The first BMW i3 EVs have been delivered in the US, but in a quirk of the rules, none of them have been the range-extended versions. Long-time BMW electric vehicle driver Tom Moloughney discovered this fact the hard way. His i3 REx has been sitting at a New Jersey port for over a week and he's getting impatient.
So, instead of sitting there fuming, Moloughney did a bit of research and discovered that the problem is something he calls a "Monroney Hold." He says that "the EPA certification has not been completed so BMW doesn't have a Monroney label (window sticker) to post in the window before the car leaves the port, which is required by law. The range extender option changes (shortens) the car's electric range, and also requires an official MPG rating so BMW couldn't use the same Monroney label as they did for the all electric i3." You can read more on his website, but it turns out that the story isn't so simple.
The problem is something Moloughney calls a "Monroney Hold."
For one thing, the EPA testing has been finished. Washington State representative Chad Magendaz told Moloughney that he asked the EPA for an official statement and got the following from Linc Wehrly, Director of the Light-Duty Vehicle Center Compliance Division: "EPA tested the i3 REx and provided the results of that testing to BMW on May 13th. EPA is not aware of anything that would prevent BMW from importing the vehicles since May 13th."
Then there's the official word from BMW. Spokesman Dave Buchko told AutoblogGreen that:
On a lighter note, BMW donated a loaded i3 to Brad Pitt's Make It Right charity foundation as a fundraiser. Read about that below.
We are moving as quickly as possible to release the first BMW i3 Range-Extender models to BMW i Centers. Receipt of test data from the EPA is one step, but not the final step, in the process of receiving certification from the EPA. Rules do not permit the release of vehicles for sale until EPA labels are finalized, produced and affixed to any vehicle. Barring any unforeseen delays, we expect that to happen by the end of this week.
We have never certified a vehicle like this before. We are taking every precaution to make sure that everything is done in a timely, but more importantly correct manner. In that Monroney labels cannot be produced until the EPA certification process is complete, the characterization [of a "Monroney Hold"] is not technically incorrect, but there is more to it than that, as is often true in life.
New Orleans, LA – May 20, 2014... An all-electric, zero emission BMW i3 was donated to Make It Right, the charity that builds green homes, buildings and communities for people in need, for the raffle at its 2014 Gala on Saturday, May 17. Make It Right founder Brad Pitt and presenter Sandra Bullock led the pledges and announced the recipient of a new BMW i3, worth $55,000.
Currently available in the U.S., every element of the BMW i3 promotes sustainability. The BMW i3 is created using solar and wind power. It is the first mass-produced vehicle made primarily of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, resulting in an electric car that is strong and lightweight. The interior is made with high quality renewable materials like recycled plastics, responsibly forested eucalyptus wood, plant fibers and olive leaf extract. The BMW i3 was recently named the World Green Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year.
Make It Right has built 100 environmentally friendly homes, designed by some of the world's top architects, in the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans since it was founded in 2007. The funds raised from Saturday's gala will be used to build more Make It Right homes in New Orleans, Kansas City, Newark and the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana.
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 339 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 119 MINI passenger car dealers, and 35 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.