The i3 REx is forced into extinction in Europe due to the longer range possible from the latest pure-electric variant of BMW's hatchback
4 October 2018

The BMW i3 is now an electric-only model in Europe, 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. 

The Range Extender i3 will still be available in North America and Japan, where demand remains higher than Europe and the rest of the world. 

Our Verdict

BMW i3s

Revised hatchback sets out its range-extended electric stall in a new, sportier tune

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Comments
25

4 October 2018

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!  

4 October 2018
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!  

 

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4 October 2018

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.

4 October 2018

Yes the boot is bigger, well the section underneath the luggage area to be more precise but I guess that to drop in more batteries in that area might need a bit more thinking about.

Anyhow, I’m now off to look at the new Kia/Hyundai carbon fibre reinforced plastic model with the motor in the rear, with a completely fresh design theme both inside and out that drives and steers properly - not.

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