The BMW i3 is generally considered an all-electric vehicle, but it is also offered with an optional gas generator that acts as a range extender.
The German automaker now says that it is killing the range extender in Europe due to the new battery pack making it irrelevant, but they are holding on to the feature in North America and Japan.
W said in a statement (via Autocar):
“The Range Extender i3 will cease production and we will only sell the pure-electric version going forward. With the gains in pure-electric range, together with the increasing availability of rapid charging facilities we believe the customer demand is shifting to an pure-electric model.”
The move comes after BMW unveiled an i3 battery pack upgrade for ‘over 160 miles’ (260 km) of range last month.
It will be introduced in the 2019 version and BMW believes that the increased range is killing the demand for the gas range extender in Europe.
That said, the automaker believes that the option will remain popular in North America and Japan, where the BMW i3 will still be offered with the range extender option.
At one point, BMW reported that the option represented a majority of their sales.
The German automaker says that the new BMW i3 with the 120 Ah cells will result in a 42.2 kWh battery pack, which should in turn result in about ‘160 miles’ (260 km) of range “in everyday conditions without any loss of brand-based driving pleasure.”
That’s up from 114 miles of EPA estimated range for the current version with 94 Ah cells.
The vehicle is expected to be available in the coming months. Pricing and availability details are expected shortly.