slsrs6
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 18, 2021 11:35 am

(Update: I bought one!) Test Drove 2016 BEV w/ 34k miles. Battery Check?

Tue May 18, 2021 11:46 am

Went to test drive a 2016 BEV model today. 36k miles. I went in and checked the battery kapa and it said 17.3 kWh. It was fully charged and I was getting ~65 miles on the GOM and 90 in Eco+ mode. Is it really possible to get 80-90 miles if you drive gently?

I already drive very gas-conscious. 65 on the highways and coast as much as I can, very easy acceleration. I drive a 5.0 F150 and my game is seeing how high I can average for MPG lol (21+ right now). Just wondering what -realistically- I can expect from the battery on this? 60 miles? 70 miles? 80 miles?

I live in FL too btw, so we rarely get a cold day. I live close to the ocean so it's more temperate than inland. 80-90s in the summer.

I've heard people saying 50 miles pushes it, but then they also say they drive 95 on the highways :roll:

With my driving style, what can I expect do you think? I really do love the car! If I could get 70-80 miles with some very gentle driving I'd be all in..
Last edited by slsrs6 on Tue May 25, 2021 4:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

websterize
Posts: 531
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:39 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Test Drove 2016 BEV w/ 34k miles. Battery Check?

Tue May 18, 2021 12:28 pm

~65 miles max. That sounds about right: 70 miles = 4 mi/kWh x 17.3kWh. You'll see 4 mi/kWh at speeds under 65 mph, with gentle starts and stops, and in Eco Pro driving mode, which changes acceleration mapping and reduces the output of the HVAC. In EcoPro+, the car goes into Apollo 13 mode, disabling the A/C. In Florida summers, you want to avoid EcoPro+. This mode also governs speed to 56 mph — yes, you can defeat it with a hard press on the go pedal or ACC/DCC — so you'd be sweating and going slow simultaneously. In extreme temperatures, especially "cold" weather (<50ºF in the Sunshine State), plan on a range of ~50 miles = 3 mi/kWh*17.3.

For road trips, winter or no, I'd probably take the truck. For other common outings — groceries, eating out, going to the beach — this is the perfect car. And the BEV requires virtually no maintenance, just brake fluid every two years and tires. I'd buy it.
2018 i3 Sport BEV | Coding spreadsheet

slsrs6
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 18, 2021 11:35 am

Re: Test Drove 2016 BEV w/ 34k miles. Battery Check?

Tue May 18, 2021 12:44 pm

Hey thanks for the reply! So when you say "65 mile range", does that mean most days in I could actually drive 32.5 miles one way and 32.5 miles back home? Or does that mean "65 miles is your range, but in the real world you should only really plan for 50-55 mile trips at most?" Just wondering how accurate these range estimations are. Honestly most of my trips would probably only be 40 miles at most. 80% highway.

What happens when the battery reaches low capacity, say 5-10%? Obviously in a gas car, it runs completely normal until it's completely out of gas. Will the i3 run like normal until it's completely out of charge? Or when it gets low, will it start to limit top speed, slower acceleration, etc.?

Hopefully that makes sense. Thanks!

websterize
Posts: 531
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:39 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Test Drove 2016 BEV w/ 34k miles. Battery Check?

Tue May 18, 2021 2:22 pm

With Florida’s flat roads and moderate temperatures, as long as you keep your speed below 65 mph, you should be fine at 65 miles total. That’s probably the max., though. In your shoes, I’d feel more at ease plugging in at the office, even a 110V L1 plug, assuming you’re thinking of the i3 as a daily commuter.

As the pack’s state of charge drops below 15%, you’ll hear and see warnings. It doesn’t just land in your lap. At very low SOC, the car will go into “turtle mode,” severely limiting speed, before stopping altogether. Then you phone a flatbed.

There are many variables to range. If your plan is to hit the 60Ah max. range often, you might broaden the search to the 94Ah, which easily could do 100 miles year round in Florida with your described driving style.

Good luck — the BEV is a solid car.
2018 i3 Sport BEV | Coding spreadsheet

eNate
Posts: 664
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: Test Drove 2016 BEV w/ 34k miles. Battery Check?

Wed May 19, 2021 7:02 am

If it helps ease your concern, I've driven mine to zero indicated a few times. It's very trustworthy, which is why I've done it. The rate of discharge tracks steadily (not like a phone or PC which can go from 15% to "shutting down..." in a blink) .

There's a healthy hidden buffer below 0%, so even upon reaching 0 miles remaining, the car doesn't just stop, it keeps you moving for a little bit longer. We're only allowed to dip our feet into this buffer — the bulk of it is unusable and is there to protect the battery from being completely run down.

The practical side of this is you don't want to make it a practice to go into this territory with any sort of regularity. But it's good to know the i3 can be relied on for the full range of what's it indicates it has available.
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alohart
Posts: 2405
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Test Drove 2016 BEV w/ 34k miles. Battery Check?

Wed May 19, 2021 1:53 pm

We live in Honolulu, so neither cold nor hot weather is an issue (~65 ºF - 90 ºF). On warmer days, we use A/C set to 74 ºF. I tend to drive between 30 and 60 mph. I keep our tires inflated 10 psi over the recommended pressure which reduces rolling resistance and increases range a bit. Our 2014 BEV has averaged 5.2 mi/kWh which is higher than average, mostly due to our ideal EV driving conditions.

When our battery pack was new, I could drive ~105 miles on a fully-charged battery pack (the Batt. Kapa. max value was as high as 20.9 kWh). Unfortunately, the usable capacity has decreased by ~20% from the nominal new usable capacity of 18.8 kWh despite having driven less than 12k miles. Ours isn't the only 60 Ah battery pack whose usable capacity has degraded by such an extent which is why I recommend avoiding buying an i3 earlier than a 94 Ah 2017 model. 94 Ah and 120 Ah battery packs don't seem to be degrading as rapidly as some 60 Ah battery packs. Because not all 60 Ah battery packs are degrading as rapidly, I suspect that 60 Ah battery cell quality wasn't as consistent as later cells. The performance and capacity of an i3 battery pack is that of the weakest of its 96 series-connected cells, so if only 1% of the cells in a battery pack are weak, the entire pack is weak.

There's no direct way to measure the charge level of a battery pack while driving. Even when parked and not charging, the battery pack's voltage isn't a precise indication of charge level over most of the charge level range. However, at high and low charge levels, the voltage changes more rapidly as charge level changes The battery management system (BMS) has high and low voltage limits that prevent the charge level from being too high or too low. Many BMS's calculate charge level by keeping track of the current that flows in and out of a battery pack. This calculation can drift over time due to internal self-discharge that the BMS cannot measure. However, when the pack voltage reaches upper and lower limits, the charge level calculation can be calibrated to known charge levels. Several i3 owners have reported running out of energy despite the displayed charge level being > 0%, so it's best not to depend on energy being available at very low charge levels.

I periodically calibrate the charge level by purposely driving until the gray chiclets on the power gauge begin to disappear. This indicates that the usable energy is about exhausted and that the BMS is preserving the remaining energy to minimize the risk of running out of energy and becoming stranded. With 3 chiclets remaining, the charge level of our i3 is typically 0.5%. That's as far as I push it. I do this on a hill above our apartment so that I can regen down the hill to add enough energy to be able to return to our apartment parking space where I can charge our car. Unfortunately, this has never increased the usable capacity of our battery pack as I had hoped that it would do.
Aloha,
Art

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

slsrs6
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 18, 2021 11:35 am

Re: Test Drove 2016 BEV w/ 34k miles. Battery Check?

Wed May 19, 2021 6:33 pm

Art,

Are you really averaging 5.2mi/kWh?? FL is extremely flat, and - at least the area I'm in - is pretty temperate 6 months out of the year. If I could average even 5mi/kWh that would give me at least 80mi range in good conditions. That would be very nice indeed. The farthest places I go on a regular basis are about 30-40 miles roundtrip, and a few that are 60, so 80mi would give me a nice comfy buffer for 95% of my trips and make this car very practical for me.

Honestly this 2016 is 6-8k cheaper than any 2017+ models I'm seeing, and it's at such a good price I could resell it in a year and break even (not to mention savings from driving). So I'm thinking it would be a good purchase either way. If the range drops below what I need, I can sell it. If I like it and want to upgrade in a year, the 2017s should have come down in price by then. This'll be a good way to dip my feet in the EV pool so to speak :D

alohart
Posts: 2405
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Test Drove 2016 BEV w/ 34k miles. Battery Check?

Wed May 19, 2021 11:10 pm

slsrs6 wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 6:33 pm
Are you really averaging 5.2mi/kWh??
That's the lifetime average of our i3 according to the BMW Connected app. It was 5.5 mi/kWh in the original BMW i app or whatever it was called. Until 2018, we spent the 6 warmest months at our Swedish apartment and stored our i3, so we didn't use much A/C during our first 4 years of ownership. Starting in 2018, we've spent more warmer months in Honolulu and thus have used more A/C which likely explains the drop in average efficiency. Of course, we've never used heat.

Honolulu is much less humid and not as hot as Florida can be in summer months, and we keep the climate control set point at 74 ºF which is warmer than many people prefer, so the A/C doesn't work as hard here. I've also coded air recirculation to remember the previous setting rather than defaulting to on. I always set recirculation to off so that no warm, humid outside air enters the cabin which reduces the A/C load and increases efficiency. Window fogging is rarely a problem because we have almost no cool, humid weather. Our parking space is in a parking garage, and I almost always park in a parking structure while out, so the cabin doesn't heat-soak very often which also reduces the A/C load.

I always drive in Eco Pro mode with adaptive cruise control (ACC) on. ACC controls acceleration which is quite leisurely. If I can see ahead that I need to reduce speed or stop, I temporarily disengage ACC and position the power pedal for coasting (i.e., no propulsive or regenerative power) which is more efficient than regeneration. I use friction brakes only when regeneration is insufficient to decelerate as much as needed.
slsrs6 wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 6:33 pm
Honestly this 2016 is 6-8k cheaper than any 2017+ models I'm seeing, and it's at such a good price I could resell it in a year and break even (not to mention savings from driving).
The battery pack in the i3 you're interested in isn't degrading as fast as ours is, so range is likely to remain as good as can be expected.

Speed and heavy A/C use are significant range killers, so if you can control those, if the price is right, and if the range likely meets your needs, it's probably a good purchase. Be aware that Internet connectivity in a 2016 i3 will cease by February, 2022, so you'd lose the ability to control and check on things remotely via the BMW Connected app, you would no longer have real-time traffic information in the navigation system, you'd no longer be able to search the Internet for navigation destination information, and you would no longer have access to other ConnectedServices that you might want. That won't happen with 2017 and later models.
Aloha,
Art

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

BL5
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun May 03, 2020 10:23 am

Re: Test Drove 2016 BEV w/ 34k miles. Battery Check?

Fri May 21, 2021 5:02 am

I know the 2016’s price is very appealing to you, but I would avoid the 2014-2016 model years like Art said. The 60aH models seem to take a harder hit long term on range. BMW appears to of ironed out most of the issues by 2017. If you plan on doing any long trips, a REx version is suggested.

Remember, just because the guess-o-meter displays 86mi or whatever doesn’t mean you’ll get 86mi. Plug you’ll have to factor in where’s your nearest charge location. The 60aH BEV model would never work for me, as I like to take longer trips.

I plan to get rid of my 2015 REx by end of the year due to it’s range limitations and get a 2019 REx in its place.
2015 White REx, loaded Tera, ACC
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slsrs6
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 18, 2021 11:35 am

Re: Test Drove 2016 BEV w/ 34k miles. Battery Check?

Fri May 21, 2021 4:44 pm

Well you don't have to worry about me getting a 2016 BEV anymore, cause it sold an hour before I went to buy it :x

But I'm still convinced a 60aH is all I need. It's my second car as I think I mentioned. Really only to commute to work, groceries, etc. and none of them are more than 10-15 miles. The absolute farthest place I'd ever go "in town" is only 19 miles away. I only ever go to straight to these places and come back home. I'll use my F150 for anything out of town, which nowadays is rare for me.

I also don't plan on keeping the car forever. Probably just a year or so honestly. If I develop a love for it, then I'll probably sell it and find a 2019+ that I can use more. But this is sort of a "low investment" way to try an EV car for me. See what happens. The 14-16's have depreciated enough that if I find a really good price I'd feel comfortable selling it for what I have into it in a year. Plus the gas saved over the year.

Still kicking myself for missing that 2016, however I did find a 2014 with 52k miles nearby. Older yes, but looks like it's a little better optioned with ACC possibly. Going to test drive it tomorrow. We had worked out a price of $13,300 out the door (including tax, tag, title, dealer fees) for the 2016, so if I can get the 2014 for less than that I might end up that route. I know about the plastic bolts of the 14-15s, which I'll have to worry about, but we'll see what happens tomorrow. Have to make sure to check the battery on this one too.. Hoping it's not degraded too much either..

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