Your Expected Range Area In An i3 – According To BMW

4 years ago by Jay Cole 25

BMW i3's Expected Range At Home (Munich, Germany)

BMW i3’s Expected Range At Home (Munich, Germany)

Much like…well, every electric vehicle maker in the past, BMW has promoted the i3’s expected range capabilities ahead of launch, for both the all-electric and REx (range extended) version.

As I myself am working from "the road" on vacation, I decided to test out my location...looks like the i3 has me covered.  Amphibious option for the win!

As I myself am working from “the road” on vacation, I decided to test out my location…looks like the i3 has me covered. Amphibious option for the win!

And to illustrate the i3’s abilities they have also made a web-based app to show what your expected range at home would be in Comfort (normal mode), ECO PRO+ (super-snail EV mode) and Ranger Extender mode.

Here are the bullet-points from BMW as a refresher in “typical commuter operation::

  • All-electric (comfort mode): 130-160 km range (81-99 miles)
  • All-electric _ REx:  240-340 km range (149-211 miles)

The company notes that “switching to the ECO PRO or ECO PRO+ driving mode (can) increase the electric range by about 30 % to nearly 200 km.* (124 miles)”  —  (*depending on individual driving behaviour, determined in internal BMW consumption studies.)

Check out your range here.

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25 responses to "Your Expected Range Area In An i3 – According To BMW"

  1. Bloggin says:

    So real world/EPA should be 75 to 85 EV miles, then the Rex would add a max of 75 to 100 additional ‘range extended’ miles, which should offer 31 to 41mpg(2.4 gallon gas tank) when the gasoline engine kicks in.

    This would be very annoying to drive longer distances. Either stopping every 75 miles for 20 to 4 hours to charge the battery, or stopping every 75 to 100 miles to fill the gas tank.

    Which means, unlike the Volt with a total range of 380 miles that can be an only vehicle in a household, the i3 is not really going to be a viable vehicle for long distance travel, and owners would still need to own a second ICE/Hybrid vehicle. Which BMW already pointed out in their own marketing of the i3.

    1. Mark says:

      Good points, however how likely are you going to be on an extended journey? My Nissan Leaf suits me fine 95% of the time. A range extended version would suit me 99% of the time. The remaining 1% would be rare.

      In my case it would be the once a year cross country family vacation where it would become annoying. In those instances I’d get a rental or take up BMW’s complimentary loaner car.

      1. Brian says:

        Depends on the user. For me, it would be every other weekend. For some of my friends/family, it would be almost every single weekend. That would get very annoying indeed. In my case, there really is a very marginal benefit to this type of range extender. Given the added price and maintenance, it would not be worth it.

        1. Henry says:

          This does not sound like a car for you for sure given your driving needs/habits. That said one minus the drivers you represent is still a big market that BMW seems to be trying to tap on.

          1. George B says:

            Tony is correct. When you look at the NEDC data released for the BEV version of the i3 last month you will realize that it will most likely have an EPA range comparable to 2013 LEAF. The 2014 BMW i3 achieved 190 km on the NEDC cycle and the 2013 Nissan LEAF was rated at 200 km. That’s a difference of 5%. While the new EPA cycle for EVs is more rigorous and energy-intensive than either the LA4 or the NEDC cycle, I think it’s safe to assume that the range will be very comparable to similar vehicles tested. This would primarily be the LEAF, and potentially also the Fit, the Spark and the Focus. While I was hoping for a 90+ EPA rating for the i3, the NEDC number put a nail into the coffin, I believe.

      2. GSP says:

        I would rather own the Leaf than the i3 Rex. What is the point of having a range extender if you still need another car for trips? The Volt range extender is much, much, more useful, since it eliminates the need for a separate car for trips.

        GSP

        1. George B says:

          I think BMW’s plan for road trips is a loaner. The i3 should be still capable of traveling long distances, but the refueling routine might become a bit onerous. There is always the possibility of bringing a jerry can on a trip. Not very appealing, but doable.

  2. Warren says:

    I’m betting EPA range of 85 miles. The Rex was never intended to be used for long road trips. That is why they are offering gas loaner/rentals.

    The Rex would allow most people, like my wife, to drive an EV. She is not the adventurous type. She doesn’t see the thrill of running with no heat, and coasting through yellow lights to extend range. The typical EV starts with the amount of range, where she is looking for the very next gas station. She never goes more than a hundred miles, except once a year. And after this year’s forced march by freedom machine, we swore it will be trains from here on out.

  3. Peder Norby says:

    The Honda Fit EV has an EPA range of 82 miles. The BMW i3 is 500 lbs lighter, 2 inches shorter, better aero, and has 22kwh battery compared to the 20kwh battery of the Honda.

    The EPA range will be above 90 miles, perhaps as high as 95 miles.

    Very excited about getting into an 13.

    Cheers
    Peder
    Mini-E and ActiveE driver,
    80,000 miles powered by sunshine.

    1. Warren says:

      Not with the range extender. It increases weight and aero drag, but will be necessary to make EV driving as mindless as ICe driving.

    2. >>> The Honda Fit EV has an EPA range of 82 miles. The BMW i3 is 500 lbs lighter, 2 inches shorter, better aero, and has 22kwh battery compared to the 20kwh battery of the Honda. The EPA range will be above 90 miles, perhaps as high as 95 miles. Very excited about getting into an 13. <<<<

      Peder,

      These are exciting times, but sometimes our excitement tends to overtake reality. I've seen this a LOT in the LEAF community. For the record, the 2013 Nissan LEAF has an 84 mile EPA range at 100% charge, and I believe the Fit EV and Spark EV both share 82 miles.

      The BMW i3 is actually almost 600 pounds lighter than a LEAF with its 24kWh battery. Shorter cars, like motorcycles, tend not to be very aerodynamic, so the fact that the i3 is shorter than other cars may not reflect increased range. If I recall the numbers already released by BMW, the coefficient of drag is on par with a LEAF.

      I seriously doubt we will see EPA data for the i3 that is significantly different than the 82-84 miles range of other EVs in that market, particularly with it's smaller battery size compared to LEAF.

      Granted, you're excited, and I'm a bit more pragmatic about the outcome.

      Tony Williams
      100% sunshine power
      2011 Nissan LEAF w/ 25,000 miles
      2012 Nissan LEAF w/ 11,000 miles
      2013 Toyota Rav4 EV w/ 21,000 miles

      1. George B says:

        Tony is correct. When you look at the NEDC data released for the BEV version of the i3 last month you will realize that it will most likely have an EPA range comparable to 2013 LEAF. The 2014 BMW i3 achieved 190 km on the NEDC cycle and the 2013 Nissan LEAF was rated at 200 km. That’s a difference of 5%. While the new EPA cycle for EVs is more rigorous and energy-intensive than either the LA4 or the NEDC cycle, I think it’s safe to assume that the range will be very comparable to similar vehicles tested. This would primarily be the LEAF, and potentially also the Fit, the Spark and the Focus. While I was hoping for a 90+ EPA rating for the i3, the NEDC number put a nail into the coffin, I believe.

        1. James M says:

          I think the numbers need a little tuning: i3 EV mode is really 80-124 miles (considering ECOPro+); and ReX adds about 90% (+70-110 miles). So that’s really a 150-234 mile range. Not bad for a weekend trip. So this does offer much more than any other EV (but the Tesla). But then ECOPro+ limits speed and ReX is really to help you limp home when battery runs out. So to me the i3 is realistically a leasurely weekend trip car at best. Until someone gets to test drive the ReX option, I don’t put a lot of faith in it. I do plan to buy an i3 given the EV range will be far better, but without ReX unless I’m pleasantly suprised by reviews. All pure BEVs will remain just city cars for some time, except for Tesla of course…

  4. Dhouk says:

    The web-app needs a “round trip” option. It’s one thing to tell me how far I can go, but what I really want to know is how far I can go and still have enough charge to get home. Even in the SF Bay area, charging locations are not as convenient as one would like.

  5. Anderlan says:

    Wow, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. I thought you were joking by putting the same overlay on Hawaii! They’ve done one road (and terrain?) calculation for Munich and nowhere else. Did they do the calculations by hand so they can’t do it automatically for another location? My guess is no, they didn’t even do the calculations for Munich. They just took circles and made them bumpy. This load of horse shit applet shouldn’t be on a production site.

    1. Dan Hue says:

      Wow, you are right. Apparently, the i3 is amphibious too.

    2. Jesse Gurr says:

      It looks like they tailored it for Munich and that’s it. The disclaimer says it all right before you enter the site.

      “The range shown is not based on the actual route calculation but rather serves as an exemplary illustration. Factors such as topography, weather, traffic conditions, etc. are not taken into account.”

    3. Anderlan says:

      For anyone who is really interested in their possible EV routes based on major road routes (some places don’t have roads and some places don’t have major roads and some obstacles like rivers and ridges take miles to route around), here is a good hack which is, as far as I can tell, the only such hack like it around: http://www.freemaptools.com/how-far-can-i-travel.htm

      1. Anderlan says:

        For example put in Toronto and 50 miles and it will not show you going to Niagara Falls even though it’s inside 50 miles–no major road routes across Lake Ontario!

      2. Anderlan says:

        If anyone wanted to put the time in, you could probably sell an app that takes into account road routes and speed and terrain. You’d be piggy-backing on a lot of Google’s data most likely, which means they could copy your app (they *should* already have made such calculations available in maps) and then your revenue would drop possibly before you felt you got your time investment paid back.

    4. scottf200 says:

      Anderlan, you can just follow the link at the bottom of the article and put in any address you want. I just did that for my area in Chicagoland.

  6. George B says:

    Very weak effort, I was expecting more. At the very least, elevation differences and posted speed limits should be observed when making a range prediction.

  7. Foo says:

    I first, I though the interesting variations in the blue “gradations” of range where due to exacting German science (e.g., estimating the true driveable distances based on the actual roads that could traveled in all directions from the center point…. genius!).

    Then I noticed the patterns of gradation where identical in Germany and Hawaii.

    I call BS on the range gradations.

  8. Spec says:

    Well, the US and German automakers better get off their butts and start installing SAE-CCS DC-faster charger stations. Get your governments to help. EVs will make a nice way of storing excess energy production when the Energiewende cranks out excess.

  9. Foo says:

    One way.