Jan 23

BMW i3 to use motorcycle engine for range-extender option

 

BMW’s pending i3 all-electric car will offer an optional 2-cylinder motorcycle-derived engine stuffed in the trunk area to extend range to 250 miles.

The vehicle is now on display in Detroit and the configuration is akin to that of the Chevy Volt and more closely to the Fisker Karma, as the gas-powered engine is used only to turn a generator, and is not attached to the drivetrain.

According to Automotive News, BMW’s head of R&D, Herbert Diess says the series hybrid version will be made available the fourth quarter this year when global sales begin. He did not specify price, but said BMW expects to sell them to buyers unsure about their range requirements.
 

BMW-i3-Coupe-Concept
 

“I imagine many buyers will order the range extender to cure their range anxiety, discovering later they need it very seldom,” Diess said.

BMW is estimating an initial run of as many as 50 percent of all versions will be requested with the range extender. After some time on the market, and buyer expectations are tempered with experience, the demand may drop to around 20 percent, Diess said.

The actual engine used was not stated, but it could be the 800cc parallel twin such as in BMW’s F800R.

No word was given whether in the event of a crash – as in the Batman movie – the driver could hop into a hidden modular motorbike mysteriously integrated into the wunder E-REV designed with input by former Volt engineer Frank Weber, and ride away …

Automotive News

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 64


  1. 1
    Dave G

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (6:30 am)

    From the article: “I imagine many buyers will order the range extender to cure their range anxiety, discovering later they need it very seldom,” Diess said.

    BMW is estimating an initial run of as many as 50 percent of all versions will be requested with the range extender. After some time on the market, and buyer expectations are tempered with experience, the demand may drop to around 20 percent, Diess said.

    This guy may be missing the point. Sure, if you have a lot of electric range to begin with, a range extender may not be needed most of the time. But when you need it, it’s really important that it’s there.

    It would be like saying: “Most people need to use insurance very seldom, so over time demand for insurance will drop to around 20%.” That’s not how things tend to work. Most people will still want the range extender precisely for those seldom times they really need it.

    As EREV range increases, it’s quite possible you won’t need full power while operating on the range extender. You may be limited to 60 miles per hour on a steep uphill grade. You may be limited to 80 MPH on flat ground. I think most people will accept limitations like this. The range extender will become smaller, lighter, and less expensive, but most people will still want it.


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    James McQuaid

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (6:35 am)

    It is interesting that “the BMW i3 will more likely be in the US$43,000 – US$50,000 (€35,000 – €40,000) range according to an unnamed source close to BMW”. Anyone have any guesses on price? Given that the price will top that of the Volt, any guesses on U.S. monthly sales totals?


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    nasaman

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (6:56 am)

    From the lead article: “The actual engine used was not stated, but it could be the 800cc parallel twin such as in BMW’s F800R.”

    One obvious feature unique to BMW motorcycle engines is that they use opposed (flat) cylinders, which, like Porsche, allows a very low profile with the engine lying flat (under the floor) in the rear.

    PS Dave G post #1: I couldn’t agree more, except to add that I think it’s exceedingly dangerous to NOT have a way to avoid being stranded, such as on a freeway median or shoulder, where you and your passengers could be killed by one of today’s numerous inattentive drivers!


  4. 4
    Mark

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (7:02 am)

    Awesome car!

    But note the lack of trunk space. The volt is bigger and better. I bet This is going to be a hit in Europe for sure, but low run for the first year, then ramping up based on the market. Say 10k us sales, plus another 10 k worldwide by its second year. That leaves the volt in the drivers seat for now.

    But Nothing says success like imitation!


  5. 5
    Dave G

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (7:14 am)

    James McQuaid: Anyone have any guesses on price?

    With the range extender, it will probably be around $50K in the U.S., or $42,500 after the tax credit.

    James McQuaid: Anyone have any guesses on price? Given that the price will top that of the Volt, any guesses on U.S. monthly sales totals?

    I believe most potential BMW customers in the U.S. are looking for a status symbol. From the pictures, I doubt the i3 will work well as status symbol here.


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    Darius

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (7:17 am)

    Congrats to all fallow purists! This could be first pure EREV on the market. Too little details.


  7. 7
    Dave G

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (7:45 am)

    nasaman: One obvious feature unique to BMW motorcycle engines is that they use opposed (flat) cylinders, which, like Porsche, allows a very low profile with the engine lying flat (under the floor) in the rear.

    Interesting. Thanks!

    As EREVs become more common, I think the range extenders will become very different from regular car engines. A flat 2-cylinder seems like a reasonable choice, especially if they already have it.

    A few years ago, Dean Kamen did some work with a single cylinder Sterling engine range extender. This is the guy who also invented the Segway. Here’s a picture of the range extender:
    alt_engines_01_0810-lg.jpg

    Sterling engines don’t have much low-end torque, and they take a while to change RPMs, so they’re not useful as regular car engines, but they may be perfect as EREV range extenders. The Sterling engine uses a relatively constant source of heat, so there are no explosions in the pistons. In fact, the heat source is outside the piston area (i.e. external combustion engine, or ECE). Basically, a Sterling engine will run on anything that burns, so bio-fuel options are a lot easier. Also, since there are no explosions in the cylinders, there’s much less noise and emissions, dramatically simplifying the exhaust system. Efficiency also seems to be higher.

    Has anyone else looked at the details of a Sterling range extender? I’d like to know more about this.


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    MrEnergyCzar

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (8:07 am)

    Why didn’t they just make the all electric range shorter for those getting the range extender…40 miles?

    MrEnergyCzar


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    Loboc

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (8:22 am)

    Seriously? It looks like a stretched Smart with a Bimmer hood. It will never sell in the US.


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    haroldC

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (8:34 am)

    MrEnergyCzar: Why didn’t they just make the all electric range shorter for those getting the range extender…40 miles?MrEnergyCzar

    Don’t most people want more AER range…extender or not ? Why be penalized for getting the extender?
    haroldC


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    kdawg

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (8:50 am)

    Darius: Congrats to all fallow purists! This could be first pure EREV on the market. Too little details.

    The Fisker Karma is a series EREV.

    I believe the VIA trucks are too (but not sure).


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    Dave G

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (8:50 am)

    MrEnergyCzar: Why didn’t they just make the all electric range shorter for those getting the range extender…40 miles?

    Good point.

    At the moment, the Volt seems like the only gas/electric plug-in purposely designed as such. Everything else is some type of add-on that consumes rear cargo space. I have to wonder how throwing permanent weight in the back affects ride and safety.

    Here’s a question: Does anyone know if the Ford Cmax Energi and PIP are crash-tested separately from their regular hybrid counterparts?


  13. 13
    George S. Bower

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (9:26 am)

    nasaman:

    One obvious feature unique to BMW motorcycle engines is that they use opposed (flat) cylinders, which, like Porsche, allows a very low profile with the engine lying flat (under the floor) in the rear.

    Good point Nasaman. However I don’t think they make the boxer engine in 800 cc. I think 1300cc is the smallest boxer.

    But like you say. It’s flat so it would make a nice package.


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    Dave G

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (9:28 am)

    haroldC: Don’t most people want more AER range…extender or not ? Why be penalized for getting the extender?
    haroldC

    Well, I’ll have to admit, I’d like more than 38 EPA miles of electric range, particularly in the winter.

    But there are often downsides, like less passenger space, or less cargo space, higher cost, plus lower mileage and slower acceleration due to more weight.

    As Americans, we’re generally taught that more is better, but this is often untrue. It’s usually more a case of finding the right balance.

    For EREVs, I believe the right balance is when the all-electric miles for all drivers reaches 80% of total. Currently, for all Volts, only 62% of the range is all-electric. This isn’t bad, the majority of miles are all-electric, but I feel it’s a bit off the mark. Some have suggested that this will increase over time, as more people install fast chargers, or charge away from home. I suspect the 62% figure will rise a little over time, but won’t get up to 80% without more range.

    If the Volt had 60 EPA miles of electric range, I suspect that would be over-kill (i.e. more than 80% all-electric). Perhaps 50 miles would be a better number, but that may be a little off.

    One thing seems certain, with today’s battery technology, an EREV with 100 miles of electric range is over-kill.


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    Dave G

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (9:39 am)

    Darius: Congrats to all fellow purists! This could be first pure EREV on the market.

    I’m not a purist. I don’t really care if the engine is connected to the wheels or not.

    It’s the all-electric range that counts. And when I say all-electric, I mean up to 100 miles per hour. Or more importantly, if you’re going 65 MPH and go to pass someone, the Volt has the all-electric power to pass with ease. That’s what most people notice.


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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (9:43 am)

    Dave G,

    l think you are right on. 50 mile AER would be perfect for a majority of owners effectively doubling the mpg on any 100 mile trip easily….and most of all…Range anxiety…..
    Should be interesting to get the #’s on the BMW with that small range extender….
    haroldC


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    kdawg

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (9:44 am)

    Put some Harley pipes on this, and I think we’ve solved the blind person EV problem.

    Seriously, I like the idea of a more *engineered* range extender (even though this is an off the shelf engine), but the car should have the same performance in RE mode as in EV mode. If not, it better have a much longer AER. I’m trying to understand the philosophy here by BMW. You either make a long range EV, or a daily-range EV with a range extender. They have something that’s in between. Is the idea of the range extender, just a limp-home mode device? If so, why make the car go another 160 miles in RE mode? Just put a 1 gallon tank in there. How will BMW solve the stale gas issue (probably the same way GM does.)? Being it has a 90 mile AER, the engine will be used less.

    Until I know the performance in RE mode, it’s hard to say if I like this car or not.


  18. 18
    George S. Bower

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (10:16 am)

    kdawg:

    just a limp-home mode device?

    Until I know the performance in RE mode, it’s hard to say if I like this car or not.

    Agreed on that.
    Where will they put the water to air heat exchanger (radiator)?
    Will they use the waste heat for cabin heat?
    Will they have “hold” mode so in the winter you can use the RE for cabin heat at the onset of the trip!.

    It’s almost a domino effect.

    What you can say is should be a whole lot easier from a controls engineering POV. The Volt’s programming is so complex I sometimes wonder how GM gets the car to work so well.

    How many lines of code?


  19. 19
    stuart22

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (10:38 am)

    It’s not the seamless LA to SF long range kind of EREV, instead it’s a contemporary EV with a gasoline fueled bailout mode. The upside is its EV range, the downside is its compromised performance in extended range mode. I would think consumers would expect full performance in a luxury branded EREV – it will be interesting to see how the market responds.


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    MotoECO

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (10:41 am)

    I think GM will be in a better position with Volt 2.0. THe company will be better positioned to optimize the technology from a cost perspective. Remember the Volt was brought to market during the worst time in GMs history. That was an achievement.

    I currently own the F800 motorcycle and Active Hybrid 3 from BMW. Each are very impressive for what they were designed to do. The 800cc engine is a lean burn design that has very good torque for its size. I average 62 MPG on the highway. The engine is reliable and tough.

    The 2013 BMW Active Hybrid 3 is a very unique product. In city driving the CO2 levels are very low. The battery size was optimized not for distance but to capture and reuse regeneration often. I average 34 MPG city and under 40 MPH will stay in EDrive for 2-4 miles. On the highway on descents the engine will shut down and decouple the transmission for better fuel economy (ECO Pro Mode). On the performance side, E-Boost mode provides an additional 50 HP when heavy acceleration is desired. It’s a very powerful combination. The battery is designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle.

    As many of you know, BMW is not positioning these vehicles as cost-saving offerings. The products target customers who are not price sensitive and not looking for a cost payback over the life of the vehicle. However, they do offer a well made and thoroughly designed product.

    BMW as a company is very good at applying their R&D development across many BMW family product vehicles. I admire their BMW Efficiency strategy and believe it allows the company to remain competitive against larger competitors (VW, Mercedes).

    For more Active Hybrid 3 Information
    http://www.f30post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=788177


  21. 21
    DonC

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (10:51 am)

    The great thing about a range extender is that it allows you to get more electric miles. Most people aren’t willing to drive into the garage at night just as the battery goes flat. They want a buffer of fifteen or more miles. That’s understandable but it means that they’re leaving 15 electric miles on the table. With a range extender you can afford to “go for it”. The worst that happens is the engine kicks on and you use a little gas. Big deal. FWIW I have a good friend who had a Leaf before getting a Volt and the ability to drive the entire electric range is what stood out for him.

    In a related vein, for a driver with an average driving pattern a Volt with 40 miles of electric range will put on more electric miles over the course of a year than a Leaf with 73 miles of electric range. Why? Because there aren’t very many days when drivers go over forty miles and under 75 miles. Most days the driving is under 40. On days they drive more than 40 they usually drive more than a hundred. With an EREV you can drive electrically for 40 miles on all the days you’re driving over 100 miles. This doesn’t do anything for your MPG ranking on voltstats but it adds 40 electric miles to the number of electric miles you’ve driven. Over the course of a year these miles add up to far more miles than the additional electric miles you’d get driving a Leaf on days when you’re going 40 miles but less than a hundred.

    Bottom line is that EREVs give you more electric miles than pure BEVs. Counter intuitive but true.


  22. 22
    Kent

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (10:53 am)

    1) Cute car.
    2) I’m more interested in the car in the background.
    3) As a former BMW car owner and current BMW motorcycle owner, I’ll never buy a BMW again.


  23. 23
    DonC

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (11:02 am)

    MotoECO: As many of you know, BMW is not positioning these vehicles as cost-saving offerings. The products target customers who are not price sensitive and not looking for a cost payback over the life of the vehicle. However, they do offer a well made and thoroughly designed product.

    I don’t think GM did anything different with the Volt. It’s just easier to avoid payback questions when you’re selling a BMW as opposed to a Chevy. That is the one major reason that many questioned why the Volt carried the Chevy moniker. In this regard, the i3 will have to compete with the ELR as well as the Volt. Depending on the pricing of the i3 and the ELR, that might be challenging.


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    MotoECO

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (11:02 am)

    Kent,
    Sad to hear you have had a bad experience with BMW. All my BMW products have been reliable (during and post warranty) and when a problem occurred were resolved to my satisfaction.

    What problems did you experience?


  25. 25
    kdawg

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (11:05 am)

    Kent: 1) Cute car.

    Speaking of *cute* cars. Honda showed their EV-Ster again at the Detroit Auto Show.
    (this thing is TINY)

    HondaEVster_zps31180ac4.jpeg


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    MotoECO

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (11:06 am)

    The only plus on BMWs side is that they sell globally and have the infrastructure in place. In many parts of Europe, vehicles are taxed based on their engine size and CO2 emissions. Therefore, there is a little bit more incentive to pay for a zero/low CO2 vehicle.

    DonC: I don’t think GM did anything different with the Volt. It’s just easier to avoid payback questions when you’re selling a BMW as opposed to a Chevy. That is the one major reason that many questioned why the Volt carried the Chevy moniker. In this regard, the i3 will have to compete with the ELR as well as the Volt. Depending on the pricing of the i3 and the ELR, that might be challenging.


  27. 27
    Kent

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (11:25 am)

    MotoECO:
    Kent,
    Sad to hear you have had a bad experience with BMW. All my BMW products have been reliable (during and post warranty) and when a problem occurred were resolved to my satisfaction.

    What problems did you experience?

    Allow me to clarify….I think BMW products, cars and motorcycles, are great when they’re running right. However, if you keep your vehicles long-term like I do (usually around 10 years), the cost of any maintenance for BMWs are outrageous. I still own my 2004 R1150R which has about 106,000 miles on it from commuting. In the past two weeks, I have spent about $2,300 in maintenance on a bike that’s worth about $3,500 – $4,000. A rear shock was leaking and had to be replaced. The cost of one shock, part only, was $900. This is just one example….unfortunately I have many others. FWIW, the bike is running really great right now. I’m just dreading the next thing that will go bad.

    In the early 2000′s, many police departments in CA and the CHP switched to BMW motorcycles. Once their contracts were up, they all started switching back to Hondas or Kawasakis. Main reason? The cost of maintenance.


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    Steve

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (11:31 am)

    nasaman:
    From the lead article: “The actual engine used was not stated, but it could be the 800cc parallel twin such as in BMW’s F800R.”

    One obvious feature unique to BMW motorcycle engines is that they use opposed (flat) cylinders, which, like Porsche, allows a very low profile with the engine lying flat (under the floor) in the rear.

    PS Dave G post #1: I couldn’t agree more, except to add thatI think it’s exceedingly dangerous to NOT have a way to avoid being stranded, such as on a freeway median or shoulder, where you and your passengers could be killed by one of today’s numerous inattentive drivers!

    Looks like the F800R engine ISN’T a horizontal opposed engine though. Follow the link it looks like two inline cylinders.


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    BLIND GUY

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (11:32 am)

    I’m no engineer but I hope BMW will include: Hold mode to utilize engine heat for extreme cold or when you want to preserve EV range for whatever reason, a Mountain mode for obvious reasons, a Sport mode to use the combination of battery & generated electricity at the same time just because some people want “more power” and of course a Utility mode for electricity when you need it. Along with using some battery buffer, I don’t see why a serial hybrid can’t be as versatile with a slight efficiency lose JMO.


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    fotomoto

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (11:58 am)

    One obvious feature unique to BMW motorcycle engines is that they use opposed (flat) cylinders, which, like Porsche, allows a very low profile with the engine lying flat (under the floor) in the rear.

    This is incorrect on two counts:

    1) Honda has been making opposed flat four and six cylinder engines continuously since 1975. The model is called the Gold Wing.

    2) BMW also makes vertical single, parallel twin, and inline four cylinder motors. The air-cooled flat four has several design limitations that make it not suitable for other models/design missions.


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    pjkPA

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (11:59 am)

    Good to see range extenders as a topic…
    I think the range extenders should run on LPN or Hydrogen.
    Would like to see a small fuel cell… get rid of the ICE.
    I’ve driven about 800 miles and used less than 4 gallons of gas in the dead of winter here in PA.


  32. 32
    nasaman

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (12:00 pm)

    Dave G: I’d like more than 38 EPA miles of electric range, particularly in the winter… …But there are often downsides, like less passenger space, or less cargo space, higher cost, plus lower mileage and slower acceleration due to more weight… …If the Volt had 60 EPA miles of electric range, I suspect that would be over-kill (i.e. more than 80% all-electric). Perhaps 50 miles would be a better number, but that may be a little off…

    DonC: Bottom line is that EREVs give you more electric miles than pure BEVs. Counter intuitive but true.

    The above are both very insightful observations that prompt me to once again raise an oft-expressed point that I believe EREV designers will, perhaps MUST, inevitably embrace…

    …that the marketability of EREV vehicles could be improved significantly by allowing customers to choose between 2 or 3 AER ranges (battery sizes) as a tradeoff primarily against cost. For example, now that I’m retired, I very rarely drive over 20 miles RT; whereas prior to retiring, trips of >50 mi RT were commonplace. And I suspect large fractions of the other millions of baby boomers already in retirement (or approaching it) would experience similar driving range reductions. (Of course, many of us often travel by plane, cruise ship, river boat, etc more than by car following retirement. :) )


  33. 33
    Noel Park

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (12:01 pm)

    James McQuaid: Given that the price will top that of the Volt, any guesses on U.S. monthly sales totals?

    #2

    Small, LOL. +1


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    Noel Park

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (12:04 pm)

    George S. Bower: However I don’t think they make the boxer engine in 800 cc. I think 1300cc is the smallest boxer.

    #13

    It does say “parallel twin” which means side by side upright cylinders in motorcycle parlance.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (12:10 pm)

    MotoECO: For more Active Hybrid 3 Information

    #20

    Thanks just the same.


  36. 36
    Noel Park

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (12:12 pm)

    Kent: As a former BMW car owner and current BMW motorcycle owner, I’ll never buy a BMW again.

    #22

    Heck, I can top that. I’ve never owned either one and never will, LOL. +1

    Although a 60s vintage R69s would be pretty tempting.


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    jeffhre

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (12:42 pm)

    pjkPA:
    Good to see range extenders as a topic… I think the range extenders should run on LPN or Hydrogen.Would like to see a small fuel cell… get rid of the ICE.
    I’ve driven about 800 miles and used less than 4 gallons of gas in the dead of winter here in PA.

    You would pay the expense of a fuel cell just to displace 4 gallons of gas in your 800 miles of driving? Now would be a good time to ask DaveG about alternatives like bio diesel also.


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    Kent

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (12:48 pm)

    Noel Park: #22

    Heck, I can top that.I’ve never owned either one and never will, LOL.+1

    Although a 60s vintage R69s would be pretty tempting.

    You’re a smarter man than I!


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (1:38 pm)

    Kent: Allow me to clarify….I think BMW products, cars and motorcycles, are great when they’re running right.However, if you keep your vehicles long-term like I do (usually around 10 years), the cost of any maintenance for BMWs are outrageous.I still own my 2004 R1150R which has about 106,000 miles on it from commuting.In the past two weeks, I have spent about $2,300 in maintenance on a bike that’s worth about $3,500 – $4,000.A rear shock was leaking and had to be replaced.The cost of one shock, part only, was $900.This is just one example….unfortunately I have many others.FWIW, the bike is running really great right now.I’m just dreading the next thing that will go bad.

    In the early 2000′s, many police departments in CA and the CHP switched to BMW motorcycles.Once their contracts were up, they all started switching back to Hondas or Kawasakis.Main reason?The cost of maintenance.

    Totally agree.
    I had a BMW K1200S. A very nice Moto. Extremely fast. Quality high tech machine. But the maintenance was a killer. Plus it was a PITA to change the oil.

    Went to fjr1300 Yami. Great bike. Not as fast (which is good). Simple to change the oil. Always had good luck w/ Yamaha’s.


  40. 40
    George S. Bower

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (1:42 pm)

    fotomoto: This is incorrect on two counts:

    2)The air-cooled flat four

    It’s a flat 2 cylinder yes?


  41. 41
    Texas

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (3:15 pm)

    I actually like the idea of the pure serial limp-home range extender with the option to select the battery size you require for your personal situation. That would keep the price of the battery down to a minimum because the range extender fills in for any issues that come up.

    The limp-home RE should come in at least two types:

    1) Just get me home using the side roads at a maximum of 45 mph
    2) Just get me home using the highway at 65 mph at a comfortable rev range.

    It would be interesting to know the top speed of this car on flat roads at a comfortable (not red-lined and about to explode) rev range.


  42. 42
    stuart22

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (3:42 pm)

    Now that an extended range EV is coming from a manufacturer respected by most if not all of the GM haters, I predict there will be less snobbery coming from the hard core EV crowd on the subject of EREVs. So far, I can’t recall seeing any reference to the i3 as a plug-in hybrid. At the least, I think the hatred for GM’s defection to the Dark Side with the gasoline-reliant EREV concept will still be there, but go underground.


  43. 43
    Nelson

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (3:58 pm)

    So I’m driving the i3 and running low on battery charge. Will REX turn on by itself like the ice in the Volt? If I pull over and turn on REX (manually) how long (time) before the battery is charged back up to 90 miles? Does the REX run at varying RPM’s? Too many questions to nay or yay the i3.

    Back in the pre-production days of the Volt, I suggested a dual battery configuration with a small range extender. Use two separate 20 kWh battery packs. Start with both fully charged and cycle usage between the two. When pack A depletes down to a certain percent switch propulsion to pack B while pack A goes into charging mode using range extender and brake regen. When pack B depletes to the set percent, switch propulsion back to pack A while pack B goes into charging mode. The cars performance while one pack is being recharged should be the same. If you know you’re near where you’re going to plug-in turn off REX. Of course you don’t really need two packs just segment the cells in one battery pack for this type of functionality.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671


  44. 44
    dpeilow

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (5:45 pm)

    #8 BMW will cover 90% of daily driving needs with the AER of the i3, but it still has the insurance policy of the RE. See http://www.solarjourneyusa.com/Pictures/daily%20distance%20car%20distribution_cumulative.jpg

    #17 and #43 Who says this won’t have the same performance in RE mode? The F800R engine is 86bhp like the Volt, and that is more than enough to handle 80 mph cruising. For other situations such as acceleration, you have the battery buffer to supply the 170bhp electric motor this car is reputed to have.

    #42 Don’t count on it. Check the thread on EREVs and also on the i3 at Tesla Motors Club to see the haters kick off again.

    #22 – A well known EV/EREV troll? A bike rider called Kent seems a bit too much to be coincidental. http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/672-Ken-Kent-Kerry-Beauchrt-Beuchert-Beuchrt-Biker-Rider-Krider


  45. 45
    Raymondjram

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (5:46 pm)

    Darius:
    Congrats to all fallow purists! This could be first pure EREV on the market. Too little details.

    You are being sarcastic, right?
    We all know that the volt was the first and the Karma the second. BMW is a late copycat!

    Raymond


  46. 46
    Raymondjram

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (5:50 pm)

    kdawg: Speaking of *cute* cars.Honda showed their EV-Ster again at the Detroit Auto Show.
    (this thing is TINY)

    It seems so small and low height that if a eighteen-wheeler hits it, it will miss as this small car can duck and pass below the eighteen-wheeler…

    Raymond


  47. 47
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (6:01 pm)

    jeffhre: You would pay the expense of a fuel cell just to displace 4 gallons of gas in your 800 miles of driving? Now would be a good time to ask DaveG about alternatives like bio diesel also.

    OK, since you asked…

    pjkPA: I think the range extenders should run on LPN or Hydrogen.

    Hydrogen is a total waste of time. The big oil companies love hydrogen, because they know it will never work out, and the promise of hydrogen tends to delay more viable alternatives.

    Here are the facts about hydrogen:

    - Pure hydrogen does not occur in nature, so you have to make it from something else.

    - Making hydrogen from something else requires energy.

    - If you make hydrogen from water, it takes 2-3 times more energy to make than you get from using the hydrogen, so the energy losses are huge.

    - The cheapest way to make hydrogen is from natural gas, but this is also much less efficient than just using compressed natural gas directly.

    As for compressed natural gas, I do see this being useful in the short term for 18-wheel trucks, but not so much for passenger vehicles. Our current liquid fuel filling station infrastructure is perfect for bio-fuels, and bio-fuels can easily replace the 20% of our gasoline consumption that EREVs won’t cover.

    pjkPA: Would like to see a small fuel cell… get rid of the ICE.

    Why are so many people pre-determined to get rid of the combustion engine? Is there some religious belief I’m unaware of? An EREV combustion engine range extender running on bio-fuel would give us a 100% sustainable, carbon neutral solution, all using our existing infrastructure of home electricity and liquid fuel filling stations. What’s not to like?

    As for fuel cells, they’re currently very expensive, but if they could get the costs down, an ethanol fuel cell may make sense.


  48. 48
    Kent

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (6:04 pm)

    dpeilow:

    #22 – A well known EV/EREV troll? A bike rider called Kent seems a bit too much to be coincidental. http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/672-Ken-Kent-Kerry-Beauchrt-Beuchert-Beuchrt-Biker-Rider-Krider

    I think you’re too much of a conspiracy theorist (truther perhaps?). I’m the “Kent” in #22 above and the same “Kent” that’s posted in the past about owning two Volts. It’s fair to say that I have nothing against EVs.


  49. 49
    Chris

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (6:13 pm)

    So, the real question is “How does it perform in range extending mode?” Does the ReX make this a commuter with a backup plan (i.e. ReX mode is really just designed to get you to a charger in a pinch with much reduced performance and/or range (rumored tiny gas tank) OR does it become an “all situations” car like the Volt whose performance is essentially the same in regular or extended mode?

    Both modes have their place. The “backup plan” would be perfectly fine for most folks if they had a second ICE (or Volt) for the out of town trips.


  50. 50
    fotomoto

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (6:17 pm)

    George S. Bower,

    George S. Bower: It’s a flat 2 cylinder yes?

    Yes. The traditional boxer motor is a two cylinder unless you count the number of spark plugs on the latest design (four of them) . I was typing too fast as my first reply somehow vanished.


  51. 51
    haroldC

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (7:10 pm)

    Kent,

    Why?……


  52. 52
    Kent

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (7:14 pm)

    haroldC:
    Kent,

    Why?……

    Don’t understand your question….


  53. 53
    Noel Park

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (7:24 pm)

    dpeilow: The F800R engine is 86bhp like the Volt,

    #44

    At how many revs? I have a picture of this little jewel lighting off to produce its 86 hp at 10,000 rpm or so. Volt owners grizzle about the NVH impact of the 1.4 revving up to top off the battery. I’ve got a picture of what happens when the mighty 800cc BMW starts up, LOL.


  54. 54
    Noel Park

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (7:28 pm)

    Chris: Both modes have their place. The “backup plan” would be perfectly fine for most folks if they had a second ICE (or Volt) for the out of town trips.

    #49

    If I had a 2nd car for out of town trips, and I could afford another car, I think I’d buy a Spark EV for putting around town.


  55. 55
    haroldC

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (8:07 pm)

    Kent: 1) Cute car.2) I’m more interested in the car in the background.3) As a former BMW car owner and current BMW motorcycle owner, I’ll never buy a BMW again.
    Just wondered why you would never buy a BMW again…but you have answered that question since….

    haroldC


  56. 56
    Tall Pete

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (9:44 pm)

    Kent: 3) As a former BMW car owner and current BMW motorcycle owner, I’ll never buy a BMW again.

    Why ? Can’t throw this one without explaining your POV…

    UPDATE : read the entire thread and you answered already. Thanks.


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    kdawg

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (11:00 pm)

    Raymondjram: It seems so small and low height that if a eighteen-wheeler hits it, it will miss as this small car can duck and pass below the eighteen-wheeler…

    And under toll gates :)


  58. 58
    kdawg

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (11:04 pm)

    dpeilow: #17 and #43 Who says this won’t have the same performance in RE mode? The F800R engine is 86bhp like the Volt, and that is more than enough to handle 80 mph cruising. For other situations such as acceleration, you have the battery buffer to supply the 170bhp electric motor this car is reputed to have.

    If it does work the same in RE mode, then I’d be for this vehicle. The battery is more than I need, but others may need it. However 90 miles in perfect conditions may be 45 miles in -5 degree Michigan right now. So maybe I would want the range.

    The reason I want an equally powered RE mode, is that I only own 1 car, and sometimes I have to drive 200 miles. I don’t want to drive 90 miles, then go into some limp mode for the rest of my trip.


  59. 59
    Charlie H

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (11:07 pm)

    Noel Park: #49If I had a 2nd car for out of town trips, and I could afford another car, I think I’d buy a Spark EV for putting around town.

    Wouldn’t that be “whirring around town?”


  60. 60
    Victor C

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    Jan 23rd, 2013 (11:46 pm)

    In addition to my 2012 Volt, I am the owner of an ultra-reliable 1978 BMW R80/7 800cc Flat twin/Boxer motorcycle and a 1999 R 1100S 1100cc Flat twin/Boxer motorcycle. In my many years of ownership of BMW motorcycles, I have had minimal maintenance or serviced issues with either bike excepting a fuel pump replacement for the R1100S.

    The R80 has been ridden on multiple long distance tours including several transcontinental round trips in my decades long ownership requiring only routine, but obsessively kept, maintenance. It is
    a much simpler machine than the R1100S which has fuel injection, ABS, etc. , and the relative simplicity has been a relative blessing over the years.

    When the winter weather is gone, I wouldn’t hesitate in riding the R80 to the west coast and back with no worries. That is my BMW experience.

    Maintence costs have been reasonable for both bikes since I have done most of the work myself over my many years of ownership.

    Regarding the BMW I3, an interesting serial hybrid, but for me my Volt seems to be the better vehicle for my needs.


  61. 61
    Koz

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    Jan 24th, 2013 (4:43 am)

    Dave G: Well, I’ll have to admit, I’d like more than 38 EPA miles of electric range, particularly in the winter.

    But there are often downsides, like less passenger space, or less cargo space, higher cost, plus lower mileage and slower acceleration due to more weight.

    As Americans, we’re generally taught that more is better, but this is often untrue.It’s usually more a case of finding the right balance.

    For EREVs, I believe the right balance is when the all-electric miles for all drivers reaches 80% of total.Currently, for all Volts, only 62% of the range is all-electric.This isn’t bad, the majority of miles are all-electric, but I feel it’s a bit off the mark.Some have suggested that this will increase over time, as more people install fast chargers, or charge away from home.I suspect the 62% figure will rise a little over time, but won’t get up to 80% without more range.

    If the Volt had 60 EPA miles of electric range, I suspect that would be over-kill (i.e. more than 80% all-electric).Perhaps 50 miles would be a better number, but that may be a little off.

    One thing seems certain, with today’s battery technology, an EREV with 100 miles of electric range is over-kill.

    There is no underkill or overkill or single perfect range. The best they can do is balance cost and benefit. For only one range option, I think the Volt’s range is pretty optimal for an EREV. The best way to improve while still optimizing value for the customer is to add range options. Some may be best served with 25 miles, while others may be 55 miles.


  62. 62
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 24th, 2013 (6:44 am)

    Koz: The best way to improve while still optimizing value for the customer is to add range options. Some may be best served with 25 miles, while others may be 55 miles.

    I’m not sure how this would work.

    Batteries are heavy. If you design the car to be capable of 55 mile electric range, then de-stuff the battery for lower range options, this could affect handling and crash safety.

    Also, if you only have 25 miles of range, then power may also be reduced. Smaller batteries have less energy (kWh) and less peak power (kW). It may be that a 25 mile range is more suited to a plug-in hybrid, like the Cmax Energi. In other words, in order to go 100 MPH all-electric, or have have plenty of all-electric passing power at 65 MPH, you may need more than 25 miles of range. For example, note how the Tesla Model S range options correlate to peak horsepower.
    http://www.teslamotors.com/models/options

    As more EREVs and plug-in hybrids come to market, I’m sure some will have different electric range. In other words, instead of range options on one vehicle, you may have to select between different models to get your desired range.


  63. 63
    juk

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    Jan 26th, 2013 (1:37 am)

    I know that currently it is but it doesn’t have to be a case of EV or ER. If you have a car with 60 mile range from 16kWh battery, then if you travel at 60mph, and you have the generator on for the entire time at 16kW then you have an infinite range. You don’t need to have a 60kW generator, you just need to turn it on sooner and have your generator match your average consumption. However you’d only need to turn it on if you know you’re going to exceed your EV range. This will be the direction that ER-EVs will tend towards, and i think that’s what BMW are going to do here.

    So i’d expect to see a bunch of tiny generators that average about 20kW with peak of about 30kW. Gensets could be initiated manually or linked into the satnav systems to account for mountains and distance.


  64. 64
    Dave G

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    Jan 26th, 2013 (10:45 am)

    juk: So i’d expect to see a bunch of tiny generators that average about 20kW with peak of about 30kW.

    I’m not sure the exact numbers, but yes, I think a less powerful range extender probably makes more sense.

    If I know I’m going beyond the all-electric range, I can use Hold Mode to make sure the battery has plenty of power for the trip. So unless I’m driving 100 miles per hour constantly, a less powerful range extender should work very well.

    If I expect the trip to be all-electric, but my plans change, I may lose some power, but I’m not stranded. In fact, I would probably use something like Mountain Mode here, which tells the range extender to keep the battery level higher, so any loss in power would probably last only a short while.

    juk: Gensets could be initiated manually or linked into the satnav systems to account for mountains and distance.

    I like a separate GPS navigation system, for many reasons:
    - They’re 1/10 the price.
    - They’re easier to use.
    - It’s really nice to adjust music or temperature and still see the full map on a separate LCD.
    - You can set your destination while you drive.

    Perhaps the best solution would be a simple dial to tell the car how many more miles you expect to drive before the next charge. This way, the software can figure out how best to use the battery with a smaller range extender. The default would say something like “short trip”, which is like the Volt’s current Normal Mode. If you’re driving and get a call that changes your plans, you can adjust the dial as you’re driving.