the range extender.

    1. Dan says:

      The ratio in places like Boston is already 60% BEV for the i3 even with the 80 mile range. The range extender will likely become less important for a 120 mile car.

  3. Alan says:

    Just keep pushing to goal posts !

  4. Martin says:

    I’m already hearing the but its not 200 miles like a Bolt voices. But hey i think if this is gonna be a 120+ mile EV thats coming within the next few months bring it on. It’s a lot of range for a dedicated city vehicle. With the range extender which would law wise enhance the possible range to 240 miles it becomes and easy road trip vehicle.

    1. jelloslug says:

      I don’t thing that it will get up to 240 miles but people in the US that have enabled the full gas tank on the current models have easily gotten 80 to 100 miles of range on the range extender.

  5. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Great to see BMW significantly improving the i3’s range, but I doubt they’ll get many buyers once the Bolt and the Leaf both have a ~200+ mile range, and with the Tesla Model ≡ hopefully coming along before long.

    As an EV enthusiast, it’s absolutely wonderful to see BEVs from auto makers other than Tesla finally competing on range!

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. jelloslug says:

      If BMW does bring the ’17 out a little early they may even beat Chevy to the punch with a “200 mile” car.

      1. Foob says:

        If the range extender counts towards that 200 miles, then Chevy beat them to a 200 mile car by what? 4 years? When did the gen 1 Volt come out?

        1. John says:

          I think there were a few released as 2010 models, but the real sales started in 2011.

    2. ffbj says:

      I think they are a bunch of slugs, though if you poke a slug enough with a sharp stick it will eventually respond, and then after that initial reaction it will go back to being a slug again.

    3. SparkEV says:

      GM is not really competing by leaving out the charger aspect of EV. 50kW for 60kWh battery is ridiculous. Tesla still stand as shining example of usable 200 miles range EV, at least for now.

  6. Scott says:

    Drove a Leaf and a Volt before leasing an i3 BEV, there are many factors other than range. For our needs the i3 hits them all right now. My experience at the Chevy dealer was horrible, and I nearly fell asleep test driving the Leaf.

  7. JR says:

    The BMW 3I, is a great little, car it drives like a charm, with lots of room for improving battery KW size, for now it has a 130 kW/Kg Battery, Tesla is using 250 kW/Kg I don’t see any real obstacle for dubbing the range NOW!

    1. JR, the figures you used relate to Power. The figures units you want are Wh/Kg.

      1. mr. M says:

        i think he should use Wh/l otherwise you need to change the volume of the pack.

    2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      They all are using batteries that are available for sale. If GM can buy it it now, everybody can too and do the same, maybe a year or 2 later, but still can. If Samsung can’t buy Argone/BASF license and replicate LG Chem battery for some strange reason, BMW can always order batteries from LG Chem just like Tesla had ordered for Roadster upgrade despite partnership with Panasonic.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Any EV maker will have a cap on EV production, a cap it cannot control, so long as they don’t have their own battery cell factories to supply their EVs. This cap becomes more critical as the range of BEVs grow, requiring more kWh of batteries for each car.

        Tesla is dealing with its production cap by building Gigafactory 1, just as Nissan dealt with its cap on Leaf batteries by building battery factories in Tennessee and the UK.

        It’s all very well to say “Well, they can all buy batteries from LG Chem, they just might have to wait a year or two.”

        Yes, it only takes about two years to build a new factory and get it fine-tuned for efficient mass production, so at least in theory LG Chem’s supply should lag no more than two years behind demand. But in the highly competitive new car market, “only” a year or two can be the difference between success and failure for a new car model.

        And ask Tesla if they’re happy about Panasonic’s ability to supply batteries continually “only” lagging by (at a guess) several months to a year behind Tesla’s growing demand.

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          These imaginary caps are invented by Tesla fans to justify imaginary exclusivity of its business, which in turn is necessary to raise hype and capital from naive investors into the bubble. Nobody in the industry was talking about caps.

          GM had stated very clearly that 30k Bolt sales number is projected sales, there isn’t any cap, and that they can produce e.g. 50k without any problems and LG Chem can supply them. There are plenty of unused lithium battery manufacturing capacity around the world, and there are plenty of already built factories that can be expanded to produce much more than they do now. LG Chem factory in Michigan was sitting idle for years and only recently they begin some attempts to start production there – not that they really need it, but to comply with conditions of government incentives. Nobody needs to ramp up production double overnight just because some automaker created some rosy sales numbers for distant future – it is gradual process. Even if you may want badly for battery car sales to expand double overnight, it doesn’t happen in practice. Neither Tesla & Panasonic are going to build full capacity factory in Nevada at once – they are making small part of it for now, and will expand as needed.

  8. Absidu says:

    What they really need is more powerful and quieter range extender.
    120 miles is still less than current model with Rex.

  9. mhpr262 says:

    BMW could easily get still more pure EV range, by putting an additional battery pack in the the place that now holds the IC engine of the REX version. So far they have refused to offer that option. Maybe competition from the Bolt will help change their minds.

    1. mr. M says:

      If you have no Rex (ICE) the heatpump sits in that space, the remaining space is not much. It migth be good for 4-6kWh and not worth the huge effort of a splitted battery.

  10. Pete says:

    I don’t get people comparing Bolt and i3. The i3 is lightweight and made of carbon fiber, the Bolt steel and Aluminium. Completey different concepts, i would prefer carbon, but both cars a too expensive for mee… so please Nissan give me a cheap 40 kWh Leaf second generation. What GM is doing only one battery size is stupid, don’t need 60 kWh.

    1. Mathias says:

      A cheap 40KW Leaf sounds good to me!

    2. Priusmaniac says:

      Actually I would only be interested in a pure ev without supercharge capability if it had about 160 KWh of battery energy, so that’s way more than 60 KWh not less.
      The days of too much battery, meaning beyond 200 KWh, haven’t even started emerging yet, not even in an ev Rolls Royce.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        The rule of thumb for gasmobile makers is to put a gas tank in the car that lets it go a minimum of 300 miles. If 60 kWh is sufficient to take a medium-small car 200+ miles, then 100 kWh should be sufficient to take the same car 300 miles (I’m figuring a bit of diminishing returns here, rather than a straight linear progression).

        Now, for significantly larger vehicles such as SUVs and pickups, there may well be a need for battery packs of 200+ kWh.

        But we also need significantly faster charging times. Super-fast charging, 300 miles of range in 10 minutes or less, is what is needed to make BEVs fully competitive with gasmobiles. It is well within current electrical engineering to supply that kind of current, but battery cells need to be improved to allow faster charging. Much faster charging has been demonstrated in laboratory samples; that tech needs to be commercialized.

        1. Nix says:

          That sounds reasonable. I might offer a slight tweak to the formula. Fast charge usually is only to 80%. So if people wanted a 300 mile fast re-fill capability, they would need a vehicle with closer to 400 miles of total range. That way if they ran it down to about 20 miles of range left, and charged to 80%, they would add 300 miles of range.

          Or folks could just buy a PHEV, like a Volt, and get 300+ miles by filling with gas. With the added benefit that the Volt actually exists today.

    3. mr. M says:

      I bet the next gen Leaf has different battery sizes, like the 2016 MY.

      Possible battery scenarios would be (cheap/expensive) :
      30kWh / 60kWh
      48kWh / 60kWh
      48kWh / 72kWh / 96kWh

  11. kdawg says:

    They need to lower the price too. If the base i3 is $42K and only goes 120 Ev miles, I’d rather pay $5k less and get 200+ EV miles with the Bolt.

    1. Dan says:

      The bimmer is not competing with the Chevy

      1. kdawg says:

        My point exactly. It’s no competition.

        1. Trace says:

          Yes. Why oh why is the 33i so popular when a Malibu does the same job?

          You can imagine me rolling my eyes.

          1. Trace says:

            That’s 330i, by the way. We need an edit feature.

          2. Nix says:

            rolling your i’s?

            i
            _.
            !
            ._
            i

            /ascii geek art joke *grin*

      2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        Large part of potential customers are certainly crosshopping i3 and Bolt (when it will be released), so they are competing, even if they are not exactly the same.

      3. DonC says:

        Right now there isn’t a Chevy. But when it comes it’s going to be an issue. BMW will need to compete on something other than a badge. If the pack is larger that it is now, the i3 may be faster than the Volt 0-60 MPH. Otherwise it will have less range and less performance, as this is narrowly interpreted, which is not a great place to be if you’re the “luxury” brand.

        1. Benjamin says:

          Yep, the Bolt will get a look from a lot of the same people who might buy an i3, which is one reason why Chevy is building it, a halo car, one that could change the way people think about Chevy.

          The Bolt looks like a better fit for me than the current i3, that’s for sure, with the better range and 5 seat capacity combined with very snappy performance, but the 2017 i3 will be a significant upgrade over today’s i3. A 210 range REx with improved performance will be an option. The pure battery i3 will also need improved performance along with the better range to compete.

          Of course not every i3 customer would consider a Bolt, but some sure will, and it should attract a more affluent customer than the typical Chevy.

  12. MDEV says:

    2017 i3 less than 200 miles BEV is dead in the water. This is the new minimum standard for car makers they liked or not.

    1. kubel says:

      The new “minimum standard” you speak of comes with an $11K price increase over yesteryear’s minimum standard (LEAF S, 84 mile range, $29K). 200-miles isn’t a minimum standard, it’s a very expensive option. Minimum standard will be 30kWh in 2017.

    2. Bret says:

      I agree with you Medved. 200 miles will be the new minimum standard for BEVs. There will still be some buyers who buy a less expensive EV with a smaller battery, but the majority will pay for the extra range.

      EV manufacturers could offer more than one battery size, like Nissan and Tesla. But, if they only offer 80 – 120 miles of AER, their cars will quickly become obsolete.

      1. Nix says:

        I also agree, but only when it comes to the pure EV version of the i3. It is toast if it cannot keep up with the 200 mile standard.

        But the i3 REX is a different story. If it can do 125 electric, plus 125 on gas, BMW will still have a compelling vehicle with 250 miles of range.

    3. RPadTV says:

      I disagree. I would take a (hypothetical) 150-mile i3 over the Bolt. Some drivers want features like adaptive cruise control, which the latter lacks. Others prefer the fit and finish of the i3 over what they’ve seen in the Bolt.

      I’m due for a new car in July 2017. I’ve taken the the i3 out for test drives and would love it with 150 miles of range or so. I plan on taking the Bolt for a few test drives to see how I enjoy driving it. For my needs 150-mile range would cover all of my driving.

      1. kdawg says:

        “Others prefer the fit and finish of the i3 over what they’ve seen in the Bolt.”
        ——-
        Were they time-travelers because we still haven’t see the final Bolt yet?

        Note the i3 is smaller than the Bolt, if that is one of your criteria.

        1. Bret says:

          I’m with you on this one KDawg.

          I was super-excited about the i3 and think it could be a fantastic car. But, the 22KwH battery and 28bhp Rex pretty much killed that idea. It’s way too limited for what I need. If BMW can come up with 200 miles of AER, that would be a game changer for the i3.

          Everyone’s needs are different, but I live half way between LA and San Diego and I go there often. I really do need a 200 mile EV or else I have to fire up my F-150 and burn $3 gas. I also need the fifth seat, since I have a family. It’s going to be a Bolt or Model 3 for me. We’ll see in March.

        2. RPadTV says:

          “What they’ve seen,” as in photos as opposed to actually experiencing a production model first hand, which isn’t possible at this time. I’m surprised that require an explanation.

          1. Yup says:

            What you’ve seen are photos of pre-production vehicles. You couldn’t even see the dashboard because it is covered in cloth. So you either ARE a time traveler, or you have x-Ray vision. Either way, it makes you a super hero of sorts. 🙂

            1. Jay Cole says:

              Well, some have seen/sat in it first hand (and also taken photos), but not many…

              null

              null

              1. Mutwin Kraus says:

                Are you a time traveller with X-Ray vision?

              2. Yup says:

                Holy smokes, that looks great! What was the problem with the fit & finish that RPadTV mentioned?

            2. RPadTV says:

              A production model was shown at CES. Hundreds of reporters saw it in person and many snapped photos for millions of Internet readers to “see.”

              1. kdawg says:

                The ones at CES & NAIAS were not production models. GM is still making tweaks.

                1. Jay Cole says:

                  That is true, GM might still tighten up the build assembly a little bit (looks pretty decent to us now), but they were production-intent/design lockdown…so there won’t be a flower holder added or anything, (=

      2. jeremy says:

        I just wish they put a radar based ACC in instead of the KFAS camera based one. There’s something about the windshield where the glass right in front of the camera always fogs up!

    4. Big Solar says:

      I’d consider one over a Bolt unless those Bolt seats are waaayyy more comfortable than they look.

  13. PVH says:

    Avalage of increased range EV’s at the end of 2016 and in 2017 I see. This means more charging stations. As per what I see happening in a country like the Netherlands, improved network of charging stations comes really quickly as soon as more EV’s are on the road. Thus I wouldn’t be too concerned about lack of charging network.

  14. Bone says:

    100+ miles + range extender would be exactly what I want, but I hope someone else than BMW will make it bit cheaper.

  15. Omar Sultan says:

    When companies pre-announce products like this and overhang their existing product line, it tells me they are feeling pressure. In a strange twist of events, I think they might actually be feeling more pressure from GM’s Bolt/Volt duo than from Telsa right now.

  16. Andrew says:

    The real question is, will BMW fit a larger gas tank to the Rex version now that all electric range has been increased.

    1. jelloslug says:

      There already is a larger gas tank in the REX. You just cannot get to it all in the US version.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        It is the same tank, US version is just programmed to leave more reserve in it. You may switch it in software. There is no that much space for bigger tank, heat pump space is already sacrificed for ReX engine.

    2. David Murray says:

      I would imagine so since the limitation of gas had to do with the range on battery. I believe the rules for the category they were trying to fit was that the Rex should have no more range than the battery. So if they have 120 miles on battery, then they can have another 120 on gas for a total range of 240. I think that would be awesome, and I would prefer that over a Tesla or Bolt as far as flexibility is concerned.

  17. Phr3d says:

    I’m getting the Strong message that early adopters can only lease.
    Hope the mfgs seriously ponder ‘upgrades’ to their OLD 18-24 month-ago models, or there will be a backlash, as the headlines All read EV’s lose too much value and it sticks..

    1. jelloslug says:

      It would be silly to BUY any EV (other than a Model S) right now.

      1. WARREN says:

        Well, theoretically, if the i3 could do 120 miles AER, that would be sufficient for 90% of the US population. If the gas extended that range to over 240 miles, then it would be usable for all those extra miles without adding the huge weight of a large battery. Remember, CR tested the Tesla in the city at 65mpge. They tested the i3 at 135mpge. Not a small difference, especially if saving energy and being environmentally friendly means something to you.

        So for those very rare occasions where you go over 200 miles, the improved i3 could potentially get you 100 extra miles with a 2 minute gas stop. The BOLT quite a bit longer to charge to 80%, and a lot longer to charge to 100%. If they improve the i3 HP and acceleration somehow, that would be huge. It seems like it is already as quick as the Bolt is projected to be.

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          i3 ReX can’t go at highway speeds reliably. I.e. it can keep at 70-75mph or so and keep constant battery charge. But if you will get front wind/bad weather/heater on/more passengers/baggage, you will need babysit it at unsafe reduced speed to avoid discharging battery and going into some eco mode that can’t do highway speed at all. Not what I would want from a $40k car. There is not so much space in it for bigger engine/tank, it is still a small car.

          1. Nix says:

            zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

            Your comments are true in some situations for the stock US i3, but hacking it to start the REX motor sooner solves that problem.

            So while it is indeed an issue to seriously consider, it is not a problem that can’t be solved.

            look up stories on this site by “Steve” with his i3 for more information.

            1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

              Changing software settings to European ones, i.e. enable “mountain mode” that leaves 30% charge reserve helps somewhat for short distances and mountains, but it doesn’t help for long distance highway travel – you will still risk to run out of battery in bad conditions as ReX is not powerful enough, unless you monitor charge level closely and reduce speed as necessary. ReX just does what it is advertised to do – provides some range extension to reach next charger or get home.

      2. Tim E says:

        HEY!!! I just bought an EV (2016 Leaf SL) – however the Colorado State tax incentives ($6000) strongly swayed me to buying over leasing. Plus – I still see a 107 mile BEV very useful for my kids when they hit driving age in about 5 years and I upgrade. 🙂

        1. mr. M says:

          +1

          no need to sell (give it to your kids) a car for a lifetime means the price is ok, even without the additional incentive.

  18. ct200h says:

    we know BMW can at least increase the tank from 1.9 to 2.4 in the usa with nothing but a software change. that will allow longer range since the EV only range is longer with a larger battery. fitting a tank larger than 2.4 gal ? might happen who knows.

    1. jelloslug says:

      I’m sure that someone at BMW could find a way to fit another liter or two in the spot where the tank is now.

      1. Nix says:

        Jello — It would take some work to fit a bigger tank. It is located right by the firewall in the front, just behind the crumple zone.

        I saw a picture of it somewhere on the interzwebz, but can’t find it now. But it is crammed into a fairly tight space.

  19. Ct200h says:

    Well if they were not planning a short 2016 model run they might as well now! Cats out of the bag

  20. Scott says:

    In my state (AZ) the REX does not qualify for HOV lane. Dealer lots are full of them. Hard to get your hands on a BEV. Besides I’m over range anxiety. No need to haul around a crutch.

  21. DonC says:

    BMW built the i3 for CARB and its regulations, not for consumers. That turned into a very bad idea, if it was ever a good one, when CARB changed the rules. The crippled range extender is not a great selling point.

    An i3 with 100 miles of range and a range extender would be a great commuter vehicle. Probably needs a haircut to compete with the Bolt though. In any event, the i3 is engineered for low volumes so BMW doesn’t need to panic.

    1. Paul says:

      It doesn’t compete with the bolt because it’s a luxury car, not a mid brand car. It’s real competition to some degree is the Audi A3 and Tesla’s car when it comes out

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        It is more like only luxury badge from his older BMW brother cars :/

      2. DonC says:

        Actually it’s so nice of you to make my point. The interior, exterior, and just about everything else related to the i3 is downscale and funky. The only thing that says “luxury” is the badge, which of course is the only reason you’re saying it’s a luxury car.

        Unfortunately for BMW, not everyone is so easily manipulated by marketing departments. Most people will figure out pretty quickly that more range is better than less and that faster is better than slower. Not all but most. LOL

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          DonC said:

          “Actually it’s so nice of you to make my point. The interior, exterior, and just about everything else related to the i3 is downscale and funky.”

          Now you’re just bashing. All the reviews say the interior materials, and the comfort and luxury touches on the i3, make it a much more upscale car than, for example, the Leaf.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      DonC said:

      “BMW built the i3 for CARB and its regulations, not for consumers. That turned into a very bad idea, if it was ever a good one, when CARB changed the rules. The crippled range extender is not a great selling point.”

      Your criticism of the REx version of the i3 is valid, but it’s not a valid criticism of the car without the optional, crippled, range extender. Without that option, the BMW i3 is a very well received BEV, if perhaps a bit overpriced.

      1. kdawg says:

        That’s one of my gripes about the i3. The car is a compact that starts at $42K. Why does BMW get a pass on this? Why isn’t the same verbiage “overpriced Econobox” thrown at BMW? Just because of a badge?