AUG 2 2014 BY STAFF 11

BMWBLOG’s 2014 BMW i3 in Solar Orange just went Status 150 – Production Started today and we have our VIN.

Choosing an i3 wasn’t a difficult decision. The tough decision, however, was deciding to get an i3 with or without the Range Extender. The i3 REx has so much going for it with roughly twice the range and with an onboard generator to cure one’s range anxiety. Ultimately however, we elected to go for the pure electric variant given our daily driving range and desire to immerse ourselves in a pure electric driving lifestyle.

Got electric car range anxiety? The i3 Rex has the cure. The i3 REx has a rear-mounted 650cc, 34 hp, two-cylinder, gasoline-powered generator, which roughly doubles the i3’s range. In the U.S., when the battery gets to about 6%, the Range Extender kicks in. The Range Extender never directly drives the vehicle’s wheels as it instead just generates electricity.

*Editor’s Note: This post appears on BMWBLOG.  Check it out here.

The system also adds roughly 330 lbs. to the vehicle curb weight and has a fuel capacity of 2.4 gallons in Europe and 1.9 gallons in the US. Choosing an i3 REx adds $3,850 to the base price of the pure electric (BEV) i3. In our case, our daily range doesn’t really exceed 50 miles, so we felt comfortable with the i3 pure electric. It will be interesting to see how the range fluctuates with Midwestern winters.

As far as options go, we were fairly liberal with checking boxes. We started with Tera World which adds full leather, comfort access, universal garage door opener and 19” alloy style 428 wheels with 19/155/70’s front 19/175/60 rear tires. Then we added the Tech and Driving assist package which adds Active Cruise Control, enhanced “Professional” Navigation, BMW Apps and BMW Online as well as Real-Time Traffic.

Though we didn’t really want parking assistant, the Rear View Camera and Park Distance control were more of a necessity as we will be backing our i3 into the garage to its charger. We are, however, looking forward to playing around with the Parking Assistant just to see how far this technology has come. Finally, we specked our i3 in Solar Orange and heated seats, which completed our order.

To Lease Or To Buy

Current BMW i3 Lease Offer

Current BMW i3 Lease Offer

This one was actually far more difficult than I thought. I have never leased a car before as I like to buy and hold my cars longer than the typical lease. Though there is no right or wrong answer here, my main reasoning here is that I’ve never owned an electric car before and this is an easier way to tiptoe in. Leasing will give me a defined amount that three years of driving will cost. Others feel that the lease is such a bad deal that they recommend purchasing. Even our EV expert, Tom Moloughney purchased his i3 REx.

A definite downside to leasing is that BMW gives you only $4850 of the $7500 tax credit where other manufactures like Nissan give you the full credit when you lease their Leaf electric car. BMW states that they can only claim the $4875 in a lease. Owner’s Choice is one way BMW does give you a way at capturing the full $7500 tax credit via a $7500 loan that is due when you turn the i3 back in. The purchaser claims the credit on their taxes and keeps the dollars amount to pay back at the end the agreement term.

BMW i3

BMW i3

Charging The i3 From A Solar Array

An electric car plus a Solar array is a pretty sweet combo. We have a 12 kW system for our house and in July we have consumed 32 kWh while producing a daily average of 53 kWh. It is summer and the days are longest but even in the winter, I am hoping our Solar System will produce more than we consume. So we should be able to drive our i3 BEV on solar power while still being a net producer.

  • BMW i3 – $41,350
  • Solar Orange Metallic with Frozen Grey accent – $550
  • Tera World – $2,700
  • Tech & Driving Asst Package – $2,500
  • Parking Asst Package – $1,000
  • Heated Front Seats – $350
  • Destination & Handling – $925
  • MSRP – $49,375

We have a production number and the i3 is expected to go into production the week of August 4th.


Categories: BMW


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11 Comments on "BMWBLOG Orders BMW i3 BEV"

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“Rear View Camera and Park Distance control were more of a necessity as we will be backing our i3 into the garage to its charger.”

Kia, Nissan etc do this better. They have the charge port in front of the car! I hope the other automakers learn quickly

Wow, that’s so much more expensive than a Leaf lease.

But it’s good to have more leading automakers and more production capacity out there. Most people take their car-purchasing decisions very personally and emotionally, so we need many EVs to attract a broad market. The i3 BEV in particular, nicely falls into the market gap between the Leaf and the Model S.

Except its range is a bit on the short side for really filling that gap. I hope they’ll add a package that fills up that empty REx engine space with extra batteries. Then you can have a >100 mile i3 BEV without changing the design configuration.

My bet is that they specified the battery compartment in consultation with their battery boffins who probably reckon like those at VW and Merc that they can improve the energy density by 40-80% fairly soon.

So the somewhat weirdly specced RE and petrol tank are very much a stop gap measure.

not if you take all the fuel you will save over time (10 years of fuel 25000)half the price of the’s dirt cheap .with a leaf ,its a free car!

have lots fun ! enjoy guilt free driving for non reson at all .just to see the countrey side( just like they did in 60’s ).congrat!

12 kW PV system? That is a monster. My 6KW system produces more electricity that I use in my house and EV. Then again, I live in Northern California and I have replaced all my lighting with LEDs.

That picture shows how the car looks better without the 2-tone paint job.

I’ve seen the i3 a few times now on the road and it is growing on me. But it is still a bit weird looking. It is so tall and that frontal area probably hurts its aerodynamics. And that nose still look stupid to me.

It is not terrible but had they gone with a more convention design, I think they would have sold a LOT more of them. The Model S still wins the best EV body design, IMHO. It looks good AND is very aerodynamic. If the Model 3 looks like that mock-up image that some people made, it will be a HUGE hit. I think the frunk is genius . . . it provides valuable crush space for safety purposes and provides a nice storage area.

Not a lease-er, me, but you can add all the listed options and remain in the $499 lease-rate quoted?
I was under the impression that lease quotes tended to be specific cars, usually on-the-lot, these-options, take-it-or-leave-it (locally, a 3-series with an attractive monthly lease-rate would Not be the car that most would choose, but I’m in the midwest, definitely not the car-selling capitol).
Put another way, $499 for a Not stripper sounds a little better.

good afternoon the flop of the bmw i3 is by far not a surprise for me.
at first I never read the statistics or the forecasts of the journalists who are all liars.
and if you are intelligent the bmw i3 will be a flop because :
1. too expensive
2.only 4 stars on crash test
3.back Windows impossible to open
4.bad idiotic system with the back doors.
5.too expensive for repairing
6.ridiculous autonomy heat pump
8.Small luggage compartment

Ah! YOUR NOT UP TO business works when you have a great product like they do,you start selling high and as years go by price slowly goes down as demand drops .they sold 12 000 i3 on paper .that’$ REALLY GOOD.when demand drops you and me will be able to afford one (I HOPE)Germany and the rest of Europe are buying these like cup cake and they had to boast production

Gas is cheap in the states compared too the rest of the world, im in quebec , here it’ 6:00 $ a gallon, car pays for it self just on gas you save.we don’t have petro dollars.
Just in case Petro Dollars,:usa in 1971 gets off the gold standard, makes deal with opec .only excepte us curreny for payment and in return us will protect all OPEC countrys .that whey you have 52% of the world army and 6% of population. It a long story.