The 2015 BMW i3 electric vehicle, when powered by the optional range extender engine, costs $46,125 (including destination costs). This means that it’s priced $3850 extra over the model’s base price. The gasoline engine is meant to complement the electric-only i3’s range of about 80-100 miles. The gasoline engine -- a 650cc two-cylinder engine – delivers 34 horsepower.
The wheels are not powered by this engine. Rather, it operates as a generator for the battery pack, which charges the 170 hp electric motor. The i3 is rear-wheel-drive in both electric-only and range extender configurations and the electric motor and the gasoline range extender are mounted in the rear. The range extender model is heavier than the electric-only version by about 330 lbs.
The optional range extender engine is partnered with a 2.4-gallon fuel tank. BMW states that the extender roughly doubles the range of the i3, which will place its total range at about 200 miles. However, it’s not yet known what the i3’s fuel economy is when the gasoline engine is running.
We also don’t know what the official EPA ratings are for mpg-e and estimated range. Charging the i3’s battery with a 220-volt charging port can be done within three hours. The 2015 BMW i3 will go on sale in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2014. It will be available in three trim levels, which BMW refers to as the Mega, Giga, and Tera worlds.