BMW i3\’s Optional Range Extender Confirmed as Two Cylinder Motorcycle Engine

The range extension option on the BMW i3 will come from BMW ‘s Motorad division as expected. Confirmed via by Herbert Diess, BMW ‘s head of R&D, the option should allow the i3 to have a total range of around 250 miles.

The standard i3 range should be anywhere from 60-90 miles depending on city or highway miles and geography. While BMW believes that range will serve the majority of owners, they expect most early adopters to opt for the two strokecylinder extender version as a way to cure range anxiety. Eventually they expect it to account for only 20% of sales as people get used to living with an electric vehicle. The vast majority of prototypes running around Germany have been of the range extender variety. The two cylinder petrol will solely be used to power up the batteries with none of its output ever directly powering the wheels.

The i3 will come to market late this year and should be available at all BMW dealers throughout the US.

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  • Dr Obnxs

    I know 2 strokes are small and light, but they are dirty emiiters! Kind of an odd choice for a “green” car….

    • les


  • JOEY

    The original article says two CYLINDER not two-stroke.

  • Yes, two cylinders is what BMW will be using in the i3. Currently the Motorrad division has a number of two-lungers to choose from. Compact, liquid-cooled parallel twins are currently available in 650cc and 800cc which make about 60-90 hp respectively. Also available would be the 1200cc opposed boxer twin that BMW has been famous for throughout its history. That engine presently makes better than 100 hp, but it’s footprint is considerably larger than the parallel twins. Given that this range extension power plant would only need to power a generator, the 60 hp parallel 650 cc twin out of the C 600 Sport scooter could conceivably do the trick. The question at this point is will BMW use something off the rack, or will they develop something new, but heavily based on a Motorrad engine?

  • Is the battery in this more like the Prius or what Tesla is using?