Range Extended BMW i3 Gets Important Update That Solves Power Reserve Issue

BMW i3 1 photo
Photo: Catalin Garmacea
The BMW i3 is currently offered in two guises: you can have the all-electric one as the company intended it or you can get the one with a range extender in the back. In case you get the latter, you should know that some issues with it were reported. In order to understand them we have to explain the drivetrain a little beforehand.
Unlike the all-electric model, the REx (range extended) i3 has an extra motor on board that is used solely to generate electricity. Think of it as a 25 kW generator that rides inside the car with you. That’s exactly what it is.

To go further into detail, it’s a 35 HP Kymco 650cc 2-cylinder scooter engine that cannot power the wheels independently. Basically, it kicks in when the battery levels drop to 6 percent and maintains that value as long as you feed it fuel.

Now, that 6 percent power reserve should be there all the time, no matter the terrain you cover or where you are going. The thing is, users found that this might be problematic at times.

Consumer Reports, for example, found that after climbing a steep hill and trying to overtake a car afterwards, the BMW ran out of juice right in the middle of the maneuver. That was not pleasant. After reporting the issue to BMW, the officials said they’d take care of it and it seems like today was the big day.

According to them, a software update rolled out and will be installed on all REx i3s to fix the issue. The engineers decided to use the car’s navigation system to offer a map of the engine use for the generator, in accordance with the terrain covered.

Therefore, the i3 will know when a hill is coming up and will fill the battery above the 6 percent limit to make sure the car has plenty of energy afterwards as well, keeping you safe from dangerous situations. Let’s hope it also works.

In order to get this update you have to visit your local dealer and have it installed. It won’t cost a penny but it will eat up a couple of minutes from your daily schedule.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories