jackvjr
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:02 pm

Re: A Bolt owner has i3 regrets sometimes

Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:53 pm

jadnashuanh wrote:The European emission requirements are now tighter than those in the USA. Making the REx engine conform, given it's design mission, just didn't make sense to them. Europe tends to have much better public transport, so with 150+ miles on a charge, used as designed to commute or run around town, it has enough range. People typically either take the train or fly if they have to go further. From what I understand, they didn't want to put the REx in the car in the first place, but with the state of EV sales, the lack of charging infrastructure, the original battery capacity, and the 'newness', they felt it was required to win over buyers. Whether that decision was wise or not, time will tell.
Thanks for the explanation; it pretty much followed what I'd found. IIRC, there was also some gaming of the CA ZEV rebate regulations?
The range-extender option of the BMW i3 was designed to meet the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulation for an auxiliary power unit (APU) called REx. According to rules adopted in March 2012 by CARB, the 2014 BMW i3 with a REx unit fitted is the first car ever to qualify as a range-extended battery-electric vehicle or "BEVx". CARB describes this type of electric vehicle as "a relatively high-electric range battery-electric vehicle (BEV) to which an APU is added." The unit, which maintains battery charge at about 30% after the pack has been depleted in normal use, is strictly limited in the additional range it can provide, and delivers a minimum 75 mi (121 km) electric range.

CARB classified the i3 with the REx option as a "Transitional Zero Emission Vehicle" (TZEV), the same classification as other plug-in hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt and the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid. This classification made the i3 REx eligible for California's green sticker that identifies the vehicles allowed to be operated by a single occupant in California's high-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV), or carpool or diamond lanes, but not for the white sticker reserved for pure electric cars, such as the BMW i3 without REx. In addition, CARB certification of the i3 REx as BEVx allows the i3 with range extender to be eligible for a US$2,500 Clean Vehicle Rebate, the same amount eligible pure electric cars are entitled to. Other plug-in hybrids are eligible for only a US$1,500 purchase rebate.

The US configuration of the i3 imposes software restrictions on the car that do not apply to other territories. This prompted an owner's lawsuit in 2016.
Back to the Bolt; there is a feature which switches the interior center rear view mirror to a wide angle camera.
General Motors Rear Camera Mirror
Rear Camera Mirror is a General Motors safety technology that replaces the traditional rear-view mirror with high-resolution video streaming to a display in the rear-view mirror, thereby improving on the traditional inside rearview mirror by providing a wider, less obstructed field of view.

The Rear Camera Mirror system is comprised of two primary components:

Camera: the rear-facing high-definition camera features a high dynamic range designed specifically to enhance rear view lane width and maximize low-light situations. The camera reduces glare and allows a crisper image in low-light situations compared to a traditional glass electrochromatic, or auto-dimming, rearview mirror. The camera is finished with a water-shedding hydrophobic coating to keep it clean to maintain visibility regardless of the driving conditions.
Display: the in-mirror 1280 by 240-pixel TFT-LCD display with 171 pixels per inch
Benefits
Most evident when driving, changing lanes, and checking for vehicles and traffic conditions, the benefits of the Rear Camera Mirror include:

Providing a clear view of the view behind the vehicle, with no obstructions of passengers, headrests and the vehicle’s roof and rear pillars
Improves field of vision by 300 percent, or roughly four times greater than a standard rearview mirror
I've tried to use this feature several times, but it's just disorienting. Perhaps if one drove the Bolt for longer periods and always used the camera feature, it would become more natural/useful.

jack vines

nickp
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:40 am

Re: A Bolt owner has i3 regrets sometimes

Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:57 pm

JohnKelly wrote:"The REX is a fantastic option for us. It allows us to drive fully electric most of the time, but we can drive anywhere we want without stopping to charge unless it is convenient. This is our only car. It is NOT stupid technology, it is brilliant. Until DC fast charging is ubiquitous, this is a wonderful bridging technology and a great car.
THIS!

epirali
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Location: Maryland

Re: A Bolt owner has i3 regrets sometimes

Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:09 am

I have posted this elsewhere in forums, but here goes. I had the i3 w/rex for 2 years and now am driving the Bolt. For me there is no comparison, the Bolt is superior in almost all ways except styling. The pick up/regen of the Bolt is heads and shoulders above the i3, and the additional hand used breaking (to 70 KW) is a very useful feature. Where before I would have to engage the mechanical breaks to come to a stop in some situations I now use regen almost all the time. The wheel/suspension/driving dynamics of the Bolt are vastly superior to the i3 (shocking, I know, I am not a Chevy fan). The i3 was squirrelly, over sprung and had no reason to be "rear wheel drive." In fact in emergency maneuvering the i3 was a hazard.

The regen on my i3 would cut out when the front wheels were turned, causing speed up going around corners (unacceptable). The i3 was bouncy while the Bolt is stable. And being rear wheel drive without the ability to easily turn off regen (like the Bolt can in normal D mode) made driving the i3 in snow a real challenge.

I loved the design and interior of the i3, and it has more features (like ACC and auto park). But I had constant issues with ACC (it would get spooked and cut out for no reason, and in early models would kick in full regen going 60 mph, I know this was changed later). So I was never happy relying on it. I do miss it on the Bolt.

But the Bolt is surprisingly good EV with good displays and instrumentations and great pick up and handling. And priced much lower. I never felt the BMW i3 lived up to its $5xK pricing, while the Bolt exceeds it $37K pricing.

I have had many electric cars, including Leaf, i3, i8, Tesla and have to say the Bolt is my favorite BEV so far hands down. The i3 had too many flaws (in addition to range) that have not been addressed. And sadly it seems BMW has pretty much shut down the i division for all intents and purposes.

jadnashuanh
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Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: A Bolt owner has i3 regrets sometimes

Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:29 pm

FWIW, the i4 is coming and should be an interesting car. A lot of what was learned in designing the i3/i8 is being incorporated into the rest of their line, so the technology isn't lost. The state of the art in batteries has evolved since the i3 was designed, expressed by larger battery packs that fit into essentially the same space.

Personally, using winter tires, I've not found the i3 squirrely in the nasty weather. That might not be true with the all-seasons, and certainly would be nasty with the summer tires.

Heavy regen at the rear on a curve can make the car unstable, which is why it is decreased/disabled under certain conditions. One should always be ready with the brakes. While I have experienced this on occasion, it happens more often if the road surface isn't smooth, and I'm used to it so it doesn't throw me a curve.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

jackvjr
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:02 pm

Re: A Bolt owner has i3 regrets sometimes

Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:10 am

Agree with all of epirali's evaluation of the Bolt and most of his i3 comments. Guess I've got to put some seat time on an earlier REx, as the later BEV i3 with which I'm most familiar doesn't exhibit the squirrel behavior some here have described. But yes, true snow tires are necessary on either. I run Nokian Hakkapilitta.

And yes, completely agree, an i3 at full MSRP is wildly overpriced as a purchase, especially in comparison to the Bolt. However, earlier BMW lease plans were vastly superior to anything GM or the dealer offered me on the Bolt. At one time, it was possible to lease a $55k i3 for less than a $43k Bolt.

Last I checked, the lease return i3s were still a great value, but almost always from non-BMW dealers. Does anyone have an explanation as to why BMW makes it prohibitive for the original lessee to buy the residual, but then puts them out on auction, where they often end up retailing for much less than the residual?

jack vines

jackvjr
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Re: A Bolt owner has i3 regrets sometimes

Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:43 pm

jackvjr wrote: However, earlier BMW lease plans were vastly superior to anything GM or the dealer offered me on the Bolt. At one time, it was possible to lease a $55k i3 for less than a $43k Bolt.

Last I checked, the lease return i3s were still a great value, but almost always from non-BMW dealers. Does anyone have an explanation as to why BMW makes it prohibitive for the original lessee to buy the residual, but then puts them out on auction, where they often end up retailing for much less than the residual? jack vines
A bit of research answered the above question

The residual value is shown as calculated as a percentage of MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price). Most use the Automotive Lease Guide (ALG) as a starting point. ALG publishes a Residual Percentage Guide that lists each vehicle's predicted wholesale value after 2, 3, 4, and 5 years.

The wholesale value is the price the car will typically sell at auction, which is how leasing companies dispose of their vehicles after the lease ends. The wholesale value is lower than what the car would fetch at retail price.

Although most leasing companies use ALG as their main guide, the residual values quoted at the time of lease are often higher than what ALG quotes because many leases are subsidized by the manufacturer and they inflate the residual in order to lower the lease payments. However, because the higher residual was given at the time of lease, they won't then let the customer have the benefit of the lower actual value at the end of the lease. They run the car through the wholesale auction and book a loss on the residual.

I still cannot get an explanation of why the customer can't have first right of refusal at the wholesale value at end of lease.

jack vines

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MKH
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Re: A Bolt owner has i3 regrets sometimes

Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:40 am

I still cannot get an explanation of why the customer can't have first right of refusal at the wholesale value at end of lease.
According to a friend who worked in the biz - because it would kill new car sales. Why would you buy a new car at retail, if you could just lease it for three years, paying lease payments that may not even equal depreciation, then buy the car outright for the wholesale value at the end of the lease??
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

i3Alan
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Re: A Bolt owner has i3 regrets sometimes

Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:01 pm

jackvjr wrote:Does anyone have an explanation as to why BMW makes it prohibitive for the original lessee to buy the residual, but then puts them out on auction, where they often end up retailing for much less than the residual?

jack vines
At the end of my 2014 i3's 30 month lease last August, my residual was $29K. I found comparable used i3s for $19.8K. I told my dealer I wanted to keep my i3, but would not pay more than fair market. I went straight to the manager with my request. He said BMW USA owned the car, and asked that I give him a few minutes for him to talk to BMW USA. About 15 minutes later, he returned with a buyout agreement for $20K, which was $200 more than the number I went in with, but I had not shared that with him. He also had a decent loan rate to finance it if I wanted. I was so pleased that I didn't even bother to haggle for the $200.

It got even better, and stranger, however. I still had to let them do a lease return inspection on the car after they made the offer, but before they would close the deal (all on the same day). A few weeks after the deal was closed, I got a notice from BMW USA that my mileage and condition (and new tires) was well above the condition for which the buyout offer was made, and they refunded me an additional $2500 accordingly! I don't know how they came up with that number, other than the one line that said I got $300 mileage credit. I suspect some of this had to do with me going in a couple months before lease end, and I had pre-paid a lot of the lease up front, so some of that was likely pre-payment credit. Bottom line, I was expecting to pay $19.8K at lease end, but got the car for $17.5K two months earlier and saved the last two lease payments! :D

jackvjr
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:02 pm

Re: A Bolt owner has i3 regrets sometimes

Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:04 pm

Thanks for sharing that. That a lessor would renegotiate twice in favor of the lessee just boggles the mind! I'll share the info with our son who may be able to use it when their i3 comes off lease soon.

jack vines

AndrewDebbie
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Location: Anglesey, Wales, UK

Re: A Bolt owner has i3 regrets sometimes

Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:00 am

i3Alan wrote: I had pre-paid a lot of the lease up front, so some of that was likely pre-payment credit.

If you mean multiple security deposits, yes you get that back. MSDs are a little known feature of BMW FS leases that reduce the interest rate in exchange for putting in a larger security deposit. The security deposits are refunded at the end of the lease.

A large cap cost reduction (down payment) has nothing to do with what you might get at the end of lease. In general large downpayment are a bad idea on an American lease. That money is gone. The payments are lower but it is your money at risk if the car is a total loss. Insurance only pays off the balance of the loan if the car is totalled.
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