Why are all US-bound BMW i3 EVs with range extenders stuck at port?

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Hybrid, BMW, Legislation and Policy, USA

BMW i3 for delivery

The first BMW i3 EVs have been delivered in the US, but in a quirk of the rules, none of them have been the range-extended versions. Long-time BMW electric vehicle driver Tom Moloughney discovered this fact the hard way. His i3 REx has been sitting at a New Jersey port for over a week and he’s getting impatient.

The problem is something Moloughney calls a “Monroney Hold.”

So, instead of sitting there fuming, Moloughney did a bit of research and discovered that the problem is something he calls a “Monroney Hold.” He says that “the EPA certification has not been completed so BMW doesn’t have a Monroney label (window sticker) to post in the window before the car leaves the port, which is required by law. The range extender option changes (shortens) the car’s electric range, and also requires an official MPG rating so BMW couldn’t use the same Monroney label as they did for the all electric i3.” You can read more on his website, but it turns out that the story isn’t so simple.

For one thing, the EPA testing has been finished. Washington State representative Chad Magendaz told Moloughney that he asked the EPA for an official statement and got the following from Linc Wehrly, Director of the Light-Duty Vehicle Center Compliance Division: “EPA tested the i3 REx and provided the results of that testing to BMW on May 13th. EPA is not aware of anything that would prevent BMW from importing the vehicles since May 13th.”

Then there’s the official word from BMW. Spokesman Dave Buchko told AutoblogGreen that:

We are moving as quickly as possible to release the first BMW i3 Range-Extender models to BMW i Centers. Receipt of test data from the EPA is one step, but not the final step, in the process of receiving certification from the EPA. Rules do not permit the release of vehicles for sale until EPA labels are finalized, produced and affixed to any vehicle. Barring any unforeseen delays, we expect that to happen by the end of this week.

We have never certified a vehicle like this before. We are taking every precaution to make sure that everything is done in a timely, but more importantly correct manner. In that Monroney labels cannot be produced until the EPA certification process is complete, the characterization [of a "Monroney Hold"] is not technically incorrect, but there is more to it than that, as is often true in life.

On a lighter note, BMW donated a loaded i3 to Brad Pitt’s Make It Right charity foundation as a fundraiser. Read about that below.

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Why are all US-bound BMW i3 EVs with range extenders stuck at port? originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Tue, 20 May 2014 13:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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