UPDATE: BMW i3 REx Reportedly Doesn’t Qualify for White HOV Sticker in California, $2,500 Still Good

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 82

Build Your Own i3 REx Gets Loaded to the Tune of $56,025

Build Your Own i3 REx Gets Loaded to the Tune of $56,025 – But Don’t Expect a White Sticker If You Live in California

“…the i3 with range-extender won’t be eligible for the California white sticker, period,” according to The Street.

BMW i3 With REx Not White Sticker Approved?

BMW i3 With REx Not White Sticker Approved?

BMW has reportedly been dealt an unseen blow in California.

The Street‘s Anton Wahlman is reporting the the range-extended version of the i3, known by most of us as the i3 REx, does not qualify for California’s white HOV sticker.

It’s just a sticker though, right?  Sort of.

If the i3 REx actually doesn’t qualify for the white sticker, then it will qualify for California’s green sticker.  However, there’s a hitch there too.  As Wahlman suggests:

CARB Seems to be Saying That If It Consumes Gas, There's No Chance It Can Qualify For the White Sticker

CARB Seems to be Saying That If It Consumes Gas, There’s No Chance It Can Qualify For the White Sticker

“The crux of the matter is that the green-sticker category is limited to the first 40,000 cars that apply. The white-sticker category is unlimited in quantity. As of November 8, 2013, 24,452 green stickers had been issued. One can reasonably assume that the 40,000 limit may be reached by the middle of 2014.”

The middle of 2014 is approximately the same time that the BMW i3 will reach the US in volume.  This, according to Wahlman, effectively eliminates the i3 REx from getting either sticker, which means no HOV-lane access for California owners who choose the REx version

None of this has any impact on the i3 BEV.  That will always qualify for California’s white sticker, as well as the state’s $2,500 rebate (contrary to the initial report at the Street)

It was previously believed that BMW had found a way to work the i3 REx into some loophole in CARB’s rule so that it would qualify for the white sticker, but as Wahlman reports, that’s not the case.

The biggest blow is that the REx version was expected to be a high-volume seller in California due to it being the only vehicle with a range extender that qualified for the state’s white sticker.

If indeed Wahlman’s report turns out to be true (and we have reason to believe it is), then most buyers in California would opt for the BEV over the REx.  That white sticker is so coveted in parts of California that it truly sways buying decisions.

UPDATE: Courtesy of our friends over at BMW Blog, we now have an official statement on the matter from BMW:

The i3 with Range Extender qualifies for the green sticker, which is limited in numbers and will run out in the eventual future (possibly late in 2014). This is technically to be expected since the car is equipped with an internal combustion engine which potentially emits fuel fumes, and thus makes it harder to qualify for the white sticker which typically can be obtained by full battery-electric vehicles (BEV) and Hydrogen vehicles. The white sticker is not limited in terms of numbers. There is a continued, constructive relationship between BMW and CARB executives, and there has been no reversal of position. It also bears mention that the i3 with Range Extender qualifies for the full CA incentive amount of $2,500 – so the statement in the original article that the owners will not receive CA state incentive money is also wrong.

As we see it, BMW is trying to say that it never intended to imply that the REx would qualify for the white sticker.  This, it seems, runs counter to what the automaker has led us to believe all along.

Our advice: If you live in California and have decided that the REx version of the i3 is what you’re going to buy, then you’d better order one as soon as possible as those green stickers will most likely run out by mid- to late 2014.

Source: The Street

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82 responses to "UPDATE: BMW i3 REx Reportedly Doesn’t Qualify for White HOV Sticker in California, $2,500 Still Good"

  1. Aaron says:

    That is truly bad news for BMW, if verified. They went out of their way to make sure their range extender didn’t extend the range too far. A silly choice if you ask me, just so they could potentially get the white sticker.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      On a personal note, I am happy to now get the more capable version of the REx…if they choose to just offer the Euro-version. Which could be the ultimate story here once it comes out – not building US spec ones yet.

      1. MotoEV says:

        Jay how much more powerful is the euro-spec version? Also, how much room is in the front to accommodate a larger fuel tank?

        1. Jay Cole says:

          No more powerful, but he REx motor operates differently/better, more user control, HOLD and all that. ie) the ability to manually activated it when the vehicle is below 80% and go “charge maintained” when driving at higher speeds, etc

          Also, my understanding was that in order to qualify in California, the REx would first deplete the battery down to its bottom threshold, then the REX would activate, but the battery could not regenerate power in this mode – or it would lose its BEVx status.

          Myself and Eric have actually had some quite lengthy discussions about the REx’s fuel tank and doing a conversion on it to make it larger (because we are handy like that, lol)…and unfortunately it is situated in a location in the back that makes any modification practically impossible.

          Here is what I mean:

          1. me says:

            You make an excellent point! We may just get the euro version that allows driving on gasoline! I always anticipated that the first “tune” by aftermarket companies in the US would be to enable the “keep battery topped off” driving mode from the Euro version. And of course the second would be an expanded gas tank.

          2. taser54 says:

            Might as well

            Step 1. opt for a Volt over Rex I3
            Step 2. ?
            Step 3. PROFIT!.

            1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

              When GM gets rid of the nannies and lets Volt actually accelerate 0-60 in the low 7s, maybe.

              1. James says:

                Yet here’s the rub – what’s with all these guys who say they feel i3 is a better choice than Volt based upon the fact that it’s a bit quicker to 60mph? It’s another example of that rationale that sells 1,000,000s of SUVs – ” I can go off-road if I want to – but never will”.

                So who cares if you can impress your brother-in-law or that dork in accounting with a little test ride where you floor it from one block to the red light?! If you bought a car with electric drive, you did so because – HELLO? – YOU DON’T WANT TO USE GAS!

                98% of your EV/PHEV/EREV driving will be to maximize non-liquid fuel usage – so WHO CARES if the i3 is one second faster to 60mph?!!

                I think lots of these folks are looking for excuses to dish out $50,000 for an EV/PHEV that does the same chores as the $26-34,000 alternatives like Volt and Leaf.

                1. Mint says:

                  Who cares? How about the entire auto market?

                  Virtually every family sedan over $30k is sub-7s 0-60, and many if not most are sub-6s (an accord 4-cyl can do 5.8s). This isn’t some niche douchebag desire. EVERYONE appreciates faster acceleration.

                  Performance is going to be a major driver of EV sales in the near future. It costs a lot more to bring an ICE from 125hp to 250hp than it does for an electric motor and controller. Most batteries have no problem pushing 10C for 10 seconds.

                  The sooner GM and Nissan stop being so timid and exploit all the advantages of EVs, the sooner the revolution begins in earnest.

          3. kdawg says:

            Maybe you could remove the REx to make room for the gas tank.. oh wait.

            1. James says:

              LOL!

              Or buy a Volt! — er, duh!

      2. MrEnergyCzar says:

        So now there’s no reason to have the battery discharge down to 6% before the engine comes on. They should have it come on earlier so there is no performance drop in Rex mode…

        MrEnergyCzar

    2. Disappointed says:

      Yesterday, all of the Active E drivers were invited/encouraged to visit their local BMW dealer to make arrangements to become early/prefered acquirers of the new i3.
      The dealers were blind sided. The drivers were alerted before the dealers were informed.
      However, this was learned, BMW will not be leasing any of these i3s.
      You must purchase your car through a system “never before used by BMW, which will
      conclude with a large ballon payment at the end of your contract.”
      This financing gimick, along with the failed attempt to qualify for favored status with the REX, as reported above, could make for a slow adoption by even the Active E fans.

      1. MotoEV says:

        Was the reason for the limited financing terms explained? In some states, financing with a balloon payment at the end is not allowed.

        1. Disappointed says:

          My understanding was that the dealers were “Informed” not consulted.
          My guess is that Marketing is to blame for both of these gimicks which are not looking too smart today. In California the following law applies:
          CALIFORNIA
          “In California, a “balloon payment” is one that is more than twice the amount of a regular scheduled payment. In a contract that requires one, the law requires the contract to give the consumer the right to obtain a new payment schedule if the consumer defaults on the balloon payment (Cal. Civil Code § 1807.3). The law prohibits payments in the new schedule from being substantially greater than the previous.”

          Again, I’m guessing that The original offer may sound good upfront but the result may be that you can keep on paying and paying and paying!

  2. MotoEV says:

    Aw shucks..

    Replace the tiny petrol tank with a 6-8 gallon one and call it a day. This may be an unexpected blessing for BMW. Bet BMW is not very pleased about this.

    1. Airton says:

      That may very well be their “plan B” 🙂

      1. kdawg says:

        That was going to be my suggestion. Just put a real gas tank in it now.

        1. taser54 says:

          Isn’t a larger fuel tank going to exceed the engineered duty cycle for the REx? I don’t think BMW will allow it.

          1. kdawg says:

            What is the duty cycle? I thought it was a motorcycle engine. Can’t you drive a motorcycle across the country?

            1. MotoEV says:

              It is… I have a BMW motorcycle and have not encountered a ‘duty cycle’ like one would be encountering for say a lawn mower

            2. Spec9 says:

              Well, you can drive a motorcycle across the country . . . but driving a car with a motorcycle engine power it . . . that is not quite the same.

              1. kdawg says:

                It’s a series configuration, cranking out 25kW. Can this motor not put out 25kW continuously for more than 1.5hrs?

                1. George B says:

                  This engine has been derated to 34 hp, or about 30%, for APU operation. It’s capable of putting out significantly more power than that. This was done likely for two reasons: better vibration and noise profile, as well as improved longevity. I have no concerns about the APU use case.

                  When you look at voltstats.net, the fleet average is 80% electric and 20% gas. This ratio will be skewed even more in the case of the i3 because the BEVx trim will have about twice the EV range of the Volt. If you assume 12,000 miles per year, the REx will operate for less than 2,000 annually.

                  There won’t be any problem with longevity and the small engine is perfect for this use case. I just wish it wold take some fuel other than oil.

    2. Ted Fredrick says:

      Un fortunaly this may not be that easy. Additional crash testing and all

  3. Mikey says:

    I’m sick of the paid-for news rolling out the red carpet for this car, and acting like it’s going to change everything we know about transportation. I’m glad this California entity (perhaps temporarily) considers it a hybrid, cause it darn well is.

    1. Agreed. The repeated comparisons to the full size, 5-7 passenger, 208 – 265 mile, 4 second 0-60mph Tesla with the micro sized, sub-100 mile electric BMW i3 are just bizarro.

  4. me says:

    California is such a crap place to live most of the time pulling BS political stuff like this often. BMW bent over backwards to get that qualification and they are getting scewed. That was part of the reason for the REx, too alleviate range anxiety while keep vehicle costs down. Batteries are expensive and heavy! The battery pack alone in the Tesla weighs as much as a car almost. This is why you never see performance Tesla videos doing anything other than straight line. At almost 5000 lbs, you may as well take semi truck to the track.

    Fortunately, the i3 was designed smartly. It has a modular design. I would not be surprised if BMW simply offers an extended battery pack option later as an alternative. Of course it would need to be of near equal weight to the REx motor to maintain vehicle dynamics. I think there is enough volume in the compartment that simply packing it with battery cells would out weigh the REx significantly. Not to mention the price increase from expensive batteries.

    1. MotoEV says:

      hmmm I wonder how hard it would be to use the Rex space for an additional battery module of equal weight to the Rex

      1. JoeS. says:

        In this age of supposedly-decreasing battery prices, I was surprised to see the i3 at 22kWh. A battery-powered battery range extender would nicely fill the 100-150-mile range niche.

    2. >>>> This is why you never see performance Tesla videos doing anything other than straight line. At almost 5000 lbs, you may as well take semi truck to the track. <<<<<

      Thankfully for Tesla and the performance car market, you don't have a clue.

    3. Aaron says:

      @me: The battery pack in the Model S is 1323 lbs. The BMW i3 is 2635 lbs, or just slightly under TWO Model S battery packs.

      1. taser54 says:

        Ehh no. The I3’s pack weighs 230 kg.

        1. taser54 says:

          never mind.

    4. Rob Stark says:

      You have not looked through youtube very much because there are lots of videos of Model S taking turns.

      Yes, it is aproximately 4785 lbs but it has the second lowest center of gravity at 18″, second only to a Corvette Z01 That make a massive difference.

      According to Car and Driver the Model has a .91g performance on a 300 ft diameter skidpad vs .88 for a BMW 750.

  5. Dan Frederiksen says:

    I don’t approve of any existing model but if they have to approve some, it would be a mistake not to include this one. Kuhlifornia is bigger than the i3 range and there is no fast charge infrastructure so if they want EVs on the road, they should approve of this one.

    The street guy might also just be talking out of his ass.

    1. There’s no faster charge infrastructure because GM, BMW and the other German car makers decided to go with their own niche protocol for DC quick charging.

      Nissan LEAF and Tesla Model S have lots of quick charging.

      CHAdeMO and Tesla Superchargers December 2013:

      http://insideevs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/0.gif

      1. Spec9 says:

        Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen . . . every single American and German car maker seems a bit more than ‘niche’.

        But yeah, they need to get off their butts and get chargers installed.

        1. evnow says:

          And together all those companies produce how many BEV models that have SAE QC ?

          1. JakeY says:

            I count 3 for US. i3, Spark, Golf. CHAdeMO it’s Leaf, iMIEV.

            1. Spec9 says:

              Well, the i3 and Golf are not yet available. But the i3 is coming soon hopefully. The Spark EV is available and versions with the DC quick charging were supposed to be available ‘late 2013’. Well, it is 2014 . . . hopefully they are now available. Anyone know?

              1. JakeY says:

                According to what I have read on the Spark EV forums, they were already on a boat from Korea in late November last year. And I believe someone already spotted a Spark with the CCS port at a dealer in December last year.

        2. Yes, the standard shill. The “American” car companies? Ford has no Frankenplug car planned or announced. Fiat / Chrysler has no Frankenplug car planned or announced, and I’m not sure I’d call it “American” when it’s majority owned now by Italy’s Fiat.

          GM has sold about 600 Spark EV’s so far, since July 2013, sold at the minimum volume in only two states to comply with CARB-ZEV mandates. They will do the same for the foreseeable future, and SOME of that teeny, tiny production of Spark EV’s will eventually have a Frankenplug option.

          Tesla, the largest EV producing American car company has zero plans to use Frankenplug. They have sold 25,000 cars at over 500 per week rate. The largest selling EV in the history of EV’s has sold 92,000 Nissan LEAF’s, most equipped with the world standard CHAdeMO plug.

          The German car makers, all of them, support Frankenplug. Only two of them, BMW and VW, have any plans to offer a car so equipped in 2014 in the USA. They both have sold exactly zero in the USA so far.

          If that’s not niche, well you would probably call the 4000 CHAdeMO stations around the world and 100,000 cars that can use CHAdeMO as niche.

          Frankenplug is DEAD ON ARRIVAL.

  6. MotoEV says:

    Bet there are a lot of Marketing folks in Munich shouting

    Verdammt! Verdammt! Verdammt!

    CA is a huge market for BMW.

  7. Bloggin says:

    The i3 Rex does not qualify for the white sticker because it has a gasoline engine. It does not matter if the car is being propelled by electric power, the gasoline engine ‘can’ still run at the same time, and emit CO2, which puts it in the category of a plug-in hybrid at an emissions level.

    The description of the White Clean Air Vehicle Sticker makes it clear why the i3 would not get a white sticker no matter what BMW did.

    “White Clean Air Vehicle Stickers are available to an unlimited number of qualifying Federal Inherently Low Emission Vehicles (ILEVs). Cars that meet these requirements are typically certified pure zero emission vehicles (100% battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell) and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.”

    1. Jay Cole says:

      …finally I get to brush off this nugget of useless information that has been gathering dust in the back of my brain

      There is a BEVx qualification that allows for ZEV credits and therefore white stickes (from 2014 through 2017) provided it (a range extended vehicle) can meet all the other TZEV requirements (what is basically known as the E-AT PZEV emission in standard EREVs)

      The cars have to have a min 75 miles range, the ICE has to have a range less than the electric range, the range extender can’t start until the battery is toast, has to meet SULEV regs, and everything else has to conform to zero evaporative regs. It appears the BMW i3 has failed on one of these counts, at least for now.

      You can check out all the fascinating amendments in this exciting 112 page ARB document here.

      1. kdawg says:

        Correct, that is why BMW made the tank so small, but now what changed to prevent them from getting the white sticker?

    2. R says:

      I get this comment.
      But when you think about the intent of the REx, and the intent of the law, it seems to fit in perfectly.
      Intent of BMW i3: Mass produced all electric vehicle with or without emergency onboard supply of electricity.
      Intent of REx (as currently restricted): provide enough emergency electricity to get to a charging station.
      Intent of Law: Limit emissions by encouraging/incentivising 0 emissions vehicles.

      Lets face it. Most of these vehicles will be recharged by some power that is not 100% clean at some point. What is the difference if you are recharging on coal, or the REx? The hope is that 100% of your driving will be all battery regardless!

      If I get a REx….honestly, I hope to never use it. It is currently restricted to (virtually) emergency use. And that is how I would view it.

      So how is limiting my ability to get a white sticker appropriate?

      1. Tech01x says:

        We’re talking about CA. Do you know how much energy in CA is produced by coal?

        1. Vin says:

          Good question… Just did a quick google on it… looks like 7.5% in 2012, if I read this correctly…

          http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/electricity/total_system_power.html

  8. Spec9 says:

    WHAT? That is a huge blow to the i3 then. They should then change the way the REX works and give it a much bigger gas tank then. If they don’t get the CA HOV lane sticker then the small gas tank & only turn on after battery nearly empty is really stupid.

    1. miimura says:

      ” If they don’t get the CA HOV lane sticker then the small gas tank & only turn on after battery nearly empty is really stupid.”
      It was always stupid, but it was justifiable if it made it qualify for the sticker.

      1. R says:

        Opinion, of course, but I don’t think it is stupid at all.

        It is like saying that “it is stupid for Smart to include only two seats because we have three people in out family.”

        If it is not the car for you it is not the car for you.

        But the REx is not intended to turn the i3 into an ICE car. It (as the name would imply) is meant to extend the range. Not double it. Not let it drive forever.
        BMW decided (and I believe rightly) that they wanted to build an *electric* car with an onboard emergency electric supply.

        What is stupid about that?

        1. Spec9 says:

          It is stupid because it costs around $4K more for that onboard supply. For $4K, you can rent a lot of rental gas cars and pay for a lot of towings. Or you could have put more batteries into the car.

          1. R says:

            Sure.

            I like the battery idea.
            And if they took that 4k and put extra batteries in….then it would have a range slightly greater than it does.
            People would still complain.

            Again, I think that one needs to decide if this vehicle, with or without the REx, is the right vehicle for them.

            Either way.

            Not stupid.

          2. MotoEV says:

            I too wish it were cheaper but until the charging infrastructure is built out with capacity and redundancy, there are too many real world situations where you plan based on available range and you are caught short. At 10 PM on a dark and rainy night, that REx is worth it.

            Plus it won’t take long until a resourceful and opportunistic criminal realizes the EV driver sitting by themselves at a charging station at 10 PM in the rain is there because they HAVE TOO and is a sitting duck.

            Everyone doesn’t live in ‘happy valley’

            Future i3 owner
            Bay Area San Francisco

            1. io says:

              “until the charging infrastructure is built out”…

              You haven’t kept up with what happened in your area lately, have you?
              Below is what Leaf and i-MiEV drivers enjoy TODAY, and that BMW would also if it wasn’t for its IMHO bone-headed decision to go mostly with its own quick-charging standard.
              http://www.olden.ch/evstuff/2014-01-09_sf-chademo.png
              (data from http://www.afdc.energy.gov/locator/stations/ and http://www.plugshare.com/)

              1. MotoEV says:

                During peak periods, many stations are being used and I’ve encountered more than one broken. At my place of work, we have to reserve a block of time (2hrs max)

            2. Phr3d says:

              too bloody true, that.. hope planners intend to have ‘smile, you’re on candid camera’ multi video at charging stations and advertise the hell out of that fact – it ain’t quite like your klieg-lit average petrol station..

        2. miimura says:

          I was specifically calling the size of the gas tank stupid. The only legitimate reason for a tank so small is to game the regulations. Stopping five minutes for gas is not going to prolong the life of the engine, so duty cycle concerns are not a valid argument in favor of the small tank.

    2. JakeY says:

      BMW still gets ZEV credits for the i3 regardless of sticker status, because it’s categorized under the new BEVx category. So I suspect they will stick with the tiny gas tank for now.

      1. Great point. BMW is now (for 2015 model year) in the CARB-ZEV compliance club, and they will meet the prima facia requirement… get 3 CARB-ZEV credits per i3 !!!!

        Then, they can continue to sell beau coup oil cars in California.

  9. miimura says:

    The definitive answer about eligibility for HOV stickers is here:
    http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/carpool/carpool.htm
    Neither of the i3 models appear there yet. Of course, the BEV version will be eligible. It appears that to get the Green sticker and the rebate you must meet these requirements:
    • Meets California’s most stringent tailpipe emission standard
    • Has zero evaporative emissions
    • Has a 15 yr/150K mile warranty on the emissions system and;
    • Has a 10 yr/150K warranty on the zero emission energy storage system.
    source: http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/factsheets/clean_vehicle_incentives.pdf

    The Volt did not qualify for the green sticker until they improved the emissions performance, hence the note in the sticker qualification list about VIN number for 2013 and prior years. You will also notice that the ELR is classified as a TZEV, not E-AT PZEV. The 2014 Volt also has two versions – TZEV and E-AT PZEV. They finally stopped making the “dirty” Volt that lacked the Emissions Package.

    Back to the i3. The question is, what is the official classification of the i3 REx according to CARB? Federal ILEV? E-AT PZEV? TZEV?

  10. Alan says:

    They have to draw the line somewhere. Minimizing the number of vehicles which qualify for carpool lanes make them more valuable. If you think about it, if they sell enough BEVs in California, eventually the carpool lanes will become worthless. In many places, they’re little better than regular lanes. I got the white sticker, but it really hasn’t improved my commute by much so far. Since BEVs don’t use extra energy in most congestion, maybe they should leave the carpool lanes to vehicles with multiple people. (But I’m not tearing off my sticker yet …)

  11. First, I see absolutely no reference or qualification for, “Just in time for BMW’s customers to start placing their orders, this critical BMW selling point has been removed”, as if something just changed.

    Second, I’m sick of BMW’s tiny metro sized car with sub 100 mile range being compared over and over to a car that’s clearly in a different league, the Tesla Model S with 208 to 265 mile range and super car handling and performance. The little BMW 650cc twin cylinder motorcycle engine doesn’t make the i3 more or less like a Tesla.

    People will buy the Tesla Model S all day long, with or without a white sticker. More “commuter” oriented cars like Nissan LEAF (the best selling EV in the history of the planet with 92,000 sold) would probably be negatively affected without HOV lane access, but then that’s not going to happen because it doesn’t burn oil, nor are there plans to make it burn oil.

    If somebody wants a white sticker sub-100 mile car with a BMW emblem on the nose, BMW i3 will fit the bill, just like a Nissan LEAF (at 2/3’s the price).

    1. George B says:

      Tony, ActiveE drivers, or electronauts as BMW calls them, must complete their orders by next Friday. This is a new piece of information to many of them, and I know that quite a few were considering the REx. In that sense, Anton’s comment was correct. I spoke to him about some related questions before he published the article.

      1. Yes, new info to the customers who might buy an i3, but BMW knew all along that it didn’t meet the requirements.

  12. GeorgeS says:

    This is good from my POV since I live in AZ. Now I could get the REx version that makes sense: with hold mode, mm etc.

  13. George B says:

    Thank you for covering this important topic. I spoke to Anton extensively about the pros and cons if the REx last night. To me, the only practical fallout from all this is that the REx version will receive a $1,500 CVRP rebate instead of a $2 500. That could affect some buyers, but then many people I talked to took out a two-year lease because of lower monthly payments, and those don’t qualify for the CVRP program anyway.

    I called the CVRP administrator and they haven’t heard anything about the i3 from CARB. The HOV sticker program is administered separately by the DMV, but I imagine that they haven’t heard anything either. Anyone want to call the Field Office in Sacramento.

    That said, I remember that the Volt did not get the green sticker in its first year, and it would be good to have some clarity on this from official sources. I reached out to Mark Williams at CARB, but haven’t heard back yet. I would classify what George has heard from the dealer as a wild rumor.

    1. GRA says:

      IIRR, the Volt didn’t get the sticker its first year because they had to qualify the whole emissions system for a 10 year/150,000 mile warranty, and they didn’t have time to do it. I don’t remember if there was any actual difference between the 2011 and 2012 model years, or if it was just a case of accumulating enough test time to prove the system’s longevity.

      That being said, I think not qualifying for the white sticker and the limited number of green stickers remaining will severely limit i3 REx sales in California. On the positive side, it may well allow BMW to add the Hold mode that most people feel will improve the car’s utility. Who knows whether that’s enough to overcome its much higher price tag versus other PHEVs (esp. the Volt); People tend to buy BMWs even more for emotional reasons than is the case with less expensive cars.

      1. George B says:

        Yes, Guy, I remember. I had a Volt on order in 2011 and nixed the deal. That said, I heard back from CARB and they confirmed that the BEVx will get the full $2,500 rebate, just like a BEV.

      2. James says:

        Actually, I believe the change GM made was to offer CA versions of
        Volt with a 10 yr. warranty to comply.

  14. MotoEV says:

    For those order the REx version has an engine maintenance schedule been provided?

  15. Cavaron says:

    And what if they put in a hydrogen combustion REx? Would that qualify for a white one? With Toyota the H-refulingstations are comming… can’t say that I embrace them tho…

    1. pjwood says:

      100 stations, at $2,000,000 each.

  16. James says:

    This begins to beg the question: Why not just ditch the battery pack and electric
    motors and build a plastic/composite shell with a tiny ICE? In the long run,
    total savings would be much better for the consumer.

    1. James says:

      Sheesh! Guys are already talking about expensive mods just to make the
      car a feasible choice for transportation duties! ARE YOU NUTS?!

      Besides voiding the warranty you’re buying a $45,000+ car to begin with
      that seats 4 and really doesn’t check off the right boxes when compared
      to other solutions.

      1. James says:

        Do a cost comparison of gas usage vs. i3 MSRP and buying the Beemer
        just makes zero sense! It seems it makes less sense every day –
        especially to those in CA who would’ve purchased the bulk of them!

        Ás I’ve stated before, the i3 makes sense for European drivers, but
        not so much in America. If you buy the Volt instead, you have a nicer
        looking car ( at least most think so ) that will cost you less to own over
        the years you own it.

        I’ve seen video reviewers that say: “Either the i3 will usher in a whole
        new category of vehicle BMW can sell to the masses, or it will
        counter everything the brand stands for and become a total failure”.

        I think as of today, it’s leaning towards the total failure part.

  17. KEVIN says:

    having a winter range of a reported 38 miles according to a Autobild review wont help sales in the east and north east either.
    Even the Leaf scored 42.9 miles in the same report.

    so lets see No car pool sticker in Ca, and no heat pump on the rex version and the REX engine doesnt contruibute to cabin heat
    same or similar range to Leaf ?
    I like the car myself but lots of issues and mistakes already by BMW.

    1. Doesn’t the oil burner i3 also only have a half speed onboard charger (3.3 vs 6.6?).

      1. MTN Ranger says:

        The i3 BEV and i3 REx both have a 7.7kW onboard charger.

  18. Tim H. says:

    I live in LA and drive 82 miles round trip for work. I have been living with a “white” sticker in the car pool lanes for 100K+ miles in my 2009 Honda Civic Natural Gas vehicle paying $1.99 per gasoline gallon equivalent. I have driven the i3 multiple times (and many other HOV compliant cars) at various events and that is the only car to date that would get me out of the Honda – is the i3 with the REx of course. I was ready to line up with money in hand so this news means they have lost a customer…unfortunately. I read someone ‘s assessment that the remaining “green” sticker allotment and the consumption rate of those stickers means you have another 6 months to get a sticker. I have been tracking that rate through contacts at the DMV and I think it is closer to 1,000/month so let’s say 10-12 months remaining before they run out. God help you if you are the 40,001 carpool applicant with a shiny new i3 with REx in your driveway!

    While many have talked about the extension of the carpool program to 2019 in CA. One of the overlooked stipulations of the new bill is that and I quote: “The bill would until January 1, 2015, or until the Secretary of State receives that specified notice, authorize the department to issue a valid identifier to a vehicle that meets California’s transitional zero-emission vehicle (TZEV) standard.” So TZEVs will no longer receive an HOV sticker after Jan 1, 2015 – like that new Cadillac ELR. The state’s newer stringent policies are closing the door and it looks like BMW got it’s head caught in it!! If true, disappointing!