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Getting an i3 or other plugin cars just for carpool?

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by bkenchan, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. bkenchan

    bkenchan Member

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    I think California did the right thing. The i3 with the range extender is just another Volt.

    Do you guys really think the majority of the people buy these cars just to get into the carpool lane?

     
  2. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    I can attest to this anecdotally. A few of my friends, neighbors and co-workers have leased Leafs/Volts/Plugin-Priuses etc. just for the carpool lane access and also for the ability to plugin at work. They couldn't care less about the green cred.
     
  3. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    I have seen GM and Toyota ads that tout carpool access as the primary benefit. A few years ago when they stopped giving carpool stickers to the Prius, a used Prius with a sticker sold for about $4k more than one without - it really is important to people. In fact, I think (though i am guessing) that's why Toyota made the plug-in Prius - to go after those buyers.
     
  4. bkenchan

    bkenchan Member

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    I haven't got my carpool sticker yet. I plan to get it but not in a hurry. I mainly bought an EV because the fact that I don't have to go fill at the gas station. I hate the gas station. I wonder why some of you guys got your EV? Most of you got it for the carpool sticker just like many others?
     
  5. sranger

    sranger Member

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    Wow,

    California just bitch slapped BMW on this one. They will most likely run through the 40,000 green stickers before the i3 is even widely available in the US.

    BMW also will not let you engage the REx above 5% state of Charge in the US just to comply with this law. This makes the REx far less useful in the US than it would be in the rest of the world where you can manually engage it below 80% SOC. This prevents the i3 from going into a power limited mode in certain situations.... I wonder if BMW will re-think this software limitation due to this on US models???
     
  6. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

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    My pet theory is that BMW tried to renegotiate the REx engaging only below 5% SOC because they realized it made for a really poor experience (e.g. First Review In: 2014 BMW i3 Range Extender Performance Limited). I'm willing to wager a frunk net that the i3 that actually goes on sale in California will not have this 5% restriction. They may even retrofit a larger fuel tank if they were smart enough to leave a little extra space when they designed the car.

    - - - Updated - - -

    If you have to commute in the SF bay area then carpool stickers can be worth far more than their weight in gold (literally). Carpool access was one of the most important requirements when we were looking for a new car. We started by looking at a Chevy Volt and worked our way up to an 85 kWh Model S :) It saves her at least half an hour on her morning drive into San Francisco for court (which she does once or twice a week) and it saves me about 20 minutes on my daily commute home. On days when she needs the car in the morning we usually meet up for lunch and swap cars so I can get the Tesla for the drive home. Combined we get something like 100 hours of our lives back a year thanks to that sticker. Depending on how much you value your time, that can work out to a whole lot of value until the white carpool stickers finally expire. So yeah- it's a pretty big deal.
     
  7. Ardie

    Ardie Member

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    The BMW i3 is available as a BEV (battery-only) or as a BEV+REx (battery-powered w/ gas-powered generator to the battery).

    In my own opinion, the i3 is a pretty good little car. 80-ish miles of range, and an austerity button (They call it ECO-Pro) to eke out over 100-ish miles. Handles pretty good, too.
    Since its a battery-only car, it is still available for the California "white" carpool sticker.

    For those with range anxiety, or those with travel requirements exceeding 80-ish miles, the i3+REx is a better but pricier choice. The onboard generator with its teeny gas tank juices up the battery with about 80-90 miles of additional range (on top of the battery's original 80-ish miles).

    As a commuter car, it'd be great. With a carpool sticker, it'd sell like hotcakes.
    But with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) yanking the white carpool sticker out from under the i3+REx, its a different ballgame.

    Option A: You can get the i3 (and a white carpool sticker) but you are limited to the battery's range and at the mercy of the charging infrastructure.

    Option B: You can get the i3+REx (about $4,000 more), eliminating range issues, but you do not get the coveted white carpool sticker. You -may- be able to get a green carpool sticker, but you better not count on that.

    For those of us in Southern California, getting a carpool sticker, and/or qualifying for reduced toll rates on Hwy 91 between LA and Corona because of your car's BEV status, is a BIG plus. (It is for me.)

    I've been champin' at the bit to order an i3+REx, but now I'm not so gung-ho about paying more and getting less than what has been ballyhooed over the past two years.

    -- Ardie
    The carpool shaves 10-15 minutes off my commute now.
    I'm not happy about the idea of giving it up.
     
  8. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    I agree with the white HOV sticker value--I am in the SF Bay Area and the time savings on 680 and the Bay Bridge are substantial and the envy of those sitting stuck in dead stopped traffic.
     
  9. NickInLab

    NickInLab Member

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    Why not Option C?

    Option C: Get a i3 with a 35 kWh battery instead of a 22 kWh battery.

    At about $300 per kWh (which is what it costs Tesla, if you believe they earn a little profit on the $8k 60->85kWh upgrade) you could just about do it for the same price as the gas REx upgrade. There'd be no question about white-sticker eligibility and the range would be pretty close to what the current REx provides. That seems like a far more compelling vehicle to me: 125 to 185 mile battery-only range.
     
  10. Rifleman

    Rifleman Now owns 2 Model S's!!!

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    I completely agree. A 35 kWh i3 would be a much more compelling vehicle than the REx i3. BMW really did not think this one through.
     
  11. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    Oh, I'm sure they thought it through.

    In BMWs view, electric cars are city cars, and then for everything else, you use your second real car. That way they can sell, not just one car to you, but two cars.
     
  12. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    I'd LOVE a 35kWh i3 as well, but as noted BMW has said that they are looking for NEW customers for this car - they don't want current BMW drivers buying it instead of a gas BMW (to keep the dealers happy, because selling an EV takes 4x as long).

    Not to mention that 35kWh wouldn't give BMW any more CARB credits. 22kWh was chosen to be barely enough to give them 3 credits (100 miles of range on a city test - about 75 miles EPA). To get a fourth credit, they would need 200 city miles of range; roughly 46kWh. To my mind that's one of the biggest problems in the industry; if automakers got a fourth credit at 150 city miles and a fifth at 200, somebody might make a 150-city-mile car and be thinking about 200-mile cars.
     

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