bwilson4web
Posts: 782
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:59 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Strange BMW e-mail

Hi,

On Friday I got an e-mail from "BMW of North America <mail@msg.bmwusa.com>" that has a GIF of several huge, plug-ins that are the antithesis of our BMW i3-REx:
  • Starts with a hand on a J1772 plug
  • 330e driving
  • X3 30e driving
  • X5 45e driving
  • open road
Owner of a 2019 Tesla Std Rng Plus Model 3 and 2014 BMW i3-REx, I wasn't sure what they wanted except to test drive these ridiculous, plug-in hybrid cars:
  • 17-31 miles EV
  • 20-28 MPG gas
What is wrong with BMW engineering beside having chased off the BMW i3 team and committed to making inferior ICE cars with a shallow, inadequate hybrid added.

Bob Wilson
20k/27k mi 2014 BMW i3-REx
10k/10k mi 2017 Prius Prime
jadnashuanh
Posts: 5192
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Strange BMW e-mail

My X5 45e has enough battery range for 95% of my driving needs, but should I need or want to go further, it can easily continue on for 300-extra miles, and go again with a 5-minute stop at a gas station. The X5 has their largest hybrid battery pack (bigger than the original i3's), and I've seen about 40-miles on occasion all electric (spec says 30) and that's been while it's cold out...don't know what it will be come summer. Even in the winter, it's been more than they claim on the sticker.

Tesla's build quality just doesn't turn me on. I will be selling my i3 soon (I traded my seldom used ICE in when I bought the X5 last September).

Not everyone lives where an EV is an easy thing to charge up fast, or travels all that close to the Tesla supercharger network, and a destination charger may or may not get your vehicle fully charged overnight at say your hotel. Until fast DC charging is as easy and available as pulling into a gas station on nearly every corner some places, there will be a desire for ICE vehicles.

The X3 electric isn't being sold in the US, but the new i-car should show up in a bit.
Jim DeBruycker
2014 i3 BEV, 2021 X5 45e
(The i3 will be sold soon, <17K-miles, interested?)
bwilson4web
Posts: 782
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:59 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Strange BMW e-mail

If those BMW, plug-in hybrids meet your needs, great. In contrast, our 2017 Prius Prime, 25 mi EV, became 'driveway art.' I would take the BMW i3-REx, a 10-stop car, over the Prius Prime, a 3-stop car. We traded in the Prius Prime for our Tesla Model 3 and got $18.3k. But that was not the reason behind my posting.

Did anyone else get a similar e-mail from BMW?

Bob Wilson
20k/27k mi 2014 BMW i3-REx
10k/10k mi 2017 Prius Prime
eXodus
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:06 am

Re: Strange BMW e-mail

bwilson4web wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:55 am What is wrong with BMW engineering beside having chased off the BMW i3 team and committed to making inferior ICE cars with a shallow, inadequate hybrid added.

Bob Wilson
Like any other ICE vehicle manufacturer BMW wants to get a the best return in their invest of their last years when they are able to sell fossil fuel engines.

I don't know how much BMW makes profit on the i3, but I know the margins on gasoline SUVs are humongous.

SUV receipt:
You take the base platform which you have been building cars for ages, slap on 2-3k of additional taller sheet metal and charge $10-$50k more.
ScottA320
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:54 pm

Re: Strange BMW e-mail

eXodus wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:33 amI don't know how much BMW makes profit on the i3, but I know the margins on gasoline SUVs are humongous.
Good question, I suspect they are satisfied with marketing halo effect and CPO resales of originally leased i3s.
3pete
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:03 pm

Re: Strange BMW e-mail

bwilson4web wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 6:58 pm Did anyone else get a similar e-mail from BMW?
Yeah, I got it as well (in my Spam folder)l. I was hoping it would have some information on their future EV plans, but it seems like right now their version of "electrifying" their lineup is just going hybrid, not pure EVs. That could be a good thing for a lot of people who don't want a pure EV, but it seems like Tesla is proving that a lot of people DO want pure EVs. It'd be nice if we had a little more competition here. It's definitely coming but seems to have been 2-3 years out for the past 5 or so years... Weirdly, out of the traditional OEMs, it seems to me that VW is the most serious about actual EVs.
bwilson4web
Posts: 782
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:59 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Strange BMW e-mail

If BMW sent me an e-mail with an offer for a larger capacity battery for my 2014 BMW i3-REx, a reasonable price, I would consider it. But offering those 'boat anchors' was not not going to work.

Bob Wilson
20k/27k mi 2014 BMW i3-REx
10k/10k mi 2017 Prius Prime
MKH

Re: Strange BMW e-mail

Yeah, kind of boggles the mind that BMW was so far ahead of the pack in EV development eight years ago, and just let it all evaporate. Seems other automakers aren't as backward thinking. GM and LG Energy Solution is building a $2.3 billion dollar EV battery plant in Ohio, and GM has announced 30 new EVs will be part of their line up by 2025, 20 of them for North America, and their entire lineup will be zero emission fully electric by 2035. One of their stated goals is to design EVs from the ground up that are no more expensive to build than current ICE vehicles, and sell at the same price points as their ICE cars did.
3pete
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:03 pm

Re: Strange BMW e-mail

MKH wrote: Thu Feb 04, 2021 5:34 am Yeah, kind of boggles the mind that BMW was so far ahead of the pack in EV development eight years ago, and just let it all evaporate.
I agree about BMW- they've completely squandered their head-start but I do think the i3/ i8 line was more of an outlandish "what if?" experiment as opposed to a serious play. I think Nissan is actually even worse: they had about a 4 year head start on BMW with the i3 and Tesla with the Model S and where are they now? Still only selling the LEAF with no active battery thermal management. Their second EV (the Ariya) is supposed to be on sale 12 years after the original LEAF. And this may be subjective but every time I see a new Inifiniti I think those vehicles have the right styling cues to be an all-EV sub-brand.
MKH wrote: Thu Feb 04, 2021 5:34 am and GM has announced 30 new EVs will be part of their line up by 2025, 20 of them for North America, and their entire lineup will be zero emission fully electric by 2035.
IMO, GM is the king of perennially having "a lot of EVs coming... in the next 2-3+ years!" When did the EV1 launch again? And the Bolt? And the... oh wait, no that's it. That's where they are now despite leasing their first EV 25 years ago!!!
MKH wrote: Thu Feb 04, 2021 5:34 am One of their stated goals is to design EVs from the ground up that are no more expensive to build than current ICE vehicles, and sell at the same price points as their ICE cars did.
Flipping this statement around I think speaks to GM's truer motives: that they're not going to seriously sell EVs until they can be equally as profitable as ICEs at the same price-points. I get that they need to make money to stay in business but I wonder if they will be too far behind the curve by the time EVs are comparably priced to ICEs if they're not willing to take a hit to their margin in the short term. Also, Hummer EV looks good (for what it is), Cadillac Lyric looks kinda weird... what else you got, GM? I do like your Norway/ Will Farrell superbowl commercial, keep those coming, but also start actually selling some EVs!
bwilson4web wrote: If BMW sent me an e-mail with an offer for a larger capacity battery for my 2014 BMW i3-REx, a reasonable price, I would consider it. But offering those 'boat anchors' was not not going to work.
I'd be all over that too. It would delay me having to buy a replacement for my 2014 BEV... Oh, I think I might see why BMW isn't doing that now...! So much for all that stuff about "sustainability" and "recycling" in the owners manual I guess! :?
jadnashuanh
Posts: 5192
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Strange BMW e-mail

Off topic, but BMW demonstrated a home power storage system using removed i3 battery packs years ago. Given what the selling price of one from say Tesla is, and the selling price of a 2014 i3, personally, if the rest of the 'kit' required to use the battery pack was reasonable, I'd be willing to pull that pack and I'd still have some salvage value for the rest of the vehicle. It would have enough stored energy to run my place for at least a couple of days. Not that we lose power all that often, but hey, for a small investment, it would be nice to have things just continue on if the power was out!

The investment in the i3 and i8 is not totally lost. They pioneered CFRP production that nobody has duplicated yet. After initial layup of the CF, a fully cured part is done in minutes versus at least a day by any other technique I've read about. That's huge. They've incorporated some of that material into various other lines to help lighten and strengthen things. It also gave them a huge rolling development experience to aid in seeing how people used their vehicles, and what worked, and what didn't that has been incorporated into the development of the PHEVs and the new EVs that will hit the market soon, if not already there (we don't get the X3 EV in the states, yet, but it's been sold for a bit now). There's a reason why the vehicle has a cellular connection...to gather information, hopefully, anonymously.

It's somewhat of a chicken and egg situation. Tesla set the mark as they built out their SuperCharger network along with their vehicles to make long-distance travel reasonable. The VW debacle in the USA has helped improve the CCS situation in the US, but the last four years of the Trump administration did not put any emphasis on aiding EV adoption. Yes, many people can charge at home, and yes, the CCS network is getting better, but it still has a long way to go both in content and education of people about what it is, and how it works. Many people cannot afford more than one vehicle, so while they may not take long road trips all that often, they want a vehicle that can do that. Some people that live in places in the city without off-street parking, or apartments, etc., may not be able to charge at home, and not every employer offers it there, and if they do, there are likely not as many stations as the demand would suggest.

It seems that many of the vehicles having been designed over the last 4-5 years were built with the possibility of offering them as an EV, ICE, or PHEV. As demand changes, the mix out the end of the production line can change. As things stand, battery production is a supply issue. Newer tech on that front is constantly arriving, and the energy density is improving, but mining and processing lithium is not particularly good for the environment.
Jim DeBruycker
2014 i3 BEV, 2021 X5 45e
(The i3 will be sold soon, <17K-miles, interested?)

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