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Joined: Thu May 11, 2017 10:02 am

i3 Rex sufficient for 150 mile commute ?

Sun May 14, 2017 1:09 pm

I am seriously thinking about moving from my diesel to an i3 Rex. I live in the South West and travel to Reading twice a week - this is a 150 mile commute. About 120 miles are dual carriage way and motorway (speed limit 70mph).

I have been assured that the car can do this trip without the need for a charge at work i.e. At 75 miles because I don't have work place charging. I could charge at a service station but I don't want the added hassle of this twice a week.

Is this commute possible in the winter (when temps could be 0 or less) with pre conditioning at home only? It's likely I will be driving 65-70 mph most of the way with radio on and some degree of heating.

I love the car but don't want to buy and then realise it does not work for my commute.

Thanks in advance for your replies / thoughts.

Posts: 136
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 5:50 am
Location: Suffolk, UK

Re: i3 Rex sufficient for 150 mile commute ?

Mon May 15, 2017 12:43 am

I think it's highly uinlikely you'll be able to get anywhere near 150 miles on a single charge. Even with the 2017 battery size, 105-110 miles would be more likely. That means you would need to use the Rex for around 40-50 miles each trip - about a gallon of fuel. The car will handle this fine (we do a weekly trip needing 30-40 miles of Rex) but be aware you won't be fully electric.

Could you not look for a 13 amp socket at your workplace?
i3 Capparis White; Winter package; Sunroof; LED lights; Ordered 30 May 2014; Delivered 17 October 2014.

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Re: i3 Rex sufficient for 150 mile commute ?

Mon May 15, 2017 5:48 am

In not-cold weather, our 2014 BMW i3-REx often shows a 150 mile range. However, our hard requirement is 120 mile drive to Nashville TN and the car handled it perfectly. When I reached Nashville, the gas ran out and the EV car easily got me to the office. Dinner while the car was on an L2 charger brought it back up enough that will a full tank, again, all the way home.

Bob Wilson

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Joined: Thu May 11, 2017 10:02 am

Re: i3 Rex sufficient for 150 mile commute ?

Mon May 15, 2017 1:20 pm


Thank you for your replies - I understand will need to use the REX just wanted to ensure that would be enough plus electric to do 150 miles in really cold weather?

Also is there a right time to turn on the REX - for example on the motorway during journey to work for 40 miles and then all electric on way home. Or would this not be possible on basis need to be at a certain level of battery before you can manually put REX on.

There are fast chargers in Ikea Reading and on services so I could do all electric but I tend to leave very early and late and therefore another 30 minutes charging would be a pain in the winter. I am looking at charging in car parks but it's still really limited and main train station NCP has no chargers which is odd given they charge £24 for a day parking!


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Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: i3 Rex sufficient for 150 mile commute ?

Thu May 18, 2017 2:43 pm

I don't have a REx, but especially if you drive where there are fees for ICE use, definitely run the REx on the motorways, and use EV mode in the city. Except in the USA, well, maybe NA, you can turn the REx on any time the SOC is 75% or lower. Keep in mind that high speeds with the heat on, lights, etc. your battery charge could still be dropping while using the REx. On average, it will be able to hold, but extended heavy use will cause it to drop. That's not a huge issue unless your SOC gets really low, then you'll have the equivalent of around a 38Hp (I think the 2017 added a few HP - it is 34Hp on earlier versions) car...just how fast can you go with 34/38Hp? That is plenty, on average, to keep the battery up, and momentary needs for more comes out of the battery, but not when the battery gets low. When low, the computer will limit the max drain on the battery, and that can mean it will shut down some things like climate control, and finally, limit speeds or acceleration, depending on how low you actually let it go.

IMHO, and from BMW docs, the car is designed for commuting and around the city. While, especially with the REx, it can go longer distances, as many have demonstrated, it is not the same as driving an ICE, where you have full performance until you run out of fuel, and you can refill that tank in a few minutes verses maybe hours, depending on the charging equipment available to you. England has a better network of CCS charging stations than most of the USA (well, the square miles it needs to cover is SIGNIFICANTLY smaller), and some areas, like CA in the US have fairly decent coverage, that is mostly the current exception. That is slowly changing (thank the lawsuit against VW for some of that pending infrastructure), but not fast enough for most. Your maximum economy is to run the vehicle in EV mode all of the time. The REx is only good for the low-mid imperial 40MPG or so. Lots of ICE, especially numerous diesels, can best the i3 REx when running in that mode with the batteries mostly discharged like you might have when trying to travel longer distances.

Some of it depends on your tolerance for the realities. When running in EV mode, or when you blend the ICE running in REx mode plus what you get with recharging the batteries, it still is fairly efficient, but no where near as efficient if you can stay in EV mode all of the time. Mine is a BEV, but I don't need to travel that far...when I do, I use my ICE. It's nice to have that choice. Personally, I'd not go that route, but your question was could you, and I think the answer is yes, but at what cost in convenience? Are you willing to have to refill the gas tank daily? If an anticipated charging facility is non-op for the day, will that seriously impact your life and schedule? It will be a long time before charging opportunities are as common as petrol stations, if ever in our lifetimes.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

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