Most BMW i3s Sold In Europe Were Equipped With Range-Extender

1 year ago by Mark Kane 17

BMW i3 at POD Point charging station

BMW i3 at POD Point charging station

BMW i3 Electric Motor - Not A Big Fire Risk

BMW i3 REx

According to JATO Dynamics data (via Automotive News Europe), in 2015 BMW sold 12,047 i3 in Europe, which is near 50% of the global total 24,057 (most of the rest went to the U.S. – some 11,024 units).

It’s always interesting to know how many of those cars were pure electric and how many were equipped with range-extender, as the BMW offers us a rare glimpse into the demand splits between the two platforms.

The REx i3 were classified as plug-in hybrids, and JATO Dynamics states that 6,566 were sold in Europe – up 67% year-over-year.

Also, those 6,566 i3s represent nearly 55% of the total, and over 1,000 more than 5,481 pure electric i3.

“In addition, BMW’s lineup includes the i3, which is sold either with a range-extending engine or as a full-electric model. The i3 with the range extender outsold the battery-powered variant 6,566 to 5,481 in 2015. LMC sees no future growth for variants with range-extending engines.”

Introducing the longer range BMW i3 could switch the proportions, but we’ll need to be patient before those numbers are available.

source: Automotive News Europe

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17 responses to "Most BMW i3s Sold In Europe Were Equipped With Range-Extender"

  1. alain says:

    once you have over 40 kilwatts or 125 miles of range it becomes pretty useless to carry a gas engine .you would have to go over 7 or 8 road trips a year past that ,most people do 1 a year ,2 tops.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Really? You must be a boring person since your radius of driving is only 125 miles or 62.5 miles each way…

      People drive that much in commute alone daily in the SF Bay Area. From North Bay to South Bay is at least 100 miles each way.

      From SF to Sac is at least 100 miles. From SF to Lake Tahoe is about 230 miles each way.

      What about SF to Yosemite NP, Sequoia NP, Kings Canyon NP? Redwood NP? LA to LV? SF to LA? SF to Lassen Volcanic?

      1. Alpha777 says:

        At your destination there’s got to be a plug somewhere.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Really? I didn’t know there are plugs at some of those trail heads…

        2. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Oh, with only 125 mile range. That is assuming you can even get there in the first place…

      2. Jeff Polk says:

        “You must be a boring person since your radius of driving is only 125 miles or 62.5 miles each way…”

        Simple question: Why are you engaging with a total stranger with such a negative comment?

        1. Tim says:

          It’s the Internet. You’re supposed to be rude and dismissive in ways you would absolutely never be in a face-to-face context.

          Right?

          1. Bam says:

            Sounds about right

          2. Alpha777 says:

            I’m rude and dismissive?
            When this guy is citing the .0001% use case?

            Yes, this car is not good in Montana.
            Just every major city and suburb in the USA.

      3. martinwinlow says:

        Yep, and I guess that’s precisely why there is such an appalling smog problem there. But you are also ignoring the likelihood that a typical EV commuter will be able to destination charge.

        What’s really boring is that people like you will just continue to bury your head in the sand until it’s too late and then you’ll be at the front of the queue demanding a bailout.

  2. Fred Borloo says:

    I bought one of those. That is a REX.
    I would definetly not call it a PHEV in the “classical” sense of the word.

    I drove over 8200miles since I received it at the end of September. I used it throughout the winter in Scotland in harsh conditions, including snow, rain, and howling winds, and on trips over 260miles in a day.
    Of those 8200miles, just over 600miles were driven in range extender mode.
    The range extender can hold the battery charged at any level below 75% if driven under about 65mph without headwind or upslope. I once nearly ran out of charge due to overreliance on the REX.

    But having said that, these 600miles were essential in using the full potential of the battery! I would not have done the trips I have, or enjoyed the car as much as I do without it.

    The i3 could be a fine do-it-all, no hastle only car provided that, first, the charging infrastructure is as good as it is in Scotland (130 usable 50Kw rapid chargers, 20 more planned for a population of 5.3 million), and second:

    -Provided the battery only range would double with the range extender still usable

    Or

    -The battery only range would increase at least 2,5 times without the extender.

    Voila, just my 2 eurocents….

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      I agree with you but BMW would have to make an i5 that would be more 3 series sized with a full backseat to be able to seat five. That would be very interesting especially with longer ev range and still the rex off course but a more compact one with the same power but a larger tank. In the same time it could be supercharger compatible, that would make it really complete.

      1. Fred Borloo says:

        The biggest problem with the range extender is, that it simply not powerfull enough. It is 25Kw in theory, but by the time you’ve counted losses, I am sure not more than about 20Kw of actual charging power comes out if it. A 70mph+ highway stretch or a prolonged steep uphill climb or a strong headwind will very easily require much more power than that. If you made the mistake to let the power go too low (lower than about 15-20% charge, you can run a real risk of running out of battery charge, and being stranded. I can see the range extender being a good help in. Being able to guarantee to make it to the next charger. What it certainly is not, is a replacement for more battery capacity (I mean a 2 or 3 fold increase)

        1. Alpha777 says:

          The range extender is fine.
          The kick in % ( 7% ) is too low.

          Europe has better settings.
          We should see those better settings with the new battery.

  3. wavelet says:

    Interesting that >50% were REx… I’m not surprised, since IMO the first-gen BEV i3 is a pretty bad value proposition w.r.t. other BEVs.
    It’ll be to soo how that changes with the next gen.

  4. martinwinlow says:

    How on earth does 6,566 out of 12,047 equate to ‘most’???

    It’s barely more than half.

    What an utterly silly and misleading headline. What is going on at InsideEVs? Too much Easter chocolate or something?

  5. Users may also consider to rent the REX on demand, and tow it. See http://www.eptender.com for example.
    The larger battery will help for a much wider EV dissemination. Carrying the REX at all times will indeed become an overkill if it can be added occasionally without impacting the payload and is pay per use.