Think of the BMW i3's gas-powered range-extender as akin to driving around with a middle linebacker in the back seat. Except that football player will have a hard time pushing the car 60 miles or so once the battery runs out. Thankfully, he won't prevent you from getting a nifty tax credit either, according to BMWBlog, which isn't affiliated with the company.
Here in the US, where the i3 will be available in short order, BMW will offer an optional i3 plug-in vehicle with a range extender that will have a 1.9-gallon capacity gas tank. That sounds a good deal smaller than the 2.4-gallon tank used in Europe, but the two are actually the same, the US tank is simply limited to the smaller size, Dave Buchko, from BMW's product and technology communications department, told AutoblogGreen. The complete range extender system – including the tank, the engine, and all related hardware – adds about 265 pounds to the 2,634-pound curb weight of the i3 EV and the extra weight in turn adds about a second to the EV's 0-to-60 time of seven seconds flat. Adding the range-extender won't make the US government take any longer to dole out a $7,500 tax credit for the i3, though. We also learned that the i3's front storage compartment is not watertight since it is only meant to hold the mobility kit and the 110-volt charging cord.
The i3's front storage compartment is not watertight.
BMW recently increased its production of the i3 at its German factory from around 70 units a day to about 100 due to better-than-expected demand. Check out our First Drive impressions of the model here.