BMW Partnering With Kymco For I3 Range Extender

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

The gasoline range-extender that will be optional in BMW’s i3 electric car will be built by Kymco, a Taiwanese firm that is best known for its scooters.

BMW and Kymco have worked together in the past, with Kymco building engines for the BMW G450X dirt bike. The two-cylinder motor was designed in Germany but built by Kymco’s Taiwan factory – and the i3 will likely have a similar arrangement, given the familiarity between the firms. The parallel-twin will apparently be given extensively changes for the i3, especially given that the requirements for a motorcycle engine and a range extender being run at a constant load are very different.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Conslaw Conslaw on Mar 19, 2013

    Volvo had a Turbine/electric concept car in the 1990s called the ECC. Introduced with great fanfare in the buff books, it vanished with nary a whimper. It would be nice to find out what Volvo learned from its experience.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Mar 19, 2013

    This is a good idea, since it will be a more optimal package than a standard ICE transplant (like the Volt).

  • El scotto El scotto on Mar 19, 2013

    Oh I can see it in the near future. Some preening hipster exclaiming in the Whole Foods parking lot: "It's a BMW and Electric; it's just so green and eco-friendly!!! Nevermind the range extender was built in Taiwan and shipped to Germany and then the whole car was shipped from Germany to the US. Yeah, that's green.

    • See 4 previous
    • Shaker Shaker on Mar 20, 2013

      @SCE to AUX EPA has a web page that shows the "energy mix" of electric utilities by Zip Code:

  • Shaker Shaker on Mar 20, 2013

    If one would listen to the "laundry list" of how environmentally "unfriendly" EV's are, one would think twice about buying one. Which is exactly what Big Oil wants. There are people (admittedly, well-off) who own EV's and have solar/wind power at home who can literally drive for free (once the initial investment is out of the way). Yes, they're a very small minority, but it just proves that IF WE REALLY WANTED TO, we could do most of our personal driving with NO OIL. It's feasible.

    • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on Mar 20, 2013

      It'd certainly be more feasible with thorium molten-salt reactors supplying safe, cheap and clean nuclear power and high-quality heat by burning up the decades of radioactive waste currently sitting in cooling tanks waiting to leak along with the thorium that currently has a negative economic value.