BREAKING: BMW i3 REx Gets Green HOV Sticker, TZEV Rating


Like The Chevy Volt, The BMW i3 REx Gets The Green HOV Sticker

Like The Chevy Volt, The BMW i3 REx Gets The Green HOV Sticker

It’s official.

The California Air Resources Board just moments ago listed the BMW i3 REx (range-extended version) as a TZEV (Transitional Zero Emissions Vehicle) and thus awarded it the coveted green HOV sticker.  That is assuming you can sneak in your application before they expire.

“As of April 28, 2014, 39,359 “green” stickers have been issued.”

Per CARB, the TZEV designation is typically assigned to plug-in hybrid vehicles:

TZEV Per CARB's Website

TZEV Per CARB’s Website

Not to be confused with BEVx, which CARB lists separately as follows:

BEVx Per CARB's Website

BEVx Per CARB’s Website

BEVx is further defined as such:

“BEVx, or a battery-electric vehicle with a small “limp-home” range extending engine or APU (auxiliary power unit)—i.e., not a series-hybrid type vehicle equipped with a full-capability engine.”

Presumably, the BMW i3 REx didn’t qualify for BEVx, hence it being listed as a TZEV.  These four criteria must be met for BEVx status, in addition to what we noted above:

    • The APU range is equal to or less than the all-electric range
    • Engine operation cannot occur until the battery charge has been depleted to the charge-sustaining lower limit
    • A minimum 75 miles electric range
    • Super ultra low emission vehicle (SULEV) and zero evaporative emissions compliant and TZEV warranty requirements on the battery system.

Additionally, CARB makes several statements regarding performance limits on charge-sustaining APU mode operation, including speed restrictions.  Somewhere within this laundry list of requirements, the i3 REx presumably slipped through the BEVx category and landed as a TZEV.

Though not listed as a BEVx, that has no impact of the i3 REx getting the green sticker, which you can see it clearly receives:

BMW i3 BEV Gets White - BMW i3 REx Gets Green

BMW i3 BEV Gets White – BMW i3 REx Gets Green

UPDATE: However, unlike the Chevy Volt, the BMW i3 REx will qualify for the full $2,500 California Clean Vehicle Rebate. The only TZEV that so qualifies.

That rebate program recently used up available funds, so all applications after March 28th, will go on a wait list until September.  At that point an additional $30 million dollars has been added to cut checks to plug-in owners.  (details here)

The CVRP site has not yet been updated to show the status of the i3 REx:

BMW i3 CVR$P Rebate Status

BMW i3 CVRP Rebate Status

Hat tip to David Vottero!!!

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25 Comments on "BREAKING: BMW i3 REx Gets Green HOV Sticker, TZEV Rating"

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So by the time you apply for the sticker they will all be gone. Nice.

Given the reduced rate of “green” sticker burn since dealers got cut-off from pre-registering for them, it looks like you have a few days left.

A select few will be able to grab them as BMW reportedly is trying to get a handful out in the next couple days before month end.

Agreed, the green stickers will be exhausted very soon. With a little luck, they might last until mid May, but I wouldn’t count on it.

I wonder how many people will just make fake green stickers. Does this happen? (probably) I mean, if your car qualifies for them, but they are ‘sold out’, it would be reasonable to assume the one you saw on an i3 was legit. It’s not like someone is going to put one an a Hummer and think they are fooling anyone. If you get caught though, could be a pricey ticket.

I’ve never heard of counterfeit stickers, but it was not uncommon for the old yellow HOV stickers for hybrids to get stolen. I suspect there will be a lot more of that happening soon.

There were instances of counterfeit white HOV stickers in California. Also, sticker theft or attempted theft is becoming a phenomenon. It would be almost better, if these vehicles had special plates instead, much like in Arizona.

I was really confused by the shrunken US fuel tank on the i3-rex and now reading your pre-registration comment it makes me wonder.

Is it possible that BMW dealers pre-registered a few thousand i3-rex’s based on the orders that they had on their books only to find that they didn’t qualify leading to the well publicized song and dance to ensure that they could honor their existing commitments. Would certainly explain some of BMW bizarre behavior.

Told you so. 😛


Since it didn’t get the BEVx status, will they now allow the engine to come on earlier than the 6% point it comes on now? A manual button like in Europe?


That should be a simple software change. As opposed to the gas tank which is wedged under the frunk basket between the aluminum framing.

If it didn’t qualify for the BEVx designation, that will hurt. One way or another. I’m curious to learn more.

Pardon my ignorance, but I do not understand “If it didn’t qualify for the BEVx designation, that will hurt.”

Could you please elaborate how it will hurt?

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

It doesn’t get the full tax credit. I don’t know if BEVx qualifies for the white sticker.

So, essentially, BMW gimped their genset and fuel for absolutely no CARB benefit, or didn’t do some arcane bit of needful to pass as BEVx.

Here’s hoping the aftermarket has a bit of fun with the REx then!

Tomorrow one of the local car dealers is going to have a party for this electric car. I plan on going to it and taking some photos of it and getting information.

Per the ARB website, as of 4/7 they’d issued 38,478. If the total is 39,359 as of 4/28 (I couldn’t find that number on their site), that’s 881 in 21 days, or just under 42/day,, so at the same rate the remaining 641 will all be gone in 15 or 16 days.

What a complete waste of effort by BMW, to cripple the car to meet the standards and then not get it into production early enough to matter.

Per BMW: the REx version was NEVER promised to get a white sticker, regardless of the BEVx designation. It was always going to get a green sticker:
“Jacob Harb, head of electric vehicle operations and strategy for BMW, told AutoblogGreen that it’s not all that complicated. The pure electric version of the i3 will get the white sticker, the REx version will get the green sticker.”

The BEVx designation has absolutely nothing to do with the white and green sticker program. It only applies for CARB ZEV credits.

Right. In the ARB’s HOV sticker list, the i3 EV is listed not as a BEV but as a ZEV, which is the pure EV classification for the sticker program.

Well that does it BMW you got screwed by CARB.

Now go away and UN CRIPPLE the range extender.

In what way did they get screwed by CARB? They received the green sticker they knew they were going to be entitled to and they will be eligible for the $2,500 rebate. Just because folks like to conjecture (in this case about the i3 REx only being eligible for a PHEV rebate amount) doesn’t make it true.


Seems like they could increase the gas tank size back to the European size now, right?

There are no surprises here. i3 BEV was always going to get a white sticker and the i3 REX was always going to get a green sticker. The BEVx designation has nothing to do with the sticker program. It does have to do with how many ZEV credits BMW gets for the REX vehicles. This story does not shed any light on that. In addition, the CVRP rebate level for the REX has not been certified yet either.

Where is BMW in all of this? PR and information is not easy to come by. If the gas range can be extended now, maybe I will wait.

What about the news that BMW announcing a best dc fast charge system.

Isn’t BMW on board with the Combined charging standard for DC fast charging?

Yes, they are. National infrastructure and roll-out plans for the US are yet to be announced.