BMW to cease production of the i3 Range Extender

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  • BMW cancels i3 Range Extender with boosted range model

The BMW i3 is now an electric-only model, as the range extender versions have been deleted from the line-up.

The range extender, which uses a two-cylinder 650cc petrol engine to provide additional charge to the drive battery, has effectively been made redundant by the improved, longer-range pure-electric version of the i3 unveiled at this week’s Paris motor show.

The i3’s battery has been boosted to 42.2kWh from 33kWh provide 193 miles of range under new WLTP cycle. That’s 34 miles more than the older version could manage and is sufficient, according to BMW, to negate the need for the range extender version, which offered a claimed driving range of 231 miles under the outgoing, less-accurate NEDC test. 

In a statement, BMW said: “The Range Extender i3 will cease production and we will only sell the pure-electric version going forward. With the gains in pure-electric range, together with the increasing availability of rapid charging facilities we believe the customer demand is shifting to an pure-electric model.”

The move takes the i3 model range down from four variants to two, namely the standard i3 and hotter i3s. The latter produces an additional 13bhp and 15lb ft from its electric motor, with 181bhp and 199lb ft contributing to a 0-62mph time of 6.9sec.

The range extender version of the i3 formerly made up 60% of sales, despite a £3150 premium over the standard car. 

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Jason Dunne

BMW killed it off because REX = warranty claims.

I’ll guess the Range Extender (REX) has been made redundant because it was unreliable, not because the new car has more range. 

I’ve owned two i3s. The REX blew on both of them – at £5k a time. The BMW dealer told me they had hardly any issue with the pure EV i3, just the REX’s

The problem is that most owners used their REX only rarely, and when they did it was usually for a short time. Inactivity is never good for internal combustion engines.

Worse, BMW made the REX motor almost as an entirely sealed unit. Even BMW main dealers were very reluctant to strip down a REX unit and replace individual parts in it. So, if even the slightest thing went wrong, it was a whole new REX and you were £5k down.

I should add that it was the best car I’ve ever owned and I miss it terribly… 🙂

REX’s and plug-ins are the best way to get people into electric cars. It’s a shame that BMW is not persevering with it – the owners certainly did!  

jason_recliner

Jason Dunne wrote:

I’ll guess the Range Extender (REX) has been made redundant because it was unreliable, not because the new car has more range. 

I’ve owned two i3s. The REX blew on both of them – at £5k a time. The BMW dealer told me they had hardly any issue with the pure EV i3, just the REX’s

The problem is that most owners used their REX only rarely, and when they did it was usually for a short time. Inactivity is never good for internal combustion engines.

Worse, BMW made the REX motor almost as an entirely sealed unit. Even BMW main dealers were very reluctant to strip down a REX unit and replace individual parts in it. So, if even the slightest thing went wrong, it was a whole new REX and you were £5k down.

I should add that it was the best car I’ve ever owned and I miss it terribly… 🙂

REX’s and plug-ins are the best way to get people into electric cars. It’s a shame that BMW is not persevering with it – the owners certainly did!  

 

Have you met Symanski?

Will86

Extra space

So if there is no engine in the boot is the boot bigger or can it be filled with extra batteries? Despite just increasing the range of the i3, BMW are way behind the competition from Hyundai/Kia.

LP in Brighton

Disappointing

Seems a brave move to discontinue a model that sold 60% of the range, and which could have extended the range of the latest i3 towards something pretty decent. If warranty claims are the real reason, then it doesn’t say much for BMW “quality” engineering. It should have been possible to make a simple two-cylinder engine that could withstand occasional use! 

Neil2129

Odd timing

This is very odd timing, considering the REx versions, albeit with the older 94Ah battery, had recently been re-homologated under WLTP regulations. That means that BMW have invested in 4 homologations (94Ah REx NEDC, 94Ah S REx NEDC, 94Ah REx WLTP, 94Ah S REx WLTP) with presumably very low volume for each of these variations.

It also removes the only Range-Extended EV remaining in Europe (as opposed to PHEVs, where the ICE is mechanically linked to the wheels), since the second-generation Chevrolet Volt wasn’t introduced here.

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