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This week, my 2014 i3 REx turned three years outdated; I picked it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 Could 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 disenchanted 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 spite of everything, 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 circumstances. 

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

I’ll have solely used the REx for two,700 of these 71,000 miles,
however after I wanted it, I actually wanted it. With out the REx,
there would have been many days after I didn’t use the automobile, for
worry 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 electrical automobile higher

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

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

Listed below are among the issues I imagine 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 obtainable; the lowered drag from tires with a smaller
cross-section helped them succeed, and the i3 held that world
title for 2 years.

I’m positive wider tires would have lower a little bit into the
effectivity, and maybe price a few miles of battery
vary, however for my part, they’d 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 a tendency to get caught in irregular grooves within the
pavement, requiring the motive force to make a correction. 

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

They’re additionally seemingly extra liable to sidewall harm, and even
to choosing up street particles like nails & screws. It might be
laborious to show, however plenty of i3 homeowners 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 wreck.

The i3 is the only real automobile that makes use of these unusually sized tires,
so they don’t seem to be made in excessive quantity, and therefore not all the time
obtainable.

Some BMW i3 homeowners have reported ready three to 4 weeks
for his or her vendor to get tires into inventory.

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