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Just bought a 2014 i3 from carvana!

Posted: Fri May 13, 2022 9:21 pm
by BigMotorsports
Just like the title reads! This is my first i3 I’ve ever purchased so I thought I would check with you guys on my purchase, to make sure it’s a good idea of course. I can still return my car if you guys say get rid of it. But here’s the rundown, I LOVE this car. Everything about it. It’s like a brand new car! It’s a 2014 all electric version. But it’s fully loaded to the brim and grey on olive. Carvana was great too! Ask any questions about that process if you’d like. Only thing that sucked was it took them like 3 weeks to deliver. Not a big deal actually. I checked the kapa max and it says 13.8. Is that bad?? this appears to be a generally average number I see for this year but not sure if that’s bad. I doordash in this car so I have to charge once or twice a day in it. When I charge it to full overnight and go driving in the morning I put about 50 to 55 miles on it before I go charge. There’s usually 15 or so left as well. If I pushed the car to run out id probably get 70 to 80 miles out of a full tank. But I never go to far past the last quarter of electricity! Is this good range at this age??? Earlier today towards the end of my shift I drove way more normal taking the free way and stuff and I probably used 2 bars in 25 or 30 miles. That’s the first time I tore through juice like that on this car. Made me nervous my battery is getting old. I’d love to keep it forever though so tell me this is normal to maybe go through a charge in 50-60 miles without careful driving?? I’m sure I can keep getting 60-70 miles or more if I keep babying it and staying away from the high speeds. I do see these with 150k on them still zero issues everywhere as far as I can tell. So I feel confident this is a reliable car. But I really want to check with all you more experienced owners before I keep it forever! In comfort mode it’s so powerful it can actually pull the skin on your face during acceleration!! Makes my old 335i feel like a wheelchair!!! Plus 2$ to charge???? WOOT!

Re: Just bought a 2014 i3 from carvana!

Posted: Fri May 13, 2022 11:32 pm
by alohart
BigMotorsports wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 9:21 pmIt’s a 2014 all electric version. But it’s fully loaded to the brim and grey on olive. Carvana was great too!
Congratulations! We're selling our 2014 BEV that we bought new. It doesn't have the optional HK entertainment system, heated seats and battery pack, 20" wheels, metallic paint, or a full leather interior (Tera World), so it's not fully-loaded. However, it's been driven less than 13k miles and is in like-new condition except for the battery pack which has lost ~22% of its nominal new usable capacity. Even so, Carvana offered us $1,075 more today than they did a month ago, so used U.S. i3 prices continue to increase!
BigMotorsports wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 9:21 pmI checked the kapa max and it says 13.8. Is that bad??
The nominal usable capacity when new was 18.8 kWh. 13.8 kWh would be a 27% capacity loss. However, Batt. Kapa. max is a calculated usable capacity estimate that can vary with temperature and other factors. What really matters is whether its actual range works for you. If winter weather is cold where you live, your usable range will decrease noticeably during cold weather, but if you charge at 240 V (AC Level 2), you could heat the battery pack prior to departing which would increase its range.
BigMotorsports wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 9:21 pmIs this good range at this age???
The range of early i3's seems to vary considerably. Many early i3 owners claim almost no loss of range while others have lost so much range that they've ask BMW to measure the usable capacity in hopes of getting a new battery pack under warranty. There seems to be no explanation for this variability. However, the usable capacity is controlled by the battery management system (BMS). Almost all early i3 owners have been denied a new battery pack but have experienced greater range after their capacity tests. To me, this suggests that the BMS is being tweaked during the capacity test to increase the usable capacity. In fact, several early i3 owners have used pirated copies of BMW's iSTA+ maintenance software to initialize the BMS which typically increases the actual range noticeably. I had planned to try this after our battery pack warranty expires in November, but I chose to buy a 2019 i3 instead.
BigMotorsports wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 9:21 pmEarlier today towards the end of my shift I drove way more normal taking the free way and stuff and I probably used 2 bars in 25 or 30 miles.
Because of aerodynamic drag, an i3 is more efficient in urban and suburban driving than at high-speed highway driving. Reducing one's speed increases efficiency and thus range.
BigMotorsports wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 9:21 pmI do see these with 150k on them still zero issues everywhere as far as I can tell. So I feel confident this is a reliable car.
The BEV version in particular has been very reliable. In more than 7 years of ownership, we haven't experienced any unexpected repairs. I knew when we bought our i3 that an electronic module was defective and would be replaced under warranty. A motor mount bracket bolt that could break was replaced under warranty, and the driver airbag was reprogrammed under warranty to reduce the likelihood of injury under unusual conditions. This reliability is why I wasn't worried about buying a 2019 i3 so that we could drive anywhere on our island without having to charge en route, something that wasn't possible with our 2014 i3.

Your decision whether to keep your i3 probably depends on whether its range is sufficient for your needs.

Re: Just bought a 2014 i3 from carvana!

Posted: Sat May 14, 2022 1:44 am
by BigMotorsports
Thanks for the reply! Definitely curious to hear more responses on range from any other i3 owners like mine! I just did a small trip to the store. Took one bar, which took 17 miles. I was able to floor it like 3 times as well! :D If I drove slow like usual I coulda gotten 20?? The thing is, this car new is stated to get 70 to 80 miles. That seems to be what I’m getting??? So even with the 75%ish battery I’m still getting newish range?? Hmm…

Re: Just bought a 2014 i3 from carvana!

Posted: Sat May 14, 2022 11:31 am
by alohart
BigMotorsports wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 1:44 amThe thing is, this car new is stated to get 70 to 80 miles. That seems to be what I’m getting??? So even with the 75%ish battery I’m still getting newish range?? Hmm…
A 2014 BEV has an E.P.A. rated range of 81 miles:

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However, it's difficult to translate the conditions used to calculate the E.P.A. range to real-world conditions. The actual range can vary considerably based on the temperature, the climate control settings, the driving mode (Comfort, EcoPro, EcoPro+), the driving speed, the terrain, the weight of passengers and cargo, the wind, the tires, the tire inflation pressure, the wheel size and weight, etc. The i3 displays an estimated range based on the previous ~19 miles of driving, whether navigation guidance is active, the temperature, etc. Because of so many variables, it's difficult to assess how an i3's actual range corresponds to its battery pack's capacity. If your i3's range meets your needs, then it's the right car for you. If it needs to be charged more often than is comfortable potentially leaving you stranded or waiting for a public charger to become available, then maybe it's not the right car for you.

An i3 driver can do things to increase range. I inflate the tires in our 2014 i3 to 10 psi over the recommended inflation pressure. This reduces rolling resistance and increases actual range. A side-effect is better protection against tire and wheel damage when running over potholes. Downsides are a slightly rougher ride and a slightly smaller contact patch that could reduce traction slightly. I haven't noticed any unusual tread wear.

I always drive in EcoPro. However, I prefer full climate control power which, by default, isn't provided in EcoPro mode. An iDrive setting allows full climate control power in EcoPro which could reduce range slightly, a trade-off that's OK for me. If I'm driving in urban or suburban environments, I'll drive with the windows open rather than using climate control in mild weather. However, at highway speeds, aerodynamic drag is greater with the windows open, so more efficient highway driving might occur with the windows closed and climate control on. Full propulsive power is available in EcoPro when pressing the power pedal to the floor, so there's no performance downside.

I don't carry things in our i3 that I probably won't need. For example, in normal driving, I won't need the Occasional Use Charging Cable included with every i3, so I don't carry it unless I'm driving somewhere that I might need to use it for charging.

The lifetime efficiency of our 2014 i3 is 5.2 miles/kWh which is better than average. Living in a mild climate with no hot summers or cold winters as well as not much highway driving helps drive at high efficiency.

Re: Just bought a 2014 i3 from carvana!

Posted: Sat May 14, 2022 1:27 pm
by BigMotorsports
Cool! My tires actually look a little under inflated so I’ll start there to increase mileage a little. Then I guess it’s the right car for me! Charging takes about 10 minutes. So I’m never stranded really? I can drive for 3 to 4 hours non stop with the 70 miles range so I guess I’m pretty darn happy! I usually do charge once a day and it’s never a big deal. Always quick and easy. I do have to support the weight of the cable though? Is that normal? Also slept in massively today and left my car plugged in for a few hours past the full charge. It wasn’t green or anything. Kinda looked like the car said I’m done and stopped charging? Does the i3 protect itself from overcharge and stop charging? Or did I mess up by leaving it plugged in for a few hours already charged?

Re: Just bought a 2014 i3 from carvana!

Posted: Sun May 15, 2022 2:19 pm
by alohart
BigMotorsports wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 1:27 pmI usually do charge once a day and it’s never a big deal. Always quick and easy. I do have to support the weight of the cable though? Is that normal?
A heavy DC fast charging cable can apparently pull the top of the plug out of the charge port enough to interrupt the charging protocol communications preventing charging from starting. After charging has started, it's not necessary to support the weight of the cable. Many i3 drivers have reported this problem as well as this workaround.
BigMotorsports wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 1:27 pmDoes the i3 protect itself from overcharge and stop charging? Or did I mess up by leaving it plugged in for a few hours already charged?
The i3's BMS prevents overcharging even when an EVSE or DC charger remains plugged in after a full charge has been reached. The only potential problem with leaving an EVSE or DC charger plugged in longer than necessary might be a damaging power surge that could occur as a result of a nearby lightning strike. However, I'm guessing that it's unlikely that a surge would pass through an EVSE or DC charger to an EV's charging electronics. The EVSE or DC charger would probably take the hit. A DC charger likely includes surge protection. I don't know whether an EVSE does. I've added an on-off switch to our charging circuit so that I power off our EVSE when it's not charging our i3, but most EVSE's are always powered.