BMW i3 REx: proprietor’s three years with range-extended electrical automobile

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This week, my 2014 i3 REx turned three years outdated; I picked it
up on Might 21, 2014. For essentially the most half I’ve been very happy
with the automobile.

It’s undoubtedly not excellent, however then once more no automobile is. It has
match my wants and driving calls for completely and I solely wanted to
drive on the vary extender for about 2,700 of the 71,000 miles
that I’ve pushed the automobile.

When the i3 first launched, I used to be dissatisfied that the EPA
vary for the BEV was solely 81 miles per cost. I had actually
anticipated BMW to ship the i3 with 100 miles of vary proper
from the beginning.

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In any case, the MINI-E and ActiveE trial lease applications that
preceded the i3 each employed automobiles that have been able to 100
miles underneath favorable climate situations. 

So when the EPA vary ranking was lastly revealed, it was clear
that I wanted to get the non-compulsory vary extender to fulfill my
driving necessities.  After three years, I can undoubtedly
look again and say it was the correct choice.

I’ll have solely used the REx for two,700 of these 71,000 miles,
however once I wanted it, I actually wanted it. With out the REx,
there would have been many days once I didn’t use the automobile, for
concern of not making my vacation spot. I’d in all probability have about
15,000 much less miles on the automobile than I do now.

2014 BMW i3 REx, scenic New Jersey, Apr 2015 [photo by owner
Tom Moloughney]
Enlarge Photograph

Making an excellent electrical automobile higher

After residing with my i3 for 3 years now, I’ve an excellent
understanding of what I like about it, and what I’d prefer to see
improved.

Whereas total I’ve been very happy with the automobile, there are
facets that I’m not essentially keen on.

Listed below are among the issues I consider BMW ought to change and/or
enhance to make the i3 even higher.

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Extra typical tires

I perceive what BMW was aiming for after they determined to make use of
tall, skinny tires on the i3.

The engineers have been tasked with making the i3 essentially the most environment friendly
automobile accessible; the decreased drag from tires with a smaller
cross-section helped them succeed, and the i3 held that world
title for 2 years.

I’m certain wider tires would have reduce a bit into the
effectivity, and maybe value a few miles of battery
vary, however for my part, they might have been value it.

2014 BMW i3 REx range-extended electrical automobile at three years
[photo: owner Tom Moloughney]
Enlarge Photograph

Higher rubber would enhance the dealing with and provides the automobile a
extra planted really feel. The i3’s tires are so skinny that from time to
time they have an inclination to get caught in irregular grooves within the
pavement, requiring the motive force to make a correction. 

Additionally, the shortage of a giant contact patch makes the automobile really feel
skittish at freeway speeds, particularly in windy
situations. 

They’re additionally seemingly extra vulnerable to sidewall injury, and even
to selecting up street particles like nails & screws. It could be
laborious to show, however a variety of i3 house owners complain concerning the
frequency of flats they’ve skilled.

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I too have been hit by i3 flats; I’ve had a complete of
six flat tires in my three years. I don’t suppose I’ve
had greater than six flats whole over 30 years of driving. So I’ve
both had exceptionally unhealthy luck, or there’s one thing about
these tires that makes them extra susceptible to break.

The i3 is the only automobile that makes use of these unusually sized tires,
so they are not made in excessive quantity, and therefore not all the time
accessible.

Some BMW i3 house owners have reported ready three to 4 weeks
for his or her supplier to get tires into inventory.

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