When picking up our BMW i3 the sales person said that the heat pump is located in the back next to the electric motor. That’s why the heat pump option is not available on models equipped with the Range Extender REX . But on our car it is empty next to the electric motor.
On BMW i3 equipped with Range Extender REX the combustion engine is located between the rear wheels under the trunk. Because the boot is small, it is fair to ask why BMW has not made use of the space next to the electric motor to create extra storage compartments on models without the REX. But if the heat pump is sitting there, it is obviously not possible, and heat pump standard on cars sold in Sweden without the REX. Personally we opted out the REX because it affects performance negatively, and is not only expensive to buy but is also likely to create additional service costs in the future. See more about the reasoning in an earlier post.
When it is now clear that the heat pump is not an option on cars with REX it is even more obvious to opt out of REX. A heat pump reduces electricity consumption by 30% for heating the batteries and the interior. Since the display on our car shows that the electricity consumption to heat the interior reduces range by about 12 km, I can imagine that the heat pump can increase the range by 5-10 km in cold climates.
Now I have some photos of a car with heat pump and see to my surprise that it does not seem to sit back. It’s empty next to the electric motor.
With picture evidence, I think it is correct. The heat pump is located in the front.
With this information I cannot understand why BMW allows a large space under the trunk to remain completely empty. Perhaps some third-party company can help BMW with an alternate boot floor to utilize the empty space.
In the trunk there is a soft felt cover at the top and then a RCFP shell. I am thinking that it should be possible to have a new design on the hard RCFP piece to allow owners to store a shovel, tow-rope, umbrella or other equipment below the visible trunk floor.