DamianLynch wrote: ↑
Sat Jul 03, 2021 6:09 pm
I recently completed a 3200+ mile road trip with my 2017 i3 Rex. My goal was to use the high speed charging network (>50kw) and to avoid using the Rex. I only used L2 and the occasional use charger at long stay destinations. I was able to complete the trip and get back in one piece.
The i3 is a short range EV in comparison to most current offerings and I found that charging every 100 or so miles added up to 50% to the travel time, although we became much wiser on charging strategy on the return trip.
The trip was from Katy, TX to Geneseo, NY to visit my father, stay for a week, travel to the Adirondacks to visit relatives for a few days, travel to Chattanooga, TN to visit even more relatives, and finally back to Katy, TX. There were four of us on the trip, loaded with gear for about 600 lbs. in weight.
The beginning of the trip was a big test, after leaving the first high speed charger in North Houston, there is a 300 mile span with no high speed chargers. That means running the Rex with gas refilling 2-3 times. The Rex performed flawlessly keeping a steady state of charge while traveling up to 70 MPH. I was getting about 50 MPG using the Rex which is not great when I should be more like 100 MPGe on electric but passable as a fuel efficient vehicle.
After crossing the EV desert of East Texas, I was able to stay fully electric except for one section where the distance between chargers was 134 miles. I engaged the Rex to provide about 20 miles of buffer in case I made a wrong turn or the guess-o-meter was way off. This was using the hold SOC at 75%. I also hit the 6% Rex auto start once when I intended to stay electric because the BMW nav is generally garbage at directions and it put me off course. I only needed this for about 3 miles though.
I had only two issues during the trip. First, I blew the two passenger tires north of Louisville, KY on a crater of a pot hole. The tow truck driver pulled 5 other cars that day which fell victim to that same pot hole. In other words, this was not the cars fault. Second, I had a drivetrain malfunction when switching off the Rex after the EV desert on the final leg of the return to Katy to finish the journey on electric power. This was very lucky as the error did not clear until I fully recharged the vehicle. Had this happened in the middle of the EV desert I would have had to charge on a L2 charger for about 3 hours to clear the error. The Hold SOC menu can be glitchy and I realize now that clicking this (more than once) to try and turn of the Rex likely caused the error.
So a long haul trip with the i3 is possible. Would I do it again? Probably not, especially without a Rex. I learned on this trip that if I bought a longer range EV-only vehicle that it would need a range double the distance of the largest distance between high speed chargers. In other words, 260 mile range to me is a minimum if you plan on exploring America by EV.