Hello and welcome to the forum.
1. Looking at UK specs on BMW approved used cars, the BEV says "electric range - up to 62 miles" but the REX says "electric range - up to 93 miles". Thought they were exactly the same car and the REX should therefore have a lower electric range having to carry the extra weight around. Where does that 62 versus 93 miles come from?
I don't own a BEV, but know for sure that the BEV range is higher. 75-100mi if I remember correctly. Obviously restricted by what Epirali pointed out. The max electric mileage -before the REx kicks in at 6.5% SOC- I achieved is 75.5mi. During a UK summer, combined REx mileage for me is about 160mi rural, ca 130mi at motorway speed (that's 65-75mph for me). I have now taken my i3 to Germany, NL and Belgium 3 times. We've just crossed the 20k mile mark after 15 months.
2. I know the higher capacity battery is due out soon but I have seen comments about possible upgrades for existing users in the UK. Does anyone have any facts or authoritative information about this as I don't think I can justify shelling out for the new priced new model?
It has been confirmed (there was a post by Tom Moloughney on this) that there will be no i3 battery replacement programmes offered by US and UK dealerships. Whether there will be an aftermarket at some point remains to be seen. Given the capital and knowledge investment to provide such a swap at this point, I have doubts we will see something like this anytime soon.
3. My natural inclination is to go for the security of REX but reading the pages on here, the REX models seem to have a greater share of the problems. Is this right or just a misguided perception I've picked up?
I think this is your perception. There are purists in the EV arena who look down on REx drivers, as they're not pure enough, or "use a dinky little engine" or have "a poor solution from an engineering perspective" or "have a car that defeats the object". Fact is: a) REx drivers do more electric miles, because they can go where BEV owners leave their 2nd car i3 at home. b) REx have better residuals, because of battery upgrades and degrading SOC in older models. At the end of the day, it is all about one's usage pattern. Most of our journeys are local (35-50mi per day), but occasionally I go on long journeys to Germany or the north of the UK. 92.3% of our journeys are electric.
4 Anyone any experience of installing a home charger in UK and if so who did you use and what was the process like? I've been staring at my fuse box etc wondering if there are any problems I will encounter.
I went for a Type 2 Polar charger in Dec 2014. The process was nice and easy. Many electricians are now focussing on EV charge point installations.
5. Several of the installers refer to the charging point grant being dependent on owning an EV. Why would I buy an EV before I knew if there were any problems in installing the charger on my supply?
That's right. I ordered my charge point before I had the car and Polar wanted to see the order confirmation from the BMW dealer when I ordered mine.
6 Would love to hear from any UK users with BEV as to what real world range they get in our climate. I don't commute every day but it's about 50 miles when I do, no charger at work and it's motorway for most of it albeit in stop / start traffic at either end.
Winter pure electric: 65mi (battery and cabin preconditioned, with heating and seats on)
Summer pure electric: 82mi (no battery or cabin precon)
REx normally doubles the range. As mentioned above, after 20k miles, 92.3% of our journeys are electric.
Tips from me:
Thinking of fancy wheels or the HK upgrade? I would spend the money on a REx instead.
Have some money left and thinking of fancy wheels or HK upgrade? Put the money towards solar panels if your situation allows it.