State of Washington Approves BMW i3 REx For Sales Tax Exemption


Build Your Own i3 REx Gets Loaded to the Tune of $56,025 - Washington Lawmaker Tries to Make i3 REx More Enticing to Buyers in the State

Build Your Own i3 REx Gets Loaded to the Tune of $56,025 – Washington Exempts i3 REx From State’s Sales Tax

“We ARE smarter than California,” says Washington state representative Chad Magendanz.

BMW i3 With REx Qualifies For Sales Tax Exemption in Washington

BMW i3 With REx Qualifies For Sales Tax Exemption in Washington

Magendanz made that statement before and now he’s saying it again.

When Magendanz stated that previously, it was to make it know that he was urging the state of Washington to grant the BMW i3 REx sales tax exemption.  This idea was that Washington would jump in front of California, a state that seems reluctant to award EREVs due to the ICE on board.

Now, Magendanz is saying “We ARE smarter than California” again, but this time it’s to celebrate the fact that the i3 REx will be sales tax exempt in Washington.

Per the press release sent to InsideEVs:

  • Dept. of Revenue reverses itself, says new electric BMW with made-in-WA parts will get tax exemption after all
  • State Rep. Chad Magendanz was happy to find out that one of his prime-sponsored bills is unnecessary, now that a state agency has reversed its position on a tax exemption for electric cars.

“The Issaquah Republican had been pushing legislation to clarify that electric vehicles such as the new BMW i3 qualify for a state sales tax exemption. The state Department of Revenue (DOR) told Magendanz last month that the i3 – which has carbon fiber parts made in Washington – wouldn’t qualify because of an optional gas-powered “range extender” BMW offers to consumers worried about their car running out of power. Magendanz introduced the bill to counter the department’s interpretation of the exemption law, but last week DOR informed lawmakers it had changed its mind.

“It’s a great thing when common sense prevails in government,” said Magendanz. “Unlike California, Washington is sending the message that we encourage innovative, environmentally-friendly automotive technology.”

The issue of the sales tax exemption came to Magendanz’s attention when he read that California had backed out of a deal with BMW to grant the i3 the state’s coveted “Clean Air Vehicle” white decal, which gives drivers full access to HOV lanes. California said the range extender – even though it’s optional and not permanently connected to the car – compromised the i-3’s status as a solely electric vehicle.”

The i3 is expected to hit the U.S. market this spring. SGL Group in Moses Lake produced carbon fiber components for the car’s passenger compartment.

The bolded statement of “not permanently connected to the car” is clearly inaccurate when one opts for the i3 with REx.  And some of the anit-California comments are untrue too, such as the i3 not qualifying for the white sticker, which is actually does, provided its the BEV version.

Washington joins New Jersey, site of BMW’s US headquarters, in exempting the i3 REx from sales tax.

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14 Comments on "State of Washington Approves BMW i3 REx For Sales Tax Exemption"

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Congrats Washington and Washington residents! As a native Californian it’s great to see others up the ante. We need to improve our game!

Now will they do that for the Volt?
And give me sales tax back retrospectively?

Please no. The Volt can be driven it’s entire life on gasoline due to it’s (relatively) gigantic range extender. It should get no tax credit. I have a neighbor who has a company supplied C-Max Energi that has never been plugged in the whole time he has owned it. A BMW i3 REX on the other hand would be loud, anemic and generally unpleasant to drive on it’s REX all the time. I don’t like it that, but I’ll let the i3 REX slide on this one, no way for any Volt’s or Energi’s.

Let me clarify, no sales tax exception and no white carpool sticker. I agree it should get the $7500 tax credit and Energi’s should continue to get the $4001 tax credit.

Your neighbor is an idiot. Why doesn’t he plug it in and save himself some money?!?!

My guess is that he has a company gas card and doesn’t want to “fill up” his “EV” for $100 worth of electricity each time… He is an idiot…

That is a good point. I mean, where do you draw the line? I think we can all agree there is a big difference in the i3-Rex, and say a Cmax-Energi. The Volt sort of falls in the middle.

My best guess is that if the vehicle can be sold with or without the range extender.. Perhaps another way to look at it is to draw a line on number of all-electric miles of range.

And on motor size. The scooter motor in the i3 is definitely nothing but a range extender.
The Volt has the engine size of a normal car.

Depends on what you classify as normal. The Volt has an 80 HP gasoline engine. That is very undersized for a car of the size and weight of the Volt. This is clearly obvious if you ask any Volt owner what happens if you forget to put the car into mountain mode and try to climb a long mountain pass on the highway.

I’d say the motor size is not as important as the MPG in CS mode. And rather than a yes/no choice on the tax exemption, why not a % based on the variables? Battery size, and MPG in CS mode?

I bought my Volt last September and sadly had to pay the sales tax. Seems unfair. The Volt came out first, couldn’t they have at least had a reduced sales tax rate? They’ve had time to think about this.

Interestingly, I live 1 mile from Issaquah, too. I’ve never heard of this guy, but I’m impressed he’s pushed for this. This story really hit home for me.

I’d like to see some EVs with an ICE that is “not permanently attached to the car”. I guess that would be the trailer with a gen-set.

I guess the “idiot” here is the one who doesn’t understand how i3 with REX works…

But what do you expect out of a politician?

Maybe not allowing the car pool sticker in California will provide the incentive for BMW to offer a proper range extender, which would be an additional 22kWh of battery capacity.