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Unread 2019-01-24, 12:11 AM   #1
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Default Bought my first EV

Well, I’ve been wanting to do it for some time, but without A Tesla car budget, I was not about to go leaf or whatever front wheel drive thing I couldn’t stomach. Enter the CPO BMW i3. The 2014’s were the first year, so they, and the 2015’s were the trial years of the platform, so the 2016’s are pretty solid (for BMW standards) with all the recalls addressed. Looks are polarizing, but if you spend time with it, you do grow to appreciate it and its design. It’s a carbon fiber and AL chassis car with about the same interior space as my old WRX. Looks shorter, because it is, but imagine a Subaru Crosstrek with the nose chopped off (because there’s no engine up front), and that’s about the size. The i3 is also RWD with 170 horsepower. So, no powerhouse, but at 2,900 lbs, it’s surprisingly quick. The 20-50 mph hit is pretty damn quick.

This is a 2016 with the range extender, CPO and got it for $19k. The range extender is a 650cc 32 horsepower 2 cylinder engine from a BMW scooter connected to a generator. It’s fed by a 1.9 gallon gas tank. It fires up when the battery drops below 6% and gives you another 60-80 miles of range.

I’ve already “coded” the car. Basically reprogrammed the ECU. I wanted 2 options turned on. One is the fuel tank size. Because of California standards, the range extender was not allowed to have a range longer than the battery to be considered an EV. So BMW electronically limited the tank to 1.9 gallons when the rest of the world got 2.4. I coded mine to use the full 2.4 gallons. The second option I enabled is the “hold state of charge” feature. So in California (again) they had a rule than range extender a cannot be used unless the battery is depleted thus making them a true range extender. In the rest of the world, you can manually fire up the range extender whenever the battery is 75% or less. What this does is allows more flexibility in use for long distances.

And today on the way home from work I did have some fun. I raced a Dodge Charger 5.7L Daytona. With the cold weather, I pulled him up to 60 mph and had him by half a car. Yes, he was coming around, but I made him try probably a lot harder than they’d care to admit.

Well, here’s the new ride. I’ve got a handful of free chargers at the office I’ll be using. Saving money $2 dollars a day.

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Unread 2019-01-24, 05:43 AM   #2
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Do all those EV stations use the same outlet?
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Unread 2019-01-24, 07:26 AM   #3
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Do all those EV stations use the same outlet?
Yes and no. Most all level 2 (240V ac) public stations use the same J1772 plug. This is what most EV’s have, except for Tesla. Tesla has its own plug, but they have adapters so they can use J1772’s. Tesla has its own plug type for super chargers and their destination chargers, so they are the only ones who can use that. Public DC fast chargers use a plug that’s uses the J1772 plug plus two additional ports in the bottom. Your vehicle has to be capable of using DC fast charging (mine can use DC fast charging). Tesla cannot use public DC fast Chargers.
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Unread 2019-01-24, 08:51 AM   #4
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I did not know that info about the range extender option on those. That's pretty neat. Range has always turned me off of EV's, but with options like that, it may be time to make the leap in the near future. Or not, I have two gas hogs I don't intend on giving up. But EV is a lot more appealing now than it ever has been.
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Unread 2019-01-24, 08:59 AM   #5
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I did not know that info about the range extender option on those. That's pretty neat. Range has always turned me off of EV's, but with options like that, it may be time to make the leap in the near future. Or not, I have two gas hogs I don't intend on giving up. But EV is a lot more appealing now than it ever has been.
Yeah, it takes away the range anxiety, expecially for a first timer. Also makes it so you can drive it long distances provided you stop every hour and put two gallons of gas in it. No, not optimal, but that fact that you “can” do it you you had to is the point. We have a family car (minivan) for long trips.

Some argue that it takes away from the less maintenance aspect of having an EV, but it’s not that bad. It’s a once a year oil change.

I burned though a tank intentionally. I didn’t know how old the gas was. Yeah, the computer is supposed to know when you last filled it and force you to burn it out if a few months pass, but it just bothered me not knowing, so I burned it up and filled it back up with a a little sta-bil for my pease of mind. Weird only putting $4 worth of gas in it.
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Unread 2019-01-24, 10:50 AM   #6
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Has the oral in your life risen dramatically since the purchase?

That you give to dudes, that is.
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Unread 2019-01-24, 12:24 PM   #7
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Has the oral in your life risen dramatically since the purchase?

That you give to dudes, that is.
Interesting that the first thing you think about when seeing a car is my junk. Wonder what that fascination is all about...

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Unread 2019-01-25, 11:41 PM   #8
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I noticed not too long ago that those are pretty good buy. I'd consider one if they weren't so strange looking.
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Unread 2019-01-26, 11:03 PM   #9
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I noticed not too long ago that those are pretty good buy. I'd consider one if they weren't so strange looking.
Yeah, looks are different. The more you look into it, the more you appreciate it. It grows on you. Still, never going to be ďbadass coolĒ. Itís ďcoolĒ in a techy sense, but no attention grabber.

I got this 2016 for $19k. Used prices have tanked on these for several reasons. The 2014-2016 have a small-ish battery. I wouldnít buy one without the Rex. Range is rated at 72 miles, but thatís best case scenario. With the cold weather, Iím getting more like 55 on the battery. The newest i3ís can be had with a battery with twice the range of mine.

Hereís a couple vids of the fabrication. It really is quite remarkable. The frame is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Itís like a prototype car that actually made it to production.

Something went wrong. Please make sure you added the video correctly.

Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt1k3BLN7pw
Something went wrong. Please make sure you added the video correctly.

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Unread 2019-01-27, 02:48 AM   #10
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Interesting videos.

It was -27 on the way to work up here Friday. I'd probably get 20 miles of battery range in those temps lol.
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Unread 2019-01-27, 06:42 AM   #11
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Has the oral in your life risen dramatically since the purchase?

That you give to dudes, that is.
I laffed.
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Unread 2019-01-27, 09:18 AM   #12
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Congrats! Hopefully you have better fortunes with yours than what a friend of mine had. It was in the shop every month for the 2-3 years he owned it. He hated it. The range extender models are the ones with all the issues.
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Unread 2019-01-27, 07:33 PM   #13
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I don't mind Electric Vehicles but what I want is something that looks cooler, has 250 miles or more of range, has some real power when I press on the pedal and can be purchased between $30 to $40k. Until then, not too concerned. I just don't know if I will own an electric vehicle in my life for these reasons alone. The only cool looking EV are tesla's and im not sure of their future.

I do think electric is the future but it could be the 100 year future, not in my lifetime future.
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Unread 2019-01-27, 09:51 PM   #14
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Congrats! Hopefully you have better fortunes with yours than what a friend of mine had. It was in the shop every month for the 2-3 years he owned it. He hated it. The range extender models are the ones with all the issues.
From what Iíve read the early models, especially 2014ís, had some issues, but they did some recalls and corrected the later models. But, since itís CPO, I do have 2 and a half years of unlimited bumper to bumper warranty. Iíll unload it at the end of the warranty if itís no good.
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Unread 2019-01-28, 10:20 AM   #15
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I don't mind Electric Vehicles but what I want is something that looks cooler, has 250 miles or more of range, has some real power when I press on the pedal and can be purchased between $30 to $40k. Until then, not too concerned. I just don't know if I will own an electric vehicle in my life for these reasons alone. The only cool looking EV are tesla's and im not sure of their future.

I do think electric is the future but it could be the 100 year future, not in my lifetime future.
Isn't the i8 an EV? It looks pretty fucking cool to me.
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Unread 2019-01-28, 10:26 AM   #16
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Isn't the i8 an EV? It looks pretty fucking cool to me.
Yeah. That thing is a bitch to get in and out of, no thanks.
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Unread 2019-01-28, 04:54 PM   #17
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I don't mind Electric Vehicles but what I want is something that looks cooler, has 250 miles or more of range, has some real power when I press on the pedal and can be purchased between $30 to $40k. Until then, not too concerned. I just don't know if I will own an electric vehicle in my life for these reasons alone. The only cool looking EV are tesla's and im not sure of their future.

I do think electric is the future but it could be the 100 year future, not in my lifetime future.
Agreed. Everything in my price range looks ridiculous or boring, and the better looking ones are way too expensive for me. I like the looks of the new Porsche Taycan but at $80k, I don't see myself buying one. I'm not too fond of the Tesla Model 3 looks and I think $60k+ for the performance model is craziness.

Besides, electric cars probably wouldn't have so good range up here in North Dakota during the winter. It's supposed to be -34 Wednesday morning, probably with -55 wind chill. I don't think the batteries would take that too well.
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Unread 2019-01-28, 06:17 PM   #18
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Agreed. Everything in my price range looks ridiculous or boring, and the better looking ones are way too expensive for me. I like the looks of the new Porsche Taycan but at $80k, I don't see myself buying one. I'm not too fond of the Tesla Model 3 looks and I think $60k+ for the performance model is craziness.

Besides, electric cars probably wouldn't have so good range up here in North Dakota during the winter. It's supposed to be -34 Wednesday morning, probably with -55 wind chill. I don't think the batteries would take that too well.
Yeah, that would be a range killer. My 72 mile rated car is only seeing 55 miles in 20F weather. I only live 5 miles from work, so I donít care that much. Weíll see what that says here in Wednesday, though. One thing for sure is Iím going to work early to make sure I have one of the free spots. I can run those heaters all day if I wanted. LOL! But, even with the reduced range, at least the car will start.
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Unread 2019-02-01, 10:22 PM   #19
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Well, I can report back the pros and cons of -4F in an EV. Cons, all charged up, the 72 rated electric miles was 40 miles fully charged. Pros are, car starts, heat comes on almost instantly, and setting a departure time on your phone turns on preconditioning and when you leave work, you jump in your 70F car ad drive off at full throttle (if you want).
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Unread 2019-02-02, 04:47 PM   #20
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Well, I can report back the pros and cons of -4F in an EV. Cons, all charged up, the 72 rated electric miles was 40 miles fully charged. Pros are, car starts, heat comes on almost instantly, and setting a departure time on your phone turns on preconditioning and when you leave work, you jump in your 70F car ad drive off at full throttle (if you want).
My commute is 19.5 miles one way, so I'd be screwed in the lower temps up here. I suppose I could charge at work though.

Are you on i3 forums? How are the used ones holding up? Are there common expensive issues like most other bmw's have?
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Unread 2019-02-02, 11:05 PM   #21
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My commute is 19.5 miles one way, so I'd be screwed in the lower temps up here. I suppose I could charge at work though.

Are you on i3 forums? How are the used ones holding up? Are there common expensive issues like most other bmw's have?
Well, you start to get some of the range back as usage warms the batteries up, but still a pretty big hit on range. But, with the range extender, you can just fire that up and drive if needed.

Iím in a couple Facebook groups. The first year 2014 had your typical first model year problems, and maybe a little worse since it was a first of a kind build for them. Some of those issues carried over into 2015ís as well. For example, the 2014ís and 2015ís used plastic motor mounts and they broke, sometimes catastrophicly. They replaced them with new metal ones. 2016ís on seem to have most of the big issues worked out. So beyond that, itís your typical BMW. It runs well, but if something does go wrong, it can cost you. In accidents, the cars are quickly totaled in small accidents with repairs to the carbon fiber which was supposed to be ďeasyĒ being very expensive labor wise. Worst story I heard (found 2 instances) was a 3 way valve failing in the AC system, which caused the compressor to shred itself shooting metal fragments all throughout the cooling system. Wouldnít be such a big deal except for the battery cooling is also fed from the same AC system so the entire battery pack had to be taken out and apart to have the lines replaced. Good old German engineering there. The repair bill was $30,000, which is more than the car is worth. Covered under warranty. But still, holy crap.
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Unread 2019-02-03, 09:31 PM   #22
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Isn't the i8 an EV? It looks pretty fucking cool to me.
Itís neat but that is a house payment. Itís $147K. Plus it gets 18 miles on the battery only? That is not innovation.

To me it sounds like a big problem with EV is the batteries. Battery technology needs a huge innovation in terms of longevity and storage in a compact size.
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Unread 2019-02-03, 09:55 PM   #23
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Itís neat but that is a house payment. Itís $147K. Plus it gets 18 miles on the battery only? That is not innovation.

To me it sounds like a big problem with EV is the batteries. Battery technology needs a huge innovation in terms of longevity and storage in a compact size.
The i8 reallynis a hybrid, not an EV. I donít really get that car. Looks cool, but for the price and performance, I donít understand how they sell any of them.

Batteries are already there, and weíre just now starting to get to the tipping point. Currently, weíre there with EVís being a very viable 2nd vehicle. Pretty soon with the predicted development of solid state batteries, that will be the final push that will but EVís over gasoline powered cars. When will that happen? My guess is 10-15 years.
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Unread 2019-02-04, 06:26 PM   #24
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The I8 should have a B58 motor plus hybrid system and proper width tires. Done.
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