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Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:55 pm

BMW i3 - The 'I' stands for 'Irony'...

Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:54 pm

We have just undertaken our first long trip of 150 miles each way in the i3 and we now know that the 'i' stands for... irony.

Our first EV resulted in the most petrol stops we have ever completed in any car in one trip! Reason: sparse Chargemaster network which are non-existent at motorway service areas which seem to be the province of Tesla (ranks of nice shiny new charging units) and Ecotricity. After signing with Chargemaster, we tried to use their units but either failed to find them (many in industrial estates) which for us were useless, non-functional/blocked by other parked ICE-cars. We spent an undue amount of time trying to find something suitable and came to the conclusion that to be any use at all, they must be rapid-charge DC or combo so that you can have a driving break of reasonable time whist getting juiced up to 80% or so.

We decided to park our bias for Chargemaster and attempt to use one of the rapid DC chargers from Ecotricity at Oxford Services on a pay-as-you-go basis but their 'pump' as they call it was broken and I spent about 40 minutes on the phone trying to help them sort that out so that we could eventually use it. We failed and limped away using our range extender. In fact the whole trip not once did we manage to stuff so much as one ampere into our machine. The REX did all the work.

There remains a colossal amount of work and investment before EVs are serious transport for anything other than local running. That is if you cannot afford a Tesla Model S.

I should state that we are new to all this and the trip was actually an experiment for us. I fully expect a barrage of "you should have done this or that...." and that we - and maybe others will learn for next time.

Posts: 297
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:08 am
Location: South Carolina

Re: BMW i3 - The 'I' stands for 'Irony'...

Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:44 pm

I take it you're in the UK? Not quiet that bad in the US, but some of the fast chargers here don't work in hot weather (around 90F or so). Also, some areas don't have fast chargers at all. So yeah, I feel your pain
On the other hand, when BMW introduced the i3 they called it a "city car". It was never really intended to go long distances, although it will, especially with the range extender. I agree that the charging infrastructure needs to be expanded and reliable before EV's will be generally accepted. VW has announced a 400 mile range car and is investing in a fast charger network. So hopefully it will get better in a couple of years.

Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:02 am

Re: BMW i3 - The 'I' stands for 'Irony'...

Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:00 pm

Are you aware of plugshare?
2015 REX / Participating on plugshare w/level 2 Clipper Creek 32 amp, Moclips, Washington coast

Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:55 pm

Re: BMW i3 - The 'I' stands for 'Irony'...

Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:50 am

Plugshare? No. I'll look into it. Thanks.

Yes, in the UK. The rather dismal - cannot-organise-a-piss-up-in-a brewery UK.

Update: Plugshare - Wow, an EV App with 5 stars!? Account duly created and initial assessment of the features/filters/presentation/clarity all very impressive. The pudding needs to be eaten yet though.
Many thanks.

Forum Supporter
Posts: 575
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:59 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: BMW i3 - The 'I' stands for 'Irony'...

Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:49 am

On Plugshare, always read the comments. We have a 'dead' pair of chargers in Huntsville and the comments let everyone know.

Bob Wilson
20k/27k mi 2014 BMW i3-REx
10k/10k mi 2017 Prius Prime

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