How Far Can You Drive With The BMW i3? Range Explained – Video

JUL 18 2016 BY MARK KANE 10

BMW released interesting video explaining the range of its i3.

Visually The 2017 BMW i3 (shown here in black) Is Unchanged

2017 BMW i3

The base, all-electric 22 kWh version is rated at 81 miles (130 km) of real world/EPA range, while the i3 REx offers 72 miles (116 km) prior to a gasoline Range Extender kicking in (extending the total range to some 150 miles / 240 km).

More Range Figures – COMPARE EVS

As BMW will offer a 33 kWh battery pack option later this year (for only ~$1,200 more), the company is careful to not articulate the all-electric range in the spot…however the new battery should translate to range of 114 miles all-electric miles (183 km).

Range: How far can you drive with the BMW i3 ? Explained by BMW i3 driver Steve.

Steve from Seattle has been one of our BMW i3 drivers since March 2015. So he was born electric in March 2015. As one of the “Born Electrics” he explains to you all there is to know about the range of the BMW i3.
– What influence does the weather have on the electric range?
– How does the BMW i3 heat and cool the interior and battery?
– How does Preconditioning work and what is the advantage of it?
– What is the Range Extender and how does it work?
– And lastly he explains how the Dynamic Range Map and the Range Assistant help to always know how far you can go in your current driving style.

Categories: BMW, Videos


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10 Comments on "How Far Can You Drive With The BMW i3? Range Explained – Video"

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Nice video.. although fairly useless since they don’t really try to give an answer to the question. They don’t even state the battery range.

Fairly useless to folks who are at least a little familiar with EV, but for complete newbies, it could be another source of info. I agree more “meat” is needed for folks who are little familiar with EV, especially with some math and Physics background.

To toot my own horn, I like what I’ve done with SparkEV range polynomial blog post; it shows what to expect with extra power use, battery degradation, 1000 miles in a day using DCFC, etc.

Nice link. It does a good job of showing the variability of range based on different assumptions.

*toot* *toot*

Thanks. I tried to cover many aspects that I was curious about. Missing in that post is SparkEV range climibing hill, which is covered in another blog post with highly imaginative title of “Range polynomial climbing hill”.

I cover regenerative braking efficiency in yet another blog post with the title “Regenerative braking efficiency”. Method may not work with i3 though, due to “one pedal driving” on i3 as described in the blog post.

Combined, we get some idea of how much losses are incurred going up and down the hills as well as flat road, and put some numbers behind them.

Hi Steve. Well don’t video which clearly left out the fact that you had already drove your Nissan LEAF from Canada to Mexico (and the fact that you were “born electric” prior to the BMW).

By SAE’s definition, a hybrid is:
“A vehicle with two or more energy storage systems both of which must provide propulsion power – either together or independently.” To be a “pure electric car” it has to have only electricity as a “fuel” for propulsion and currently only the BEV meets that criteria. Any gasoline powered “range extender” is by definition a hybrid.

Tony, words matter. In this case, the words “BOTH” and “MUST” are very important key words:

“A vehicle with two or more energy storage systems BOTH of which MUST provide propulsion power – either together or independently.”
(emphasis added)

In the case of the i3, “both” the energy stored in the battery and the REX do not have to operate.

In fact, the i3 can be driven for its entire life without the REX coming on to provide propulsion power.

It also can technically be operated without drawing any net “stored energy” from the battery. The battery can also be used purely as a buffer, where the REX provides all the energy used for propulsion, and the battery is never recharged through the plug.

Especially when it comes to SAE definitions, every word matters.

Sometimes it is OK to simply say “my bad, I didn’t think of it that way”. Maybe it is your turn this time….

Regardless of the SAE definition.. the i3 Rex is still a hybrid. My Volt is a hybrid, although I usually choose not to refer to it as such to people who don’t understand it. Mostly because people are so clueless as to what a hybrid is versus an EV or PHEV.

Sorry, Charlie. I’ve heard all the impassioned pleas before. Word by word, the i3 meets the definition. Nowhere does it say that both modes of propulsion must operate at the same time… heck, a Toyota Prius would not meet that definition !!!

Of course the Volt and BMW i3 are hybrids. So is a Prius. They can also be any marketing term you care to attach to them, like “extended range”.

The Prius, Volt and i3 REx can all obviously operate on electric propulsion; what’s different between them is for how long.

Apart from a bunch of eggheads arguing on a blog, most people couldn’t give a damn what it is. It’s like telling someone that their car is not really legit because of the type of struts it uses.

Ok, the video seemed like a commercial for the I3, for metric markets, which the BMW music at the end clinched it. I don’t particularly like the EREV terminology of my GM products, but they have to be superior to the I3 here, since the I3 Rex’s heating efficiency just has to be horrible. Its so bad that in 30 or so ‘reviews’ I’ve never seen anyone test for it. Now in my ELR, you would think I would have the choice of efficient heating with the engine, or inefficient heating with the resistance heater (for times when I simply don’t wish to run the engine). I don’t have a choice. The engine runs any time it is remotely cold enough to need the heater @ 0 degrees centigrade, which is hot in my locale. But in the I3 rex, you have the worst of both worlds – some people complain that the 34 hp engine isn’t powerful enough, even in an emergency, and then if the heater is on high that is taking a significant chunk of what is not there already. How significant apparently is a state secret since no one ever mentions it. It is rather like… Read more »