We already know the base price of the 2015 BMW i3 electric vehicle, and now we know the cost of the i3’s optional range extender engine. Meant to provide an uptick over the electric-only i3’s range of approximately 80-100 miles, the gasoline engine will cost $3850 extra, for a total price of $46,125 with destination.
The gasoline engine itself is a 650cc two-cylinder engine producing 34 horsepower. This engine does not power the wheels, but instead acts as a generator to charge the battery pack, which in turn powers the 170 hp electric motor. Interestingly, both the electric motor and the gasoline range extender are mounted in the rear of the i3, as the car is rear-wheel-drive in both electric-only and range extender configurations. The range extender model is approximately 330 lbs heavier than the electric-only version.
A 2.4-gallon fuel tank accompanies the optional range extender engine. Although BMW claims the extender roughly doubles the range of the i3, which would put its total range at about 200 miles, we don’t yet know what fuel economy the i3 will get when the gasoline engine is running, nor the official EPA ratings for mpg-e and estimated range. The i3’s battery can be recharged within three hours with a 220-volt charging port.
When the 2015 BMW i3 goes on sale in the U.S. during the second quarter of next year, it will come in three trim levels, which BMW calls “worlds”: Mega, Giga, and Tera.