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2014 BMW i3 Range Extender: No White CA Carpool-Lane Sticker, Here’s Why

2014 BMW i3 (German-market version), Amsterdam, Oct 2013
Hi-Res Photo

Incentives help drive the purchase of plug-in electric cars, which remain unfamiliar and expensive to many first-time buyers.

But a recent Forbes article may have caused some confusion over which incentives will be granted to BMW’s first electric car, the i3, when it goes on sale this spring.

MORE: 2014 BMW i3 Electric Car: Why California Set Range Requirements, Engine Limits

Based on several conversations with sources close to BMW and at various regulatory agencies, we think we’ve sorted out the incentives for which the BMW i3 qualifies–both with and without its optional range extender.

2014 BMW i3 (German-market version), Amsterdam, Oct 2013

2014 BMW i3 (German-market version), Amsterdam, Oct 2013

The 2014 BMW i3 will be the first electric car that offers a range-extending combustion engine, which roughly doubles the miles it can cover, as an option.

Without the engine, the BMW i3 is a conventional battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, and it qualifies for incentives as such. But add the engine, known as REx, and things appear to get murkier.

Confusion arose because under California law, the BMW i3 with REx is the first of a new category of plug-in electric cars, known as a BEVx.


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