BMW’s European customers who are looking forward to have a new range extender version of the 2019 BMW i3 (BMW i3 REx) will have to bear a bad news from the German premium carmaker. They won't be able to get a new one as BMW will stop producing and offering the i3 REx in Europe starting 2019 model year.
It should be noted that BMW still listed the i3 REx in the 2019 model year specification, although its Web site aren’t offering any information about the ranger extender version anymore. This has led to confusion, with many still assuming that that REx version of the i3 would still be available for the upcoming model year. To an extent, there is some truth to this, since while the 2019 BMW i3 REx will be discontinued in Europe, it will still be offered in the United States.
At first glance, it may seem odd that BMW would discontinue the range extender version of the i3, after all the REx had accounted for 60 percent of the model’s sales, despite being around £,3150 more expensive than a standard i3, which is pure electric. However, the true appeal of the i3 REx isn't really the combination of electric motors and a range-extending two-cylinder 650-cc petrol engine to provide additional charge to the drive battery. The true charm of the i3 REx lies on fact that it allows its driver to travel more distance even when the battery pack has reached a certain low charge.
According to BMW, the 2018 BMW i3 with a 33-kWh battery comes with an all electric range of up to 300 km (186 miles) based on the NEDC cycle, or up to 255 km (158 miles) as per WLTP. The 38-hp (28 kW) two-cylinder 650-cc petrol engine in the BMW i3 REx extends the range by up to 150 km (93 miles), as achieved by driving a generator to produce the required electric power while driving to allow a constant level of charge in the battery. For BMW and its customers, the range-extender version is a good way to battle range anxiety commonly associated with pure electric vehicle.
Range anxiety, however, can also be solved by installing a larger capacity battery pack in the BMW i3. For the 2019 model year, the new i3 will ditch the 33-kWh battery pack. In its place is a larger capacity 42.2 kWh battery that basically extends the range of the new 2019 i3. According to numbers provided by BMW, the new 2019 i3 will have an all-electric range of up to 359 km (223 miles) as per NEDC, or up to 310 km (193 miles) as per WLTP.
In comparison, the 2019 BMW i3 can travel 59 more km (37 miles) than the 2018 model on NEDC, or 55 more km (35 miles) on WLTP. The range numbers for the new i3 are still less than what the REx version can offer, but BMW believes this should be enough.
In a statement, BMW remarked that the gains in all-electric range and the increasing availability of rapid charging facilities would convince customers to shifting to a pure-electric model. So, that means goodbye for the i3 REx, except in the US.