Fisher99
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

Drive an i3 with REX for 700+ Miles?

Sun May 12, 2019 6:29 pm

Thinking of buying an i3 with REX from a friend who lives about 700 miles away. Looks like a U-Haul car trailer will run about $650 and I can buy a 1 way airline ticket for far less than that. Is the REX capable of keeping you running at, say 70 mph once the battery runs out? I don't mind the thought of stopping for gas every 70 or so miles but wouldn't want to be stuck driving at 40 mph (or whatever) when the battery runs out of juice. Is it feasible to make a trip of this distance without stopping to re-charge? It has the 120v charger so no quick charge capability.

N41EF
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:04 pm

Re: Drive an i3 with REX for 700+ Miles?

Sun May 12, 2019 6:35 pm

Assuming it's coded for SOC, and you drive 70 not 75, and you aren't going over the Rocky mountains, yes it'll be fine.You could also look for chargers along the way and add a little juice during lunch stops.

You might also look for a route on highways not interstates I tend to do that for longer motorcycle rides, not a fan of blasting down the interstate in traffic.
2016 i3 Rex, Solar Orange, SOC coded

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4500
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Drive an i3 with REX for 700+ Miles?

Sun May 12, 2019 7:23 pm

It all depends on how fast you go and the grades. The REx engine is only around 34Hp. The motor can draw at max 170Hp (but not for extended periods). It doesn't take a huge amount to maintain a steady speed, but the power required goes up at the cube of the speed. A little difference makes a much bigger difference.

FWIW, while this is only true on a serial hybrid versus a parallel one, the vehicle ALWAYS runs off of the batteries. The REx just is putting some power either directly into them, or it's going to the electric motor if there's not enough. If you let the batteries get quite low, you will then be running directly off of whatever the engine can produce...think 1960's, early VW bug...not very fast! The battery, when it has enough charge, can sustain much higher outputs, but not forever, letting the 170Hp electric motor reach its full potential...exceed that with a low battery, and it's only whatever is being produced as the battery can no longer act as a momentary storage/augmentation for that power draw.

You may need to plan to stop more often than 70-miles if you let the SOC drop quite a ways. FWIW, people have taken the i3 on much longer trips, but it can take some planning and restraint. It is designed as a city/commute car, not a long-distance cruiser.

SOme parts of the country, especially at certain hours of the day, may not have fueling opportunities every 70-miles, so if one is unexpectedly closed, your choices drop radically. On cruise, my ICE can go over 500-miles, giving you lots more opportunities, but it does use more energy in the process. I use the i3 most of the time, since I don't need that range. But, I don't take mine on longer trips.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

Fisher99
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

Re: Drive an i3 with REX for 700+ Miles?

Sun May 12, 2019 7:51 pm

Good info. Thanks. He says that it is "coded" to allow starting the gas engine early, although I'm not sure what that actually means. The first have of the drive is on the I5 freeway (coming out of Sacramento, heading North) and the second half of the drive is on 2 lane (highway 97). You do have to climb over the Shasta mountain pass on I5.

In any case, it sounds doable, so I'll weigh the trailer vs drive option and see what I decide. IF I decide to buy the car, that is. Actually I've decided that I want it, but my wife is still thinking about it. We'll make a final decision this week.

Srivenkat
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:27 am

Re: Drive an i3 with REX for 700+ Miles?

Mon May 13, 2019 1:14 pm

This post has some tips: viewtopic.php?t=5182#p43436

jfran2
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:20 am

Re: Drive an i3 with REX for 700+ Miles?

Mon May 13, 2019 9:53 pm

FWIW, I just drove my I3 Rex for about 50 miles with no extra juice in the moderately hilly Ozarks. (My planned charging stop was non-functional). Somewhat to my surprise, I was able to maintain 70 mph with no problem! I suspect you'll be fine as well.

jfran2
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:20 am

Re: Drive an i3 with REX for 700+ Miles?

Mon May 13, 2019 9:58 pm

BTW, coding means changing the car`s programming. In America, they are programmed to use up the battery first, then kick on the gas motor. In Europe, you can start the Rex anytime below 75% charge. Coding just means changing the programming to allow that. Google it and you'll find lots of info. It's not difficult.

Fisher99
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

Re: Drive an i3 with REX for 700+ Miles?

Mon May 13, 2019 10:40 pm

Thanks again for the great info. I checked with my friend and the car is coded so can start the generator early, and has also been modified to allow full use of the 2.3 gallons of gas. Not sure the .3 is that big a deal, but I suppose every little bit helps.

I have decided to go ahead with the purchase of the car and your posts have given me the courage to drive it the 700+ miles home rather than going down with a trailer and dragging it back.

Thanks again!

Fisher99
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

Re: Drive an i3 with REX for 700+ Miles?

Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:05 pm

Well, this coming Thursday I make the trip to pick up the i3. I will drive a little over 300 miles to where I will spend the night and then a little over 400 miles the next day. There appears to be a L2 charger in the town where I will overnight, though, unfortunately, not at my motel. But my plan is to hit the charging station for an hour or two before I turn in for the night. More if I have to. We'll see what the SOC looks like when I get there.

Looking forward to this adventure and having the i3 as my daily driver!

Fisher99
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

Re: Drive an i3 with REX for 700+ Miles?

Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:21 pm

Ok, so I was just looking at my overnight location on PlugShare a bit more closely and I see that there is a SuperCharger station in that town as well. PlugShare shows it as only having a Tesla style plug. But I see that a Chevy Bolt and a Nissan Leaf have checked in there. I'm pretty sure that both of those cars have the same J-1772 plug that the i3 has. Is there an adapter that I can get that would let me charge at a Tesla SuperCharging station?

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