cordovai3
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:39 pm

New to the i3 and new to EV's

Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:44 pm

Hey all, I'm new the EV world. Coming from a gas guzzling v8 full size truck. I commute 50 miles a day round trip and it doesn't make sense to use my truck that I really only use as a personal commuter vehicle. I want to save money and be more economical. I've taken a strong liking to the EV's and specifically the i3. There is a 2016 i3 for sale locally for $18k and it's caught my eye. What are some things I need to look for in these if buying used? Thank you so much and I look forward to being part of the forum!

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4943
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: New to the i3 and new to EV's

Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:22 pm

Depending on where you live and how cold it gets, the original (up through 2016) model's battery may be pushing it for 50-miles if it is high speed, super cold, or there's a bunch of steep grades to climb. EVs don't work as well (range wise) when it's cold out...partly because the battery won't discharge as much energy, and all of the cabin heat comes as a result of battery functions rather than waste heat from a combustion engine. Drag is the biggest controllable thing for range...drag goes up at the cube of the speed. So, taking simple numbers at 30mph, versus 50, 30^3=27,000 versus 50^3=125,000 or 125/27=4.63x more drag...speed on any vehicle is an energy use factor.

If you can charge at work, it would be no problem. In the summer, you should easily make it without charging at work. If you throw in the REx version, you'd have the engine based generator to let you keep going. But, that adds costs and complexity to the picture. A pure electric has less to go wrong, not saying that happens all that often. German cars are not cheap if they fail out of warranty.

The 2016 MY version has an EPA rating of about 80-miles. Throw in a little battery degradation of maybe 5% or so, and cold weather, and 50-miles may be cutting it close. IN a nice 70-80 degree day, you might see over 100-miles if you aren't stressing the thing.

In 2017, the started using a larger battery, and then the newest ones are using a larger one yet. Either of those should have no problem with that commute in any weather.

If you live where it gets cold, you will want to probably get winter tires, and those are only available with 19" rims, and then, only on the 5" widths. The 20" rims are summer tire only. The stock 19" rims come with all-season, which might be okay for the winter, but the winter tires would likely be better. Dont' even think about the summer tires if there's snow.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

cordovai3
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:39 pm

Re: New to the i3 and new to EV's

Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:21 am

thanks so much for the response. I live in the southwest in Las Vegas, how is the battery degradation in the heat?

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4943
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: New to the i3 and new to EV's

Mon Mar 25, 2019 4:32 pm

The Leaf had and I think still has problems with high temperatures as they continue to use an air cooled system for their batteries. The i3 uses liquid cooling (the a/c compressor cools the fluid), and, from what I've heard, isn't anywhere near as susceptible. Most of the EVs now are using liquid cooling, but not all. Plus, not all battery chemistries are created equal.

I've seen snow in Vegas, but it generally doesn't last long. It's been awhile since I was there...
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

AndrewDebbie
Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:37 am
Location: Anglesey, Wales, UK

Re: New to the i3 and new to EV's

Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:43 pm

Yes, LEAF still uses passive cooling. There isn't even a fan. The BMS software limits charge and discharge rates if the battery gets out of thermal range.

Each generation of LEAF battery handles high temperatures better. It is still a problem if you live in a hot climate or frequently rapid charge the pack.

Passive cooling works most of the time and is less expensive. We live in the UK and never had an issue with the battery getting to hot on our LEAF 24 or LEAF 30. Vegas would be different. I did see the battery get limited when it was too cold a few times!! Leaf in some markets has a small battery heater but the UK doesn't have it.

In any case the i3 has very good battery cooling. It can warm up a cold pack too. (The heater may be an option for some years and locations)
2014 LEAF 24 (gone)
2017 LEAF 30 (gone)
2018 Mazda 2 (Debbie's)
2018 i3s 94Ah Rex

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4943
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: New to the i3 and new to EV's

Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:38 pm

As far as I know, all i3's have battery conditioning as standard. Wouldn't be the first time I was wrong, though...from a lifetime and warranty standpoint, it would be dumb for it not to have been installed as BMW wouldn't know if the car might be moved from an area where it may not be particularly useful to one where it would be essential, and they'd still be subject to the warranty.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

alohart
Posts: 2041
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: New to the i3 and new to EV's

Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:23 pm

jadnashuanh wrote:As far as I know, all i3's have battery conditioning as standard.
The feature that includes seat and battery pack heating was optional on 2014 U.S. i3's. It was difficult to find a 2014 i3 at BMW of Honolulu that did not have this useless option for those living in tropical climates, but I managed :D It is not likely that an i3 would be shipped to the mainland from Hawaii where seat and battery heating could be useful.
Aloha,
Art

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

TheMK
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: New to the i3 and new to EV's

Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:35 pm

alohart wrote:It was difficult to find a 2014 i3 at BMW of Honolulu that did not have this useless option for those living in tropical climates, but I managed :D
It's like the economy car, sure they're made if you look at the spec sheet, but when you go to a dealer's lot it seems like all of them have the premium package! My guess is when your BMW dealer ordered inventory i3s, they looked at how many upgrades they could put on them before the price would get too high to turn people away. Usually these are dealer add on accessories or "protection packages" that don't do much, if anything to improve the car. Adding the seat heater package is a nice way to boost their profit slightly, while not dramatically increasing the sticker price. In Honolulu the seat heaters are worthless, and I can see why you went to great lengths to get one without them.

alohart
Posts: 2041
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: New to the i3 and new to EV's

Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:19 pm

TheMK wrote:In Honolulu the seat heaters are worthless, and I can see why you went to great lengths to get one without them.
When I commented about how difficult it was to find an i3 without the heated seat and battery pack option at BMW of Honolulu, my salesman told me that customers loved heated seats because they made their backs feel good :shock: . I don't think a sweaty back feels good :D .
Aloha,
Art

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

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4943
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: New to the i3 and new to EV's

Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:17 pm

fwiw, at my age and health condition, a heated seat is a nice feature!
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

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