This reply is to a post originally made in the "Leaf 2 : What we know so far (2018 and later)" topic, where the OP asked that OT posts on this subject be moved here. I've quoted the entirety of that post so that people don't have to go back and forth between threads.
GRA wrote:As stated, that's exactly what they did, to allow them to get full credits for a BEV instead of partial credits for a PHEV, in a category they themselves had asked be established, ...
I think you have missed the point. The point is that it was CARB who dictated that a SEV or MSEV (minimal Rex Serial EV) is a bad idea and must not receive full credit. BMW was just reacting to the brainless rules of CARB, pushed by its incompetent and ideological sociology graduates, and was just optimizing given the constraint imposed by CARB. It is NOT BMW at fault. It is CARB at fault. If a city (like my city) converts every other road lane to bicycle-only, and then traffic jams become 5 times worse, can you blame the drivers for not driving on the bike lanes and causing traffic jams? In justice, you go to the source of the injustice and apportion blame. You do not blame the victim. BMW is just dancing to the rules of CARB.
No, CARB was acting to prevent BMW or anyone else from gaming the rules to maximize emission credits while building PHEVs. That the reg doesn't meet your or my priorities is correct, but unlike CARB our priorities aren't dictated by law. From their mission statement:
The California Air Resources Board is a part of the California Environmental Protection Agency, an organization which reports directly to the Governor's Office in the Executive Branch of California State Government.
The Mission of the California Air Resources Board:
To promote and protect public health, welfare and ecological resources through the effective and efficient reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering the effects on the economy of the state.
The Major Goals of the Board are to:
Provide Safe, Clean Air to All Californians
Protect the Public from Exposure to Toxic Air Contaminants
Reduce California's Emission of Greenhouse Gases
Provide Leadership in Implementing and Enforcing Air Pollution Control Rules and Regulations
Provide Innovative Approaches for Complying with Air Pollution Rules and Regulations
Base Decisions on Best Possible Scientific and Economic Information
Provide Quality Customer Service to All ARB Clients
Note that reducing air pollution is CARB's major priority, and the worst air pollution is generated and found in the major metro areas (and the southern San Joaquin Valley, but much of that pollution is generated in the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay Metropolitan areas and blown there by prevailing winds). Ensuring the maximum reduction in emissions in those areas is their top priority, and the regs they write are designed accordingly.
GRA wrote:CARB's opinion was that it might make BEVs more acceptable to some people who would otherwise be turned off by their short range and consequent range anxiety, so more would be sold and more miles would be driven electrically. It had just that effect, which as I mentioned is shown by the relative sales proportions of the i3 BEV vs.the REx.
It was just an opinion by CARB and a wrong opinion. It held back the adoption of BEVs because the i3 Rex has little functionality and prevents people from driving intelligently. The huge engine also made the thing unnecessarily expensive and difficult to maintain. So many times I had to suffer due to almost running out of charge with my Leaf, and having to cancel my plans. A minimalist genset, as little as 5 kW or even less that could be turned on at anytime and could charge the EV back to 100% if necessary (i.e. not this bizarre 'hold mode') would have ameliorated range anxiety. Are you not aware that the adoption of BEVs has been extremely anemic? Why do you think it is so anemic? (Range Anxiety)
The adoption of BEVs wasn't held back because overpriced BMW i3 RExs didn't have a hold mode, it was because batteries were and remain the single most expensive component, and for most people the value for the money proposition of a short-range BEV or BEVx simply made no sense; for most people it still doesn't. Even the better value of a PHEV is a tough sell for many, absent the HOV stickers. While battery prices have dropped considerably since the i3 was introduced, allowing people to afford longer range BEVs, without subsidies and perks the adoption rate would change from anemic to almost non-existent. As to why BMW chose to use a REx which you believe to be too large, they pulled an existing motorcycle engine out of the bin and made the minimum modifications they had to for a car which they knew would be a very low production item, to keep costs down.
As it is, the i3 REx's engine is just about able to maintain 70 mph on flat ground with no wind, which is okay for flat California urban areas to get you home, but inadequate if you have to do any climbing at freeway speeds. If you want a more versatile car, you really need more power (and more range), and BMW seems to have provided some more with the i3 REx's mid-life update. That you may find a design with an even smaller engine acceptable is all well and good, but I believe (and I imagine CARB and the car manufacturers do too, probably based on much more solid data than I have) that the total market for such a car is some miniscule % of an already tiny market for PEVs. Here's what BMW has to say about how much the REx gets used:
According to BMW, at the beginning of the i3 release, the use of range-extender was much more than the carmaker expected, more than 60%. Over time it has decreased significantly, with some people almost never using it, and by 2016 it is being regularly used in fewer than 5% of i3s.
We've had at least one member here who's made a homebrew trailer-mounted range extender - Ingineer (the EE behind EVSEupgrade.com) built one using a microturbine and showed it around. Use the search function for" range extender" and author "Ingineer" and you should find relevant posts, at least some of which are in this thread.
There's also the issue of noise and vibration of small piston engines and consequently their acceptability to customers, not to mention the low reliability of such an engine forced to run at near max. power most of the time. BMW seems to have made improvements at least in the NVH area with the MLU, and we'll see how the reliability goes.
GRA wrote:]Now that BEVs with equal or greater range than the REx are available for under $40k, the justification for such a design has faded away to nothing.
Certainly disagree with this. The Leaf2 is only 150 miles of range and that is insufficient
. Even the T3.220 does not offer the confidence that on a freezing dark rainy day you will get to your destination that is only an hour and half away. A "backup power" (and not a range extender) will even be needed in a 310 mile range EV.
Not for local/commute use, it isn't, for most people. 150 miles EPA is a no-worries range of 100 miles, or if you want to be really conservative (given urban CA's mild winters) 90 miles, both with a reserve. When the battery has degraded to EoL at 70% of original capacity, that still provides at least 70 miles (or 60 if really conservative) of no-worries range, which is still more than enough for everyone other than super- and mega-commuters (super-commuter def.: 1-way commute of at least 50 miles or 90 minutes. Mega replaces "or" with "and"). It also allows use as a regional car (day trips, short overnights), possibly including a single en-route or destination charge, for several years.
200+ miles allows regional plus (weekend) road trips when new, plus buys greater longevity for commute/local use, and covers many of the super-/mega-commuters as well. If you want a do-everything car including road warrior trips, then it's still ICE/HEV/PHEV.
GRA wrote:That some owners would want/need to use their cars in ways that limiting the REx to only come on when the SoC had fallen to 6.5% wouldn't allow was foreseeable, but was considered acceptable by CARB. I thought then and now that anyone willing to spend that kind of money for a PEV would be likely to drive the car to maximize the amount of electric driving they did, so the limitation wasn't needed, but given the amount of PHEV drivers who never use (if they even know) of 'hold' modes, that's not necessarily the case.
You would need to reprogram the Rex to arrive at the silly 'hold mode' which is only at 50% in N.A. and is not variable and does not allow re-charging. This hack is not sanctioned by BMW and may void the warranty. In today's nanny culture, no one will take this risk. Besides a 'hold mode' is the wrong idea to begin with. If you go in hold mode at 30%, you are stuck at 30%.
No, you just need to allow the 'hold' mode to be selected at up to 75%, as is allowed elsewhere; up to 100% (as most PHEVs allow) would be the ideal. As to who's willing to take the risk, plenty of i3 owners who'd benefit by it have, but there's simply no need to do so given the many other less expensive PEV options people have now.
GRA wrote:No, it can be driven for about an hour (maybe 1.5 hours in the current model), and then you have to stop and fill up.
Nope, a Rex driver will stop at the next gas station and fill up, rather than look for a charger, drive out of way, and wait for 1 to 4 hours for the i3 to charge up, everytime they drive 100 miles.
After first driving 72 (now 97) miles on the battery. Anyone who'd regularly drive beyond the range where they have to stop more than say twice to fill the tank of an i3 REx is in the wrong car - there are plenty of PHEVs available that make far more sense than that, at a much lower price.
GRA wrote:If BMW's intent was to discourage BEV adoption, I'd say they've failed. As to a REx, I personally have always thought that a straight PHEV was more generally salable and so it's proved, but the REx probably drives more miles (and a higher %) electrically, which was CARB's intent. That you attribute this to politics/ideology of someone at CARB is your opinion - the record of who did what and why is pretty clear, and available to the public.
Sorry, this makes no sense. First off, it is well known that BMW (and others) wishes not to cannibalize its existing line of luxury ICE, so they have little incentive to push EVs. A straight PHEV will cost 50% more than a MSEV (minimal genset serial EV) and offer nothing more, and be a lot more costly to maintain and fuel, and produce a lot more pollution. The MSEV concept has not even been tested yet, but you claim that a PHEV is superior to an MSEV? The i3 Rex is not an MSEV.
Sure, the i3 was a compliance play, I've said as much. But why would BMW or any other car manufacturer spend a ton of money developing a car which they think will only sell in numbers that they can count on their fingers and toes? A PHEV doesn't cost 50% more than the car you describe, it's cheaper and will remain so as long as the battery pack is the single most expensive component. An ICE costs a few hundred dollars and once you've got it, unlike a BEV/BEVx or what you're describing, doubling the car's range when running on fossil fuels takes little extra weight or space, and costs next to nothing. Battery packs still cost several thousand dollars, and doubling their range doubles the cost and also reduces the car's efficiency in both CD and CS modes. Which is why PHEVs are cheaper than BEVs and also more salable, at least up til now; longer range, less expensive packs are bringing prices and capabilities closer together, but the PHEV still benefits from faster refueling everywhere, plus free heat in winter that has no effect on range.