BMW i3 With Range Extender Priced at $45,200 or $3,850 More Than BEV Version


Throughout the day we’ll bring you all of the juicy details on the just-unveiled BMW i3.

Ranger Extender Slots into There

Ranger Extender Slots into There

Here first are the juiciest details of all:

  • Pricing (before federal or local incentives) starts at $41,350; $45,200 for Range Extender model. Destination & Handling Fee not included.
  • On Sale: Q2 of 2014 in the USA.

So, the math shows us that the optional range extender will cost $3,850, which is almost precisely what we had guessed at.

With full pricing details disclosed, which would you choose? Pure battery electric or range-extended?

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26 Comments on "BMW i3 With Range Extender Priced at $45,200 or $3,850 More Than BEV Version"

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OK. The price of the range extender is great. Now I’m just waiting to hear how well it works. What is the top speed you can drive in range extended mode? If it gives you more than a “limp home” mode as others have suggested, then it will be a game changer.

I used Tony’s range table for the LEAF, which is based on empirical data he collected in the field. It looks like the i3 will have comparable dimensions and size. The LEAF has a Cd of 0.28, and I would expect about the same from the i3. I quoted this table at least a dozen times. It’s based on empirical data, not speculation.

mph | kW
35 | 5.6
40 | 6.8
45 | 8.7
50 | 10.9
55 | 12.8
60 | 15.4
65 | 18.0
70 | 21.2
75 | 25.0

So if I read your numbers correctly, then we should expect the I3 could maintain 75 mph on flat ground using 25KW from the range extender? So if you are traveling uphill, I wonder what that falls to? I’m sure there’s a battery buffer, to help on short hills.

It sounds like the range extender could probably do around-town driving all day without issue. The question is could I drive from Dallas to Houston with the range extender, stopping for gas somewhere in the middle?

Given the weight of the vehicle, and the implied aerodynamics, the REx should be able to propel the car up a 6% grade at 45 mph. Assuming that the battery won’t be fully depleted, it might be used to augment on steeper inclines. Although BMW says that the REx is there for emergencies only, you should be able to go from Dallas to Houston. So long this is not a daily trip. I posted most of this information on MNL, which I believe you frequent.

they’ve pushed new videos to youtube
check this at 1:02
looks like they have no touch but horrible disk

will the EPA range will be reveiled as well. Or will that be clear around the introduction in the states?

I’m not sure if that figure is already available. It might be published closer to market launch next year.

That’s for the price but what about Flex-Fuel and what about a larger tank option, something like 30 liters instead of 9?

Further when can we expect a BMW i5 Touring with the same system?

You are thinking regular long distance driving that would be better suited for a Prius. BMW is going after the the BEV market only using the extender in rare instances.

Sometimes we probably split hairs too much here on comparisons, but really there isn’t one with the Model S. There has to be a marketing ploy here somewhere that is over my head.

I’ll take the pure electric version, thank you. About 90% of my driving is within my i-MiEV’s 62+ mile range. With the i3’s longer range, that will make 100% of my driving within the single-charge limit.

“Pricing (before federal or local incentives) starts at $41,350; $45,200 for Range Extender model. ”
But it’s BMW, so what’s a more realistic out the door price? $50K min?

Do we know how much weight the range extender option adds to the i3? ICE, gas tank, exhaust….and will the REX help heat the battery and cabin in the winter?


If memory serves, it’s about 120 lbs. No cabin heating from what I recall, electrical power only.

Here we go, this is straight from the press release:

In order to reduce range anxiety, a rear-mounted 650cc, 34 hp, two-cylinder, gasoline-powered Range Extender generator is available, which roughly doubles the vehicle’s range. When the battery gets to a certain level, the Range Extender starts and maintains the battery’s current state of charge. The Range Extender never directly drives the vehicle’s wheels. The Range Extender adds roughly 330 lbs. to the vehicle curb weight and has a fuel capacity of 2.4 gallons.

330 lbs? complete motocycle with 2 times power weight same

Yes, it’s quite heave and I’m surprised to see it too. At that weight penalty, perhaps it would have made sense to offer a 28 kWh or 32 kWh battery option for about $5,000 or $6,000 extra. That might alleviate range anxiety also, albeit not to the same degree like a range extender.

BMW may have a different strategy for offering the Rex option instead of a larger battery. With a gas tank small enough to limit the distance to less than (or the same as) the range of the battery pack, they have found a loophole to have a gasoline powered vehicle be granted single occupant access to California’s HOV lanes, and that could convince lots of non-EV lovers to buy.

That’s appears to be a rehash of Anton’s article without any source attribution. Here is the original article:

While the HOV sticker is a big plus here in California, the small gas tank will be a big minus. In LA, I would want a range extender so that I could go on road trips to various locations. I might be able to get down to San Diego and back, but I doubt I could do longer drives with spaced out gas stations, such as Vegas or San Francisco. I also suspect that shorter drives to the mountain (e.g., Big Bear) would be a no-go as well.

Yes, agreed. Some say that there will be healthy demand for aftermarket gas tank upgrades.

Weight is wrong in US press release…we are going to put up a full featurette on the i3 range extender later today…will have all the answers then, (=

It would be good to get some answers from BMW Jay. All this should be out there in the open now.

Yupe, I have it all the answers now from BMW…just working on the piece. Should have it buttoned up and ready to go around 1pm

MOD EDIT/UPDATE: Here it is –

That actually is good news. I was thinking that to get to 75mph, the motor would be screaming at 7,000 rpm. If it is de-rated to half power, that means the top speed could be maintained comfortably for some time at lower rpm.

Indeed. It’s also likely that some energy is fed into the battery when less instantaneous power is needed to build up a buffer for hill climbs and similar situations.

Remember the Saturn Flextreme?