i3PandaLVR
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Suggestions on getting my i3 from Dealer to Home on i5 LA-SAC

Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:18 pm

Hey Everyone,
Almost a full fledged i3 club member here!

Finally found my ultimate 2017 PANDA REx 🐼 I’ve been searching for with HK Sound & Technology Package

So here’s my dilemma, the car has super low Milage (only 11k) but isn’t coded yet and I need to drive 384 miles from Los Angeles to Sacramento on either i5 or i99 to get him home.

The dealer highly suggested to not even attempt this saying when the REx kicks in at 6% the car will become almost non drivable along i5.

The part over the Grapevine will come early on in the first 80-90 miles and be mostly downhill so there may be some regenerative charging possible here.
From what we can see there are DC Fast charge at least every 60-70 miles with many #2 in between.

Aside from having it trucked here for $800 which is still an option, I’d rather put that aside for a #2 charger and charging/fuel fees for the next year.

I’ve read the rumblings from 2017 about lack of Fast Charge options in California along i5 from Oregon to Mexico for non Tesla vehicles but it seems this may not be as dire anymore?

So would the best plan be to code the car before departure with the correct dongle & app so it could hold charge @50-75% then fill up every 80miles (4 full ups) or wait till I get home to code and stop every 80miles to quick charge and put gas in?

Once I’m home the car will only be used for around town and occasionally to San Francisco if work ever resumes in person there.

I’m definitely up for a fun ride & adventure after months in seclusion but don’t want to get stranded on the journey home.

I could also put a 2 gallon backup in the front boot as a precaution of needed.

The fact that this has become a hunt for a unicorn 🦄 has been fun but challenging.

Iit seems 80% of all the i3 have the DEKa Dark Atielier interior but rarely the Loft/Mega or LODGE/GiGA with Tech & HK sound together which is what’s behind the extra effort required here.

I could always wait another 6 months-year for another to come along closer to home but would rather not if I can help it.
Thanks in advance for input.

Cdni3
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:54 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: Suggestions on getting my i3 from Dealer to Home on i5 LA-SAC

Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:04 am

Trip is doable without coding but I would NOT carry spare fuel in frunk. No shortage of regular gas stations on i5. I’d go for it figuring on a little extra time and map out charge points along the way. Save the $800 for your very own L2 charger 🙂. You also don’t need to fully charge along the way and in the interest of making the best time don’t plan on charging past 80% as the last 20% takes as long as or longer than to 80% of charging. You also don’t necessarily need all DC fast chargers, plan on stopping for a few longer breaks and perhaps adding an hour of L2 charging to get you to another DC fast charger further down the road.

If you really want coding done before trip then locate someone in LA that can code car for you after you take delivery. The coding is not that difficult but not something you really want to immediately learn after picking up car and right before a long trip home in my opinion. I coded my own car and it went smoothly but there was a bit of a learning curve working through the menus.

Enjoy the drive. Get the charging apps and make the trip home a mini adventure. Welcome to the i3 community. Also don’t forget that a number of BMW dealerships also have DC fast chargers that as a new member of the BMW family they will let you use. Don’t forget about the competition as I have also used DC fast chargers at KIA and VW dealers in Washington State by politely asking.

Also the car doesn’t become non drivable at 6% when the REX kicks in but you cannot keep going 75 mph using the REX without coding. REX can keep up the charge at 55-60 mph but not going up steep mountain passes. It’s not like you hit 6% and the car stops; also you can monitor the amount of charge and plan your stops around that. Perhaps its time to locate a charge station when you hit 15% in the next 10-15 miles or slow down so the REX can keep up with the charge process and go a little further on gas until you reach a charging point.

Deutsch100
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:28 pm

Re: Suggestions on getting my i3 from Dealer to Home on i5 LA-SAC

Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:41 am

I am on i3 number two now (2019 and now 2020). I have used the Rex for freeway driving, and it is strong. I went up the 405 Getty pass at 75mph with full A/C and did not feel any power reduction at all.

I know several people that have driven their i3 Rex cross country. You have to stop every 60-70 miles to add 2 gallons of gas, so while not convenient, totally doable.

Your drive would be super easy using Rex.
2020 i3S Rex; Capparis White

JohnWasser
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:15 pm

Re: Suggestions on getting my i3 from Dealer to Home on i5 LA-SAC

Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:44 am

The "ABRP" app (A Better Route Planner) shows a travel time of nine hours and seven minutes from LA to Sacramento. That includes five charging stops and a total of two and a half hours of charging. The charging stops are chosen for you based on your car's capability.

The PlugShare app will let you pick a route and then show you charging stations along the route that you can manually plan to stop at.

eNate
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: Suggestions on getting my i3 from Dealer to Home on i5 LA-SAC

Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:28 pm

I gotta second John's advice. This drive is only a challenge in a pre-2017 BEV with a battery. For a 94 Ah bet it takes a modicum of planning. For a REX, you're golden, as long as you hit the grapevine with some juice in the battery.

Plug Share is your friend!
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alohart
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Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Suggestions on getting my i3 from Dealer to Home on i5 LA-SAC

Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:50 pm

Power loss doesn't begin occurring until the battery pack's charge level drops below ~2%. You can display the charge level percentage on the instrument panel by repeatedly pressing the button on the end of the turn signal stalk to cycle through the options. Most power loss problems occur with 60 Ah battery packs. 6% of 60 Ah is less than 6% of 94 Ah, so your i3 has a larger energy cushion before power loss begins.

When ascending the Grapevine, pay attention to the charge level percentage. If it drops to near 2%, pull over to the truck lane to slow down or maybe increase the A/C thermostat setting which should decrease power demand enough to allow the REx generator to provide sufficient power to stop the decrease in charge level.
Aloha,
Art

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

i3PandaLVR
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Re: Suggestions on getting my i3 from Dealer to Home on i5 LA-SAC

Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:54 pm

Thanks to everyone for the amazing advice & replies! We usually drive this route twice yearly in our Prius but it usually stop every hour for breaks and dog walks so I don’t think this would be any problem with monitoring our stops to top off.
The weather has already dropped to near Fall levels so using the AC might not be necessary either except when going through the cattle 🐮 zones...those are the worst part of the trip.

Thanks again and will update with hope all goes to plan.

eNate
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: Suggestions on getting my i3 from Dealer to Home on i5 LA-SAC

Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:00 am

JohnWasser wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:44 am


The "ABRP" app (A Better Route Planner) shows a travel time of nine hours and seven minutes from LA to Sacramento.
Thanks for the heads up on this app. This was the first I'd heard of it and I just installed it. At first glance it seems great.

This is what I envisioned Waze was up to when they introduced the "Electric Vehicle" car description a while back, but they haven't seemed to do anything with it.

The ABRP has departing SOC and other custom inputs that really make it seem useful. I also notice that it chooses EV-friendly routes, although it doesn't agree completely with iDrive's preferred eco-routing, it's better than what gmaps and Waze provides.
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jadnashuanh
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Re: Suggestions on getting my i3 from Dealer to Home on i5 LA-SAC

Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:03 pm

I don't remember the name right now, but there's a company that will sell you a USB drive that will program the REx for you. IT works as a toggle...if it's "off", when you insert it, it turns the capability on; if it's already on, it will turn it "off", restoring it to factory capacity. The same company sells it with video in motion functionality. There are other ways to do it. I've not looked at Bimmercode app recently for this, but that may include that functionality now, and with that program (a one-time purchase) and a compatible OBD-II adapter, it should only take a few minutes to do this yourself www.bimmercode.app .

LiON battery packs' life is somewhat determined by the number of recharge cycles. One charge from 0-100% being one cycle, where 10 recharges from 90-100% also equals one cycle...enabling the REx on a longer trip could save some cycles. Only really an issue if you want to keep the car for a long time.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV
Soon (hopefully!) A 2021 X5 45e will replace the above

alohart
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Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Suggestions on getting my i3 from Dealer to Home on i5 LA-SAC

Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:29 pm

jadnashuanh wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:03 pm
I don't remember the name right now, but there's a company that will sell you a USB drive that will program the REx for you.
I recall someone reporting that this USB drive no longer works to enable turning on the REx engine at will and to increase the usable fuel volume. BimmerCode seems to have replaced it for considerably less money and with much greater capabilities.
Aloha,
Art

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

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