• Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW



We will weep for the BMW i3 REx owner with ticket #40,001 for California's green HOV stickers. While the standard-issue battery-electric i3 has been deemed eligible for the state's white stickers, which allow for owners to drive in HOV lanes solo, the proverbial jury of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is still out on the BMW i3 REx, which will have a little-bitty range-extender on board, Transport Evolved says.

The issue is that, while there is an unlimited number of white stickers for pure EVs such as the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S, the state has limited the number of green stickers, which grant solo-HOV access to plug-in hybrids and extended-range plug-ins, to 40,000. And with almost 29,000 green stickers given out as of the end of last year to cars such as the Chevrolet Volt and the Toyota Prius Plug In, they may run out within two months. The other key point is that the waiting list for the i3 with a range extender is running at about six months as of January, that could cause a bit of hand-wringing among folks looking to buy the REx.

BMW said earlier this year that the extended-range version of the i3 would qualify for white stickers because the car is a so-called BEVx, meaning that its range-extender's full-tank range is less than the electric motor's single-charge range. BMW designed the i3 with a small range-extender tank of just 2.4 gallons, but the automaker estimated that California's green stickers wouldn't run out until the end of 2014.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      blixen
      • 1 Year Ago
      BMW never said the i3 REx would qualify for a white sticker, the story above has it wrong. Even the link it points to states that BMW say's the i3REx will qualify for the green sticker.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is a real shame that government policy is so strongly affecting what comes on the market these days. We should already have a range extender setup available. Most companies are just gaming the system right now and not focusing on what can be done. Electric drive systems are the future of transportation - whether they be fueled by battery or fuel cell. A smart automobile company will get ahead of the curve in order to ensure technological supremacy early in the game. I mean, Toyota's Prius was a slow seller and a huge money sink in the late 1990's-early 2000's, but now it's a top selling model of compact car, and the car is still the gold standard in hybrids.
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Without the government policy that produces the rebates (subsidies) and requires makers to make EVs, you wouldn't see any of these cars. So as an EV fan, I can hardly see how you have reason to dislike government intervention. There are range extender setups already. The Volt has been on the market for years.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          There's a group here on ABG that strongly believes that the government policies support FCVs over BEVs, hence the angst.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          Federal government used to favor Hydrogen... but not anymore (see Chu). CARB, one of the California regulatory agencies, does clearly admit they favor Hydrogen over BEVs, ... and are actively giving Fuel Cells more ZEV credits than a BEV... by stipulating that extra credits will be given if vehicle can refuel to 90% in under 15 minutes (just below any possible fast charger). Telsa was able to fly in under the radar, by making Model S battery packs "swappable" in under 2 minutes. Now they are fighting to rewrite to explicitly deny battery EVs.
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      What is stopping somebody from buying a BMW i3 pure EV, get the white sticker, and then the next day, having the range extender engine retrofit? I'd bet that it's more or less a plug and play unit.
        blixen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BipDBo
        The range extender isn't plug and play, and cannot be added to the car after it's left the factory
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BipDBo
        Why dance around this? Wouldn't it just be easier to lie about your VIN or make a fake white sticker? Making a conversion of that sort would make your car no longer legally eligible. So if you're gonna cheat, just cheat. Also, it's definitely not completely plug and play as the RE models have a hole and door in the front fender that the EV ones don't.
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good news for Tesla. Btw the stock is now at 257!
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can say this nearly for sure, none without metallic paint jobs will get them. Besides the "launch edition" package, BMW also pushed people who didn't order a metallic paint job back to July delivery. So that seems to means if you want the grey or white you can't get a green sticker.
      JakeY
      • 1 Year Ago
      "BMW said earlier this year that the extended-range version of the i3 would qualify for white stickers because the car is a so-called BEVx" Actually if you read the article you wrote that's not what it says: "Jacob Harb, head of electric vehicle operations and strategy for BMW, told AutoblogGreen that it's not all that complicated. The pure electric version of the i3 will get the white sticker, the REx version will get the green sticker." So BMW never said the i3 REx would qualify for the white sticker, it was always green sticker only!
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JakeY
        Yeah, I'm starting to believe BMW never thought it would get a white sticker too. They just care about the BEV credits, which it qualifies for. I wonder if BMW thought it would miss green sticker eligibility though or if they thought they'd get under the wire.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JakeY
        They did try to get the Rex to qualify for the white sticker. But apparently, it did not work. It would be interesting to know the back-story of what happened. A white sticker would have been very useful. But without it, it is just $4K weak-powered range extender with a tiny gas tank. I'd rather get the car with $4K more of batteries packed in there.
      • 1 Year Ago
      There was a chance for the REx under a program allowing dealers to apply for HOV stickers as soon as they had the VIN. But after 40% of the 6300 remaining green stickers evaporated in the first 12 days of March, the DMV suspended the program to give the last 3000-odd to new owners whose dealers didn't offer this advantage.
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