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What Is The BMW i3 Range Extender?

Brent Dunn
by Brent Dunn
April 21, 2014

The BMW i3 an electric vehicle with a 22 kWh (18.8 kWh usable) battery that gives it a range of 80-100 miles. ECO PRO mode can increase the range by 12% by adapting the accelerator pedal response while ECO PRO+ mode can increase the range by up to 24% by reducing the maximum speed to 55 miles per hour and setting the heating and air conditioning to their most efficient energy-saving modes. With a weight of only 2799 lbs and a 170 horsepower electric motor with 184 lb-ft of torque it can accelerate to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, from 50-75 mph in 4.9 seconds, and has a top speed of 93 mph.

The Range Extender is a small 2 cylinder 0.647 liter (39.5 cubic inch) inline 4-valve per cylinder gasoline engine that produces 34 horsepower and 40 lb-ft of torque, both at 4300 rpm. The gasoline engine is only used to charge the batteries, and is not connected to the wheels. With the Range Extender you can travel 160 to 180 miles. Like the all electric version, ECO PRO increases the range by 12%, and ECO PRO+ increases it by 24%.

BMW i3s equipped with the Range Extender add an extra 265 lbs to the car’s weight, bringing it to 3064 lbs. While the top speed remains the same, the extra weight lowers performance slightly. The run from 0 to 60 mph takes 7.9 seconds (0.7 seconds slower than the all-electric version), 50-75 mph takes 5.5 seconds (0.6 seconds slower).


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