bwilson4web
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Volt vs BMW vs Prime

Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:26 am

Hi,

Over at PriusChat, we had some buzz by Chevy Volt fans trying to assert the Volt had an advantage over the Prius Prime in a 'donut' area because of the larger battery. So I quickly threw together this chart:
Image
  • Volt has a modest window over the Prime in a donut area, 30-90 miles, but runs behind closer or further.
  • BMW i3-REx pretty well puts the Volt in its place within the 150-180 mile range.
  • Prime is the road warrior for long distance travel out to 600 miles.
In all fairness, we have both a 2014 BMW i3-REx and a 2017 Prius Prime which I'm alternating for a month or so while I learn the Prime systems. So far this week the Prime, over 100 miles all EV with half being 'free' charging around town.

Bob Wilson

gt1
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Re: Volt vs BMW vs Prime

Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:30 pm

OK, I will be the one to ask- what is the "donut area"?

Sparky
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Re: Volt vs BMW vs Prime

Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:33 pm

I read it to mean the area between the radii of 30 -90 miles, describing a donut.

alohart
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Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Volt vs BMW vs Prime

Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:27 am

Sparky wrote:I read it to mean the area between the radii of 30 -90 miles, describing a donut.

That's my interpretation as well.

However, what's with the logarithmic distance scale? It makes the electric range of the Prime look better compared with the Volt whose electric range looks better compared with the i3 REx. It also makes the Prime's relatively short electric range appear to be a larger percentage of its overall electric plus gasoline range than it really is. It does allow the electric ranges to be compared more easily while allowing the gasoline range to be plotted on the same graph.

Do we really need a range-extended EV to be able to travel 500 or even 400 miles total, most of which is using gasoline? I suppose until battery cell prices drop farther that replacing some of the gasoline tank volume with more battery cells is too costly. The i3 REx seems to have balanced electric and gasoline range better than the Volt or Prime, but this undoubtedly accounts for some of the i3 REx's considerably higher purchase price.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

bwilson4web
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Re: Volt vs BMW vs Prime

Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:43 am

I tried a linear scale and it only works if use use the BMW i3-REx, shortest vehicle range. But if we use the longest range vehicle so all operational regions are covered, well you really have no choice but to use a log scale.

Let me suggest take the chart and trim the right-side to whatever makes sense for your requirements.

In my case, the Prime was bought in Rhode Island and driven 1,200 miles to Huntsville. So long, highway range is an important requirement. We've also gone 700 miles in our BMW i3-REx. We're balanced local and long range driving which is why the BMW i3-REx meets our requirements.

Bob Wilson

bwilson4web
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Re: Volt vs BMW vs Prime

Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:00 am

Hi,

When modeling Prime, BMW i3-REx, and Volt performance it can rapidly descend into a Kafka world. One can narrowly propose a complex model that makes a Rube Goldberg machine seem simple (i.e., that "donut".) But I do want to share a lessons learned this week driving our Prius Prime in EV around town.

CARRY BLANKET AND PILLOW - instead of eating lunch near a free charger, lower the seat back, stretch out, and take a nap during the charge. You'll avoid putting on pounds that are not really needed.

KNOW THE L2 LIMITS - the Prius Prime only charges at 16A roughly half the rate of the BMW i3-REx. This means adding 10 miles in an hour of charging or a full charge in 2.5 hours. So I adjust my EV charging to do more 'longer' shopping rather than the in-and-out of the BMW i3-REx.

LUNCH LIMITS - close to work is an effective workaround for lack of at-work charging. Having a charger at work encourages EV workers to bring a bag and work through the lunch hour.

Bob Wilson

alohart
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Re: Volt vs BMW vs Prime

Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:02 pm

bwilson4web wrote:In my case, the Prime was bought in Rhode Island and driven 1,200 miles to Huntsville. So long, highway range is an important requirement.

I don't get the importance of long highway range. As long as a car has sufficient range to either comfortably span the distance between open gasoline stations or to not force a refueling stop when one isn't hungry, uncomfortable, needs a bathroom break, etc., it has enough range. Our Honda Insight has a highway range of ~700 miles if not driven faster that 70 mph, but I have never needed even a third of that range. I would much rather that Honda had installed a smaller gasoline tank and lowered the battery pack and associated electronics into the freed-up space to enlarge the luggage volume a bit.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

bwilson4web
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Re: Volt vs BMW vs Prime

Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:48 pm

I am quite OK with this:
alohart wrote:
bwilson4web wrote:In my case, the Prime was bought in Rhode Island and driven 1,200 miles to Huntsville. So long, highway range is an important requirement.

I don't get the importance of long highway range. As long as a car has sufficient range to either comfortably span the distance between open gasoline stations or to not force a refueling stop when one isn't hungry, uncomfortable, needs a bathroom break, etc., it has enough range. Our Honda Insight has a highway range of ~700 miles if not driven faster that 70 mph, but I have never needed even a third of that range. I would much rather that Honda had installed a smaller gasoline tank and lowered the battery pack and associated electronics into the freed-up space to enlarge the luggage volume a bit.

We have different requirements based upon our particular living conditions and they can change over time. So someone with a growing family might need a minivan or large SUV. Retired, empty nesters would want low operating cost and perhaps not so much space. The best thing is we have choices.

Bob Wilson

EVMan
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Re: Volt vs BMW vs Prime

Thu May 18, 2017 7:45 pm

One important distinction, the vot & Prime are true hybrids.
U can in theory drive the car for 6 months or 50,000 miles just on gas , and the engine is deigned to deliver continuous power and durability for that journey

in real life u can drive 2000 miles without charging again on a long trip , when u dont have time for charging...

where as the rex is more like a EV , different from the others, excels in shorter trips

jadnashuanh
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Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Volt vs BMW vs Prime

Sat May 20, 2017 3:58 pm

To put it another way...the Volt and Prius both have adequate ICE motors and fuel tanks to be used exclusively, if that is required to get where you want. The i3 REx, with its small gas tank paired with a small ICE, and serial hybrid configuration, is not well suited for longer range. When I do take a trip, it's usually in the 4-800 mile range, and not stopping at nearly every rest stop on the Interstate as would be required on the REx, is a big advantage. My ICE can often get over 500-miles on a tank, so I could go all the way without stopping if I didn't need a stop for some other reason. Plus, it gives me the opportunity to buy fuel where it is cheaper, rather than right on the interstate or just off of it where the prices tend to be higher. Someone living on say, Hawaii, it's really hard to need more range than real-estate available...that's not the case on the mainland or in most other places.

The i8, on the other hand, has an adequate ICE, can recharge its own on-board battery pack, and a decent sized fuel tank. I'm sort of hoping that the i5 will be offered in a similar configuration, and it will then replace my two vehicles pretty much without compromise...plenty of range for day-to-day operations on pure EV mode, but more than enough range to cruise forever without having to search for charging stations that, at least where I live, are not particularly numerous or convenient. Plus, using one on some networks, could end up costing more than the gasoline to go similar distances. Neither the Volt nor the Prius appeal to my senses, nor, do I fit particularly well in either.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

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