BMW i3 - Why this little EV has big potential

Discussion in 'EV (Electric Vehicle) Discussion' started by ggood, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    FWIW, I test drove the non-REx i3 2x at CES in Vegas.

    I posted my comments at My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - BMW i3 vs Leaf and My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - BMW i3 vs Leaf. Some other useful comments in that thread starting at My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - BMW i3 vs Leaf.

    If not already posted, there's a massive long running thread on the car at My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - Official BMW i3 thread, when it was still referred to as a "Megacity" car.
     
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  2. ggood

    ggood Senior Member

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  3. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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  4. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    I hope he doesn't mind me posting this, but someone I know (former Leafer and current "Electronaut" aka BMW ActiveE lessee) posted a quote he got from Stevens Creek BMW on an i3 on a Facebook group.

    All I can say, is holy cow. Are they fricking nuts? They aren't going to get many takers on leases of the i3 w/those CRAZY costs. But, this isn't a base model, judging by the MSRP.
    He mentioned
    It doesn't help that BMW isn't passing on the entire $7500 Federal tax credit as savings to the lessee.

    Compare that number to the deals at Toyota Rav4 EV Forum • View topic - New deals for Jan 7 - Feb 3, 2014 on 2014 Rav4 EVs for a Rav4 EV that has more than 2x the battery capacity and will likely have WAY more range than the i3.

    I haven't kept up w/Leaf lease deals lately, but that kind of $ should be able to fetch at least 2 maybe 2.5 non-base Leafs for 3 year leases.
     

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  5. Mike500

    Mike500 Senior Member

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    I still think that BMW should have went with aluminum, not carbon fiber.

    As time goes by, however, electric cars will become cheaper. That's a plus.
     
  6. ggood

    ggood Senior Member

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  7. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Hmmm.. not so sure about that. At BMW's display at CES, they had equal volumes (IIRC) of steel, aluminum and CRFP that you could lift. That was to demonstrated how much lighter CRFP is.

    The Electric BMW i3: My New Side Job: BMW i Dealer Training was interesting... Didn't know about their "Genius" program, but what he discovered is very disconcerting. If BMW dealers turn out to be largely incompetent in properly selling the vehicle, it'll turn out to be a sales fail here in the US.
     
  8. jcal0820

    jcal0820 the 'Stan

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    According to this article on the REx equipped i3's, the 'generator' kicks in only after SOC reaches below 6%, and only starts charging the traction battery once it's below 3%?? After doing more research on EVs, maintaining a SOC in between @ 20% - 80% consistently is the ideal zone if you want your battery to have any longevity. ** If the U.S. version i3's with the REx only engage far below this range, what's the point in having this additional, and costly, xtra feature, since it only contributes to battery degradation.
     
  9. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The car manufacturers need to gain ZEV credits by selling alternative fuel vehicles, or buy credits from someone that has extra. It's why there are BEVs sold only in Ca, to get these credits. Plug in hybrids get them, but not as many. FCEV will get the most.

    Then there is the i3. The European version sounds like how I pictured a range extender working when talk of the Volt and plug in hybrids started. The generator doesn't have the output to provide full performance. It is there so that when you know you are going to exceed the battery only range, you can switch it on to supplement the battery. Perhaps even charge it up if necessary. By letting the driver decide when to turn it on, they can do so at a point in the SOC to have power for the upcoming terrain.

    BMW wants to sell it here, but CARB was likely going to call it a PHV for ZEV credits. It's not though. A PHV can operate just fine without ever being plugged it. The ICE on the i3 can't pull that off. Even if it did, the small fuel tank(aside: does the Euro version have a larger tank?) would make that impractical. Imagine the "plugging in the car is a chore" crowd would say if they had to fill their gas tank everyday of driving.

    So, through compromise, they came up with this BEVx category. It gets, or near to, the ZEV credits of a BEV, but to ensure that owners don't go and burn too much gas, CARB had BMW cripple the range extender. SO there is no point for it in the US, or at least Ca. It was to supplement the car's range during the time of pricy batteries and few charging stations. To ease range anxiety like the Volt. Just with more EV range in exchange of a limited ICE output.

    The US version will still ease the range anxiety. It's just that the buyers doing the research will opt to skip it and get AAA. Perhaps there will be an aftermarket hack or tune that will open the European limits, so we can turn it on at 75% SOC.
     
  10. jcal0820

    jcal0820 the 'Stan

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    There's still a few months left before these start arriving here, and maybe BMW will leave the REx function to operate just like the European version? Given that buyers may be outraged that they paid a 4 grand premium for nothing more than a 'trickle' charger that only lets you limp back home. BTW, of all the back logged pre-orders for the i3 in the States, I wonder how many of those are for the REx equipped models?


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  11. Sergiospl

    Sergiospl Senior Member

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    "Since launching in Germany (this chart shows July 2013 as the month for first recorded i3 sales in Germany, likely dealer demos), sales of the BMW i3 have totaled 559 units. Of those 559 unit, 98.7% went to commercial buyers (fleets, dealer demos, car sharing, government, small business purchases, etc.)."

    Compare it with ZOE, 1,019 sold [in 2013] and 29.8% or 304 units to private persons.”

    BMW Sells Only 7 i3s to “Private” Buyers in Germany in 2013
     
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  12. jcal0820

    jcal0820 the 'Stan

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    Only 1% to actual indiv customers???


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  13. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Not sure about Germany but here company cars are very popular. It was a way of getting round paying taxi - give the employee a car instead. Hence nearly 50% of new cars here are sold to companies.
     
  14. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    I figure it's because most BMW owners figure the car is just not enough to annoy the rest of the population.
     
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  15. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    But you forget about the cost. It's way over priced in the US but here in Europe the i3 costs little more than the original or the recent top end Leaf costs. Or less than the PIP or the same as the top end Prius.

    Won't say that was over priced.

    I'd give it a full 12 months, or as in the case of the Prius, a full 10 years? ;)
     
  16. jcal0820

    jcal0820 the 'Stan

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    Interested to see how much they'll cost in the used car market in 2 to 3 years, esp after lease turn ins. Same goes for all the other EVs.


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  17. orenji

    orenji Senior Member

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    I though the PIP in Europe cost way more then in the US? So if this is the case, the i3 is expensive in Europe as well?
     
  18. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    It's expensive but not for an electric vehicle. Our prices include import duties and 20% vat/sales tax hence they're higher than you pay. The i3 is very competitively priced for the ev market.

    BMW here is just a brand that also makes high end executive and sports cars. In the US they're purely high end. Perhaps that's why they felt the need to price the i3 more in the US?
     
  19. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Side note, I just stumbled across a post on the BMW i3 Facebook group about this and this post from MNL (at My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - Official BMW i3 thread)
    If you don't want the REx engine, during the 1st 3 months, you'll be forced to take a $50,875 car!

    There are more details about this from Electronaut #1: The Electric BMW i3: US i3 Orders Limited to Special "Launch Edition" Package For First Three Months.

    Crazy! It's sorta good for the Electronauts but boy, I suspect some non-Electronauts semi-interested in the i3 will just turn their back on BMW and get something else.
     
  20. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    That's normal of all car makers. When I picked up my 2005 Prius, the HiHy had come out. the only thing you saw at dealer lots then were fully loaded Limits.