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Why aren´t there more PHEVs that have a longer all-electric range; or more EVs with range extenders? I am thinking more of cars that can use no petrol at all until the EV battery is very low.

I´d like to see more cars with 100-150 miles EV range plus a small petrol tank of 50-150 miles.

I think they´d be good. I see various target customers:
1 overly cautious people that are resistant to change or panicky about range anxiety.
2 people with no charging at home.
3 people with bad or no charging networks in their area or country.
4 people with severe winters or even UK winters since you can buy the EV that suits your spring and autumn commute rather than winter.

You don´t need a backup plan each time. You just plan to rely on one charger and then if there are any problems with it you can easily figure out what to do in the moment since if necessary there will always be a petrol station within range.

I think a lot of people could achieve 90% electric with these cars in practice.

According to the wikipedia article below, the BMW i3 REX only charges US$3,850 to add a petrol extender that adds 80 miles. You´d probably pay about the same to add less than that range in battery size. But the reality is that in countries and places with sparse or unreliable charging networks, even an 80 mile petrol tank usually gives you unlimited range because petrol stations are everywhere and filling is rapid. So, it´s actually more useful for the same money.

Half of the people that bought these cars would never buy a pure EV so if there were more of these cars it could be a net win for pollution and climate change. And probably half of the customers would go on to buy an EV without a range extender for their next car.

Apparently the BMW i3 REX is on the way out and I can´t find any other such cars. Batteries won: BMW confirms i3 REx range extender is on its way to extinction

I did wonder if there is an engineering reason why such cars would be hard to put together but thinking about it, I can´t imagine there is.

You need to be careful about leaving petrol in the tank for months at a time, but it is hardly a difficult problem to solve. You just need a sensor that puts up a message to the driver when the petrol is in danger of going stale and tells him/her to use it.

Maybe there is just not enough demand? Then again, no-one has properly tested that demand because there has never been a variety of such vehicles available, nor have the ones that have been out there been heavily promoted or discussed.

 

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According to the wikipedia article below, the BMW i3 REX only charges US$3,850 to add a petrol extender that adds 80 miles.
And that's the answer - at current prices that's about 20kWh of additional installed battery. So for a similar increase in range, and without the packaging issues of a REx (particularly the heat rejection system) why would you not go that way? Yes the Dino juice recharging system is more extensive and better known, but the Rapid charger network is improving fast and most current owners have home charging and don't rely on them.
 

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Carrying the weight of 2 engines, batteries and fuel tank, the disadvantages of having both systems (complex ICE engine with oil and cooling that may never get used once). I agree a good PHEV is a good thing, my long term average MPG in my GTE is over 250mpg. Most users though will see 50mpg! I think PHEVs all electric range is increasing slowly (more due to EU targets and compliance than giving customers what they want).
 

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It's a poor engineering compromise.

The Ampera (which I love) is inefficient on the petrol engine because it's carrying circa 200kg of battery with it. The battery is squeezed into the space that doesn't contain a petrol tank or engine.

The i3 REx has an engine so small that it really shouldn't be used for routine driving and really is just there for those extra miles beyond the charging system.

The Volt 2 in America is better again than the Ampera we have here for EV range and efficiency on the engine, but it's still an engineering compromise.

Perhaps Mazda will have a better crack at it, as they seek to be interested in the ~35kWh battery with REx concept.
 

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For me, the purpose of a range extender would be to ensure that I could get to the next public charger when the one I have just arrived at is broken or blocked. Nothing more.

Having said that, if I could get one in my e Golf, I wouldn't have two cars, the eGolf + rex would do it all for me.
 

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For me, the purpose of a range extender would be to ensure that I could get to the next public charger when the one I have just arrived at is broken or blocked. Nothing more.

Having said that, if I could get one in my e Golf, I wouldn't have two cars, the eGolf + rex would do it all for me.
You have a standby car in case a charger is broken?
 

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Hybrid = worst of both worlds, imo. You don't get the best of battery power and the ICE has to do more work.
We have to remember that having two methods of propulsion can have it's advantage's, but they will demand two individual levels of servicing costs as the car ages.
The plugin hybrid system is a fantastic piece of motor engineering to be sure, but having the best of both worlds can become expensive if it develop's a fault.
You can be effectively serving two masters !.
 

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One thing to consider for long term 'ownershippers' is that even if my i3 (REx) battery falls to 50% capacity (30 miles in winter), due to age, it would still be a viable car for 100+ mile journeys.
 

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I still quite like the concept recently trialled extensively by Nissan in the e-Note in Japan which has been highly successful. To the average punter still wary about range it gives the benefit of an EV drive but with zero range issues as long as petrol is available.

Basically it's a petrol generator running at optimum speed for maximum efficiency feeding through a tiny buffer battery and using a Leaf drive train to move the car. The car goes nowhere unless the engine is running of course but they are getting great mpg figures as the engine running the Genny is always at its most efficient power curve. There is much talk about this system being extended into more Nissan models. A much better system than standard hybrids and no need for a plug.
 

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There's different attitudes to this in the US bear in mind. 100 miles range isn't very far out there and in some parts can easily result in regular use of flatbeds if you're looking for a working CCS charge point ..

The i3 REX is a nice design. It uses a motorbike engine that provides just enough power to avoid the battery depleting whilst you drive at a sensible speed, but all drive is still done direct from the battery using the electric drivetrain. It's just as reliable as you'd expect a modern small lightly stressed motorbike engine to be (though obviously risk of failure is twice that of a BEV-only) and people do routinely use them to keep the car going on cross country trips for hundreds and hundreds of miles, they are fine with that. The convenience level is not quite as high as PHEV because the fuel tank is very small, but in the US the REX is still routinely for sale because they sell a lot of them compared to the BEV-only i3. In Europe, where distances are shorter and journeys are shorter, the REX has been dropped from the product line because there's limited demand.

I think it's a way better compromise than PHEV. The drivetrain for a range extended BEV is way simpler than that for a PHEV. The petrol engine doesn't need enough torque or power output to push the car along on its own so it can be small and lightweight and it's not expected to run full time and doesn't have to run with a huge wide torque band so can be designed for efficiency as a generator only.

I didn't want one anyway, because I don't need the extra range, but I'm in the fortunate position of having another car for long distance trips ..
 

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Sort of. It’s a standby car when I need to do a journey that might involve having to use a public charger, so that I don’t have to use a public charger.
You are sorted then !.
Having a standby ICE car is a brilliant catch net.
My wife has a Fiat 500 that she absolutely loves, we could use for longer distances in an emergency.
However, when we go out for the day, I always get the same question :-
"Can we go in the EV please ?".
Enough said I think !.
Okay for the distance, but NOT the first choice on the list by the both of us.
 

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I´d like to see more cars with 100-150 miles EV range plus a small petrol tank of 50-150 miles.

I think a lot of people could achieve 90% electric with these cars in practice.
That is what I get and more in my BMW i3 94Ah with the range extender. And it's a series hybrid rather than a parallel hybrid. The propulsion is only from the electric motor.
Nissan have their e-Power unit, I don't know what Madza call their range extender unit. And there are probably others out there.
But why are they not mainstream?
Well you won't get much support for them on speakev.com. It's a taboo subject here and with the huge number of youtube EV video makers.
Which is very strange.
It is perfectly understandable why the legacy auto makers don't want series hybrids because they want to control the pace of the transition to us all driving electric, but why EV lovers? It's like they are all being paid by big oil to condemn them, which is silly and I am not into conspiracy theories.
Anyway, every year Tesla gets stronger (they have no need to make a transition, they only manufacture BEVs) and the legacy auto makers get weaker and pretty soon the opportunity for them to compete in a meaningful way will have passed them by.
But I think it's a real shame.
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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Why aren´t there more PHEVs that have a longer all-electric range; or more EVs with range extenders? I am thinking more of cars that can use no petrol at all until the EV battery is very low.

I´d like to see more cars with 100-150 miles EV range plus a small petrol tank of 50-150 miles.

I think they´d be good. I see various target customers:
1 overly cautious people that are resistant to change or panicky about range anxiety.
2 people with no charging at home.
3 people with bad or no charging networks in their area or country.
4 people with severe winters or even UK winters since you can buy the EV that suits your spring and autumn commute rather than winter.

You don´t need a backup plan each time. You just plan to rely on one charger and then if there are any problems with it you can easily figure out what to do in the moment since if necessary there will always be a petrol station within range.

I think a lot of people could achieve 90% electric with these cars in practice.

According to the wikipedia article below, the BMW i3 REX only charges US$3,850 to add a petrol extender that adds 80 miles. You´d probably pay about the same to add less than that range in battery size. But the reality is that in countries and places with sparse or unreliable charging networks, even an 80 mile petrol tank usually gives you unlimited range because petrol stations are everywhere and filling is rapid. So, it´s actually more useful for the same money.

Half of the people that bought these cars would never buy a pure EV so if there were more of these cars it could be a net win for pollution and climate change. And probably half of the customers would go on to buy an EV without a range extender for their next car.

Apparently the BMW i3 REX is on the way out and I can´t find any other such cars. Batteries won: BMW confirms i3 REx range extender is on its way to extinction

I did wonder if there is an engineering reason why such cars would be hard to put together but thinking about it, I can´t imagine there is.

You need to be careful about leaving petrol in the tank for months at a time, but it is hardly a difficult problem to solve. You just need a sensor that puts up a message to the driver when the petrol is in danger of going stale and tells him/her to use it.

Maybe there is just not enough demand? Then again, no-one has properly tested that demand because there has never been a variety of such vehicles available, nor have the ones that have been out there been heavily promoted or discussed.

Often discussed and there are other long threads on this.

There are various answers that fit people' prejudices.

The answer is that both manufacturers and drivers don't really understand what PHEVs are. They still see them as electrified ICE, i.e. like a regular car with a sprinkle of EV-malarkey thrown in. That is because they are ICE manufacturers/users who are trying to move towards adding some EV-ness.

What we need to get good EREV/REx cars is to have BEV manufacturers and owners who are trying to move towards adding some ICE-ness.

... heh ... do you see the problem there? .... We're not even at the 'BEV' stage yet for anyone to figure out how to improve/move on from one.

The reason the Volt/Ampera was a success was because the fundamentals were designed by the EV1 team leaders, i.e., exactly the above, moving from 1990's BEV (but not enough battery back then) on to adding some ICE-ness to it to make it go far enough.

The reason BMW did it is because they make everything an optional extra. Back in the 1980s, when having even a stereo (Blaupunkt, of course) fitted in a BMW was an optional extra, I wryly remarked that one day BMW would make the engine an optional extra. Little did I realise it turned out not to be a joke - they actually managed to do just that in my lifetime!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
According to the wikipedia article below, the BMW i3 REX only charges US$3,850 to add a petrol extender that adds 80 miles.
And that's the answer - at current prices that's about 20kWh of additional installed battery.
Thanks. I didn't realize that you could get as much as 20kWH more battery for $3,850 but I just googled it by checking the numbers in the Bloomberg study last year and the price difference between 39 and 64kWH Kona as of offered today and yes I see you're right or close enough.

And it's a good reason why BMW i3 REX might remain a niche in places with strong charging networks.

However I still think in places with weak charging networks it's going to be better in some cases to have the extra range as petrol. But perhaps part of the problem is if the people in areas with weak charging networks are too spread out around the world to make distribution and marketing and sales effective.

Maybe scandinavia and some northern parts of the US and Canada where the winters really totally trash the range might be a good option to sell more of these cars.

Thanks a lot everyone for your comments - lot of good knowledge on here.
 

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There's a BMW X5 model, PHEV, just gone on sale which has a battery nearly the size of the ground breaker Leaf24. So we're at point where a BEVs' battery is now used for PHEV sales models.
So to your your original point, it is getting there.

Granted the X5 weighs a fair bit more than the Leaf, so the range is few miles less, but I think BMW marketing said 45-50miles WLTP ?

There's the Merc AClass e250 models, with 44 WLTP ? Much improved on a BMW 330e first model, with it's 18-22.
So progress is happening.
 

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Granted the X5 weighs a fair bit more than the Leaf, so the range is few miles less, but I think BMW marketing said 45-50miles WLTP ?
Which if true shows why these things should be banned ASAP - that's a shocking waste of resources when a LEAF would have given approx twice that amount on that measure (if it had existed) when new.
 
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