Published on May 3rd, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Range-Extended BMW i3 Gets Full $2,500 California EV Rebate


There’s no denying it: California is one of the most important car markets in the world for manufacturers, and the state’s $2,500 zero-emissions vehicle rebate is very helpful for competing there. There are several specific requirements a car must meet to get the full $2,500 rebate, and most plug-in cars that aren’t 100% electric can’t qualify for it all… actually, none of the other ones have qualified for it.

The range-extended BMW i3 was able to qualify because of a double-edged sword with its gasoline range extender. The engine is small enough that the i3 REx is able to qualify for this full incentive, but it also doesn’t add a great deal of range to the i3.

We haven’t yet seen the specs for the BMW i3 REx, but the 100% electric BMW has just 81 miles of range (3 less than the Nissan LEAF’s 84 miles). It’s not inadequate for many drivers, but it’s not super.

The BMW i3 REx is the first plug-in hybrid to be classified as a “BEVx” in California. As Green Car Reports, requirements to get that designation include:

  • The basic car has to be rated at 75 miles of range, or more;
  • The range extender (called an “auxiliary power unit,” or APU) can only offer range equal to or less than the rated battery range;
  • The range extender can’t be switched on unless the battery is entirely depleted;
  • The BEVx vehicle has to meet some technical “super ultra low emission vehicle” (SULEV) requirements; and
  • Its engine and fuel systems must meet requirements for zero evaporative emissions.

The 100% BMW i3 just got its official EPA specs at the end of the week, so deliveries have begun for that version. Within a few weeks, we should get the same info for the BMW i3 REx and deliveries will also begin. In the meantime, I’m sure early BMW i3 REx buyers are very happy to see that their innovative electric car will be eligible for the full California EV rebate.

Image Credit: Zachary Shahan / EV Obsession / CleanTechnica

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

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