BMW i3 REx Is Not Tax Exempt in CARB States

BMW i3 1 photo
Photo: BMW
All those years of abusing the atmosphere with CO2 emissions and careless engineering are starting to show and, according to the latest environmental studies, the damage is now irreversible.
According to the latest research, the polar caps are now melting and the process cannot be stopped, the only thing that we can do now is wait for the aftermath. However, the US authorities are just waking up and smelling the... fumes?

There have been more laws passed in the last few years concerning CO2 emissions, than in the entire history of automotive transportation altogether. All in the hopes of somehow reducing the damage.

One of the most important ones is the California Air Resources Board or CARB for short. It’s not only what’s written inside it that makes it so important but also the impact it had on not only California as a state, but many other states too in the US that simply adopted the same law instead of writing their own.

This law offers unprecedented privileges to emission-free cars in the attempt to make EV cars more popular. Such privileges include free parking spots, government grants to purchase them and even a tax-free ownership.

Most people take this kind of stuff into consideration when looking to buy a car and it might even be the convincing factor in many cases. That’s why when BMW announced that even the Range Extended i3 would benefit from these privileges earlier this year, a lot of people immediately drove down to a BMW dealership to post an order. Things didn’t exactly work out that way but it wasn’t as if they couldn’t’ve foreseen it.

You see, the Range Extended i3 (REx for short) couldn’t possibly fall into the zero emissions vehicles category. The reason is pretty obvious too: it isn’t!

The REx was created for those people that suffer from what BMW calls ‘Range Anxiety’. Basically the people that are afraid of running out of electricity while driving around town. For them, the company fitted the i3 with a 2-cylinder scooter engine in the back that simply recharges the battery.

In doing so, the REx i3 became a pure hybrid but also a different kind of breed compared to the ‘regular’ i3 that uses electricity stored in batteries alone. However, that little engine, no matter how low the emissions are, still releases fumes into the atmosphere. Ergo, the tax-exempt is forever and definitely gone.

The announcement from BMW was clearly a mistake and that mistake might force people to pay an extra tax that could very well be equal or more than the premium payed to have that little engine in the back, charging the batteries. What’s the solution?

Well, BMW didn’t take any responsibility and the only answer they provided sounded like a subtle hint that customers should’ve known that this would happen. They didn’t and they believed the rumors that started going around a while back that the REx too will not have to pay a sales tax.

Now, most of them will probably just cancel their orders, leaving BMW with quite a lot of REx i3s on stock. That’s bad news for dealerships and good news for us as they will probably have to mark down the prices to get them going out of the parking lots.

Of course, BMW representatives could also offer some rebates or some customer advantage packs to make up for the mistake but that seems like a long shot right now. We’ll have to wait and see how this whole story unfolds.
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