Without the support of government incentives and an extensive billing infrastructure, electric vehicles have been unable to ignite sales lists in Australia, a trend that is likely to continue with relatively cheap gasoline and a price premium typically applied to vehicles Electric.
Then there is the ever-present concern that an EV could leave it stranded on the highway if the load is exhausted, or that long-distance travel is off the agenda. But with the BMW i3 REx – it carries a gasoline generator with it – that concern is reduced.
By 2017 the BMW i3 also comes with a new larger battery, a 94 Amp (Ah) unit instead of the previous 60Ah version that is still on sale, resulting in a longer power range and boosting zero emission potential Of i3.
- Vehicle Style: Small prestige hatch
- Price: $ 71,900 (more on the road) $ 80,880 (as tested)
- Engine / trans: 125kW / 250Nm electric motor, plus 0.6 liters 2cyl petrol | Single speed transmission
- Claimed Fuel Economy: 12.9 kWh / 100km, 0.6 l / 100km | Tested: 13.8 kWh / 100km, 0.43 l / 100km
2017 BMW i3 94Ah REx Review
Having launched in Australia in 2014, the BMW i3 is still a fairly recent addition to the Australian market for new cars.
Initially offered as pure EV or gamma-extender models, both with a 60Ah battery the updated 2017 range includes the two original variants, plus a larger 94Ah battery version of each, promising an additional useful range range.
Although not listed as a large volume seller here, the i3 serves to demonstrate what is technically possible for green transportation, taking the concept of car as construction and engine technology and make it available to consumers.
Starting at $ 71,900, the i3 94Ah REx is not within the reach of average motorists, and is the most expensive variant of the range and represents something of a finger in the water for the future of BMW\\’s mobility-mind and sub-brand.
2017 BMW i3 94Ah REx Review : INSIDE
- Standard equipment: Partial leather seats, climate control, speed control, push-button start, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, automatic parking, multifunction travel computer with power monitor, 19-inch alloy wheels
- Infotainment: four-speaker audio, Bluetooth connectivity for phone and audio, internet connection (BMW ConnectedDrive with remote services), satellite navigation, CD / DVD player, iDrive interface, 10.25 inch display, USB and Aux inputs
- Options: 20-inch alloy wheels ($ 1000), electric sunroof ($ 2920), Harman / Kardon audio upgrade ($ 1550), Innovations package with keyless entry, LED lights, Driving Assistant Plus ($ 3510 )
- Volume of load: 260 liters minimum, 1100 liters with rear seats divided 50:50 folded
Taking a bet in the BMW i3\\’s cab has ended up with a different take on interiors of vehicles, though interestingly not one that looks impossible futuristic – rather there is an ironic simplistic flavor to the i3 that manages to look more Scandinavian than German.
The wood panels on the dashboard, the retro inspired tweed fabric on the doors and seats, and the brown leather details are combined with whitish plastics and an interesting pressed fiber finish on the top of the dash and the doors give To i3 a unique aspect.
The entrance to the cab is also somewhat unique, with conventional front doors and rear doors with rear hinges without pillars in the middle, thanks in part to the strong but lightweight i3 carbon fiber construction.
The driving position feels a bit like an SUV with a high-mounted seat, driven by battery packs mounted on the chassis and high windows that bring refreshing amounts of visibility outwardly at a time when most of the Cars seem to be giving back In the window real estate.
The back seat is not as complacent as it seems might suggest. There is not enough room to comfortably accommodate tall passengers and their favorite hat, but the crucial knee room is tighter than you might find in an average small hatch – and there are only four seats on offer, not five.
At the rear, the trunk also features a high floor, with the electric motor and gas extender mounted underneath and the storage space at the front is backpack size, or if you choose to carry the i3 emergency charger With the bulky unit you eat most of that space available.
2017 BMW i3 94Ah REx Review : OTR
- Engine: 125kW / 250Nm electric motor, 28kW / 56Nm 0.6 liter two-cylinder gasoline range extender
- Transmission: automatic one-speed, rear-wheel drive
- Suspension: MacPherson front, 5-link independent rear
- Brakes: Four-wheel disc brakes, ventilated front rotors
- Address: Electric Power Steering
The i3 is different from driving, but by no means difficult. In fact, as is the case with most electric vehicles, it is the lack of noise that is the strangest, rather than any other aspect of the vehicle.
That does not mean that the i3 is not without its peculiarities. The gearshift selector, a right-hand steering wheel deflects the convention, but is fairly easy to adjust over time.
Lift the throttle is also a little different than usual – instead of resorting to the i3 slows down as if the brake applied slightly as the power recovery system covers the batteries through regenerative braking.
The side effect is that it is almost possible to drive the i3 without ever touching the brake pedal except to hold the car still when stopped. In no time at all can you figure out how much to lift the pedal and when the car will stop in the traffic movement.
With a single-speed transmission and a big stop torque boost, the i3 feels agile during city drives, faster than most other small cars, although not as fast-paced as the very Praised (and more expensive) Tesla range.
Keeping the battery filler is no real task either. Like the gear selector, it takes a bit of re-thinking to get in the habit of connecting the i3 overnight, but remembering to do so, and setting the load to start at peak rates means to wake up To a full battery AND a usable 200 km of electric driving (BMW claims 370 km maximum).
Charging times with the included cable and a standard powerpoint are 11 hours for an 80-percent charge, or about half the time with the optional iWallbox charger ($ 1750 unit, plus $ 662 installation, minimum) One Available instead of letting the battery become flat.
An average daily trip saw the trip to and from work, plus a strange trip to the shops or a visit to friends covered with rank to spare, and after three days without charge the i3 still showed a lot of remaining range .
A trip out of town pushed the i3 past its electric range, but instead of gnawing eagerly at not being able to continue if the battery went down below a certain charge rate the gasoline engine chimed in to keep the charge of the Battery to a usable level. When it does, its operation is barely perceptible.
The optional 20-inch alloy wheels do not make the ride any favors, and unlike the conventional BMW offers, the lumpy and roly-poly ride handling makes the i3 feel less agile and safe than the reference handling that the brand Has built its reputation on.
But in a vehicle that is designed to rarely venture beyond the limits of the city of handling can not be a great stuck point, although a little more convenience of ride on cobblestones and speed humps would be welcome.
ANCAP Rating: 5 Stars – The BMW i3 range got 33.57 points out of a total of 37 points when tested in 2015.
Safety features: Six airbags (dual front, front, curtain), ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution, electronic stability and traction control, collision avoidance reversal, Isofix child seats for rear seats, Tires and rear view camera.
Driving Assistant Plus (part of the optional innovations package) includes front collision warning, lane exit warning and cruise control.
WARRANTY AND SERVICE
Warranty: Three years / unlimited kilometers (vehicle), eight years / 100,000km (high voltage battery)
Service: BMW offers basic all-inclusive prepaid service packages covering five years or 80,000 km of standard service at a price of $ 920 for i3 with service intervals set at 12 months / 20,000 km (whichever comes first). Service Inclusive Plus packages are also available by adding brake pads and disc replacement, and wiper blades.
RIVALS TO CONSIDER
When it comes to direct competitors, the BMW i3 does not cross swords with anything on the Australian market. Both the PHEV Mitsubishi Outlander and the EV Nissan Leaf are much less expensive, while the Tesla S model is larger and more expensive.
In fact, now that BMW has its hybrid 330e plug-in for sale, buyers may be more inclined to lean toward the more spacious, better equipped, but more dependent on Gasoline Series 3, not to mention the similar Mercedes-Benz C 350 e.
TMR VERDICT | IN GENERAL
Charging away from home can still be a problem at times. I checked into two ChargePoint locations, each of which offered two EV-only bays, but at the first of the bays was occupied by a 15-year-old Holden Statesman – certainly not an EV, and as the car turns out Of the parking manager.
The other featured two full bays, and despite showing as available on the ChargePoint website, the cars (both Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV) were parked, but not plugged in. No real sweat with a range that extends the gasoline engine on board, which opt for the cheaper EV variant.
Apart from that, however, the i3 really shines like an urban transport solution. Does BMW really need to build it in a carbon fiber frame and make it look like nothing else on the road? Probably not, but as a showcase of technology you get attention.
Not only that, but as the first example of this type of BMW technology the i3 shows a real promise, and greater potential for a technology that has not yet reached the mainstream.
No, the i3 does not go to all buyers, but no car does. What it proves is that electric vehicles can be a habitable solution, and with the added tranquility of a gasoline generator at startup, boosting the potential range, the i3 becomes no less practical than an average hatchback of the traveler.