To complement our earlier review about the BMW i3 (with range extender), We tested the BEV, with a stronger battery yet without the tiny ICE that acts as a generator.
You can read our review by clicking the link below: https://www.autoandroad.com/2019/04/2019-bmw-i3/
It is wise to think that BMW carefully paves the way to full-electrification by offering better batteries while gradually eliminating transitional solutions like range extender.
The new 120Ah 42.2kWh battery enables a range of up to 246 km.
This is a 100 percent improvement from the original 60Ah battery in the 2014 model.
During my one-week test drive, I enjoyed the driving dynamics, the great acceleration (which is a general feature of EV’s with instant torque delivery) and the spacious cabin of the i3. I was also curious about the proposed range of 246 km which BMW promises. Would I reach this range? The short answer is: No. In hot summer days, you can hardly drive without AC on. and use of AC reduces the range. This is laws of physics. The best range I could reach was 210 or so. This is still acceptable if you drive i3 in the city with a lot of stop-and traffic.
We attended a weekend party with our friends on a Saturday. On this day, I was not able to go to a fast-charging station in the morning. And my wife experienced a range-anxiety as the range indicator warned us with less than 14 kilometers of range. And as we arrived there, I tightly parked the car just close enough to reach the plug at the wall with the standard cord. And I was able to charge the i3 for another 15 kilometers in nearly five hours.
So, charging with a standard 110V outlet at home helps a little, especially if this is your only car.
The base price for the BEV is $53,660, thus $8,650 cheaper than its sibling with the range extender, which starts at $53,600.
Our tester’s price climbed to $57,600 with options such as:
Premium Enhanced Package ($7,750), Driver Assistance Package ($2,500), Sport Package ($1,400), Glass Sunroof ($1,200) and Wireless Charging with Extended Bluetooth and USB ($350) and Eucalyptus Matt Fine Wood Trim ($350).
Fully-loaded, the MSRP reaches $57,600 and still $4,645 lower than our (again) fully-loaded earlier tester with $62,245.
For a price saving of nearly 5K, you can more excitement and better planning skills.
When you choose an EV, it is still an expensive alternative without any government incentive. When you choose a BMW as an EV, this is definitely an expensive alternative among the EV’s. And this will probably be not your only car. Then, by not giving another 5K to have a considerable less range anxiety and more flexibility?
Choose wisely and choose the model with range extender.
Article and Photos by Varol McKars