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323 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1883150 13-Oct-2017 21:17
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Linuxluver:

 

frednz:

 

I've just found on Trade Me Motors the lowest price second-hand BMW i3 that I've seen so far.

 

It's a 2014 Gen 1 "pure electric" model with 17,000 km on the clock and it has DC fast charge and NZ GPS and aux etc.

 

The asking price is $30,000, so that's getting a bit more reasonable.

 

The advertisement says you can fast charge this vehicle to 85% in just 20 minutes, do you think that's possible?

 

Although the 2014 model has a maximum range when new of 130 km, I guess you would have to reduce this a bit for a 3-year old vehicle due to normal degradation of the battery over that time. So, do you think you could count on getting a range of 110 - 120 km?

 



Make sure the DC fast charging interface isn't CCS Type 1 (American standard) 

I think there may be only 2 of those left in the country....and both of them will soon disappear. The fast chargers have all been converted to CCS Type 2 (European and - as of December 2016 - the NZ standard). 

 

 

That particular car is an import from japan. You can tell as AC (everyday) charge port is in the frunk.

All i3's from japan that I have seen have a CHAdeMO fast charge port on the side, and a J1772 (type1) slow charge port in the front.

Cars from the UK have a type 2 AC port on the side (with CCS DC fast charge pins as an option).

Early cars in NZ had type 1 connectors on the side, with optional CCS pins (all had range extenders). I think BMW NZ has now swapped to CCS type 2, and were going to swap the plugs on the few type 1 cars. I'm not sure if they are still around.

Most early i3's in NZ and the UK didn't have the rapid charge option. Back in 2014 there were few fast chargers around, making it hard to justify the extra cost (especially if you have a range extender)


85% in 20 mins? - the 22kWh i3 has something like 18.6kWh usable capacity. To charge to 85% in 20mins, average charge rate would need to be 47.43kW. Given the chargers are rated at 50kW, it sounds close.

Regarding battery life on the i3, it's pack is directly cooled by air conditioning refrigerant. Most of the issues with batteries dieing on other EV's is due to inadequate battery cooling. BMW's solution is the best on the market. You can dig into the service menu and check the kappa max value as a proxy for battery health, but there is some dispute online as to how helpful this actually is. Main issues on the i3 are to do with the reliability of the REX (partially early models).



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  Reply # 1883169 13-Oct-2017 21:39
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frednz:

 

 

 

Of course, i3 owners need to be aware that, when driving using the range extender engine, you should not over-tax the engine because it is charging the battery as you drive. For example, if you are driving a fully loaded car into a head wind at a fast speed up a hill using the range extender engine, then the battery may not receive enough energy from the range extender engine and the car may automatically slow down (i.e. go into reduced power mode) in order to conserve energy. This is particularly relevant when the battery has already been discharged to low levels, such as 6%, as discussed here  and also here.

 



It is good to be aware the REX is only 25kW, far less than the 125kW traction motor.

 

That said, the issues you linked to are largely specific to the USA. In the USA, the i3 has "hold charge" mode disabled, and the size of the fuel tank reduced by software. This is because some rule means you still quality for EV incentives as long as you have more battery range than petrol range, and the car forces you to use the battery first. As such in the USA, the Range Extender will only start when you hit 6% state of charge. (unless you "code" the car).

Also  people seem to drive 130km/h+ on the interstates in the USA, much faster than the 105 - 110km/h common here. Air drag is exponential, so it takes a lot more power to drive at those higher speeds.

In NZ, if you are driving a long way on the range extender, you can use hold mode to keep the state of charge high, giving a massive buffer for hills etc. I did an experiment at one stage. I set the cruise control to 108km/h, and drove up Bombay's northbound with the range extender on (alone in car). Range extender ran flat out, and the state of charge dropped something like 3 or 3.5 percentage points over the climb. took like 15 minutes more driving for the range extender (although it did turn off as I descended the back side of the hill) to catch back up to it's set point.

No issue if you have 25% left in your pack, but would be a big issue if you started on 6%, and the hill was twice as high. (25kW would have all the trucks passing you once you hit turtle mode).

That said, the range extender is not great for long trips. The gas tank is only useful for something like 140km.


 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 1883253 14-Oct-2017 09:12
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Scott3:

 

frednz:

 

 

 

Of course, i3 owners need to be aware that, when driving using the range extender engine, you should not over-tax the engine because it is charging the battery as you drive. For example, if you are driving a fully loaded car into a head wind at a fast speed up a hill using the range extender engine, then the battery may not receive enough energy from the range extender engine and the car may automatically slow down (i.e. go into reduced power mode) in order to conserve energy. This is particularly relevant when the battery has already been discharged to low levels, such as 6%, as discussed here  and also here.

 



It is good to be aware the REX is only 25kW, far less than the 125kW traction motor.

 

That said, the issues you linked to are largely specific to the USA. In the USA, the i3 has "hold charge" mode disabled, and the size of the fuel tank reduced by software. This is because some rule means you still quality for EV incentives as long as you have more battery range than petrol range, and the car forces you to use the battery first. As such in the USA, the Range Extender will only start when you hit 6% state of charge. (unless you "code" the car).

Also  people seem to drive 130km/h+ on the interstates in the USA, much faster than the 105 - 110km/h common here. Air drag is exponential, so it takes a lot more power to drive at those higher speeds.

In NZ, if you are driving a long way on the range extender, you can use hold mode to keep the state of charge high, giving a massive buffer for hills etc. I did an experiment at one stage. I set the cruise control to 108km/h, and drove up Bombay's northbound with the range extender on (alone in car). Range extender ran flat out, and the state of charge dropped something like 3 or 3.5 percentage points over the climb. took like 15 minutes more driving for the range extender (although it did turn off as I descended the back side of the hill) to catch back up to it's set point.

No issue if you have 25% left in your pack, but would be a big issue if you started on 6%, and the hill was twice as high. (25kW would have all the trucks passing you once you hit turtle mode).

That said, the range extender is not great for long trips. The gas tank is only useful for something like 140km.

 

 

Thanks very much Scott for your informative posts. We also had a good discussion a while ago about some of these issues on GeekZone here:

 

https://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=162&topicid=197896&page_no=36

 

Here's a quote from this thread:

 

It explains in this article that BMW designed the software on the i3 to allow the customer to manually turn on the range extender once the state of charge was below 75%, recognizing the occasional need to hold back extra energy in the battery pack for later in the journey when they would need it. By selecting this "Hold Mode", the range extender will turn on and hold the state of charge at that level, or close to it, depending on the current power draw."

 

 BUT ... "in order to comply with the BEVx rules, BMW modified the software on all cars sold in the US. This modification eliminated the hold mode option. The range extender therefore only turns on when the state of charge is 6.5%, and the driver has no control over it. They also had to limit the amount of gasoline available from 2.4 gallons to 1.9 gallons to make sure that the all electric range was less than the range while running on gasoline, another criteria of the BEVx classification."

 

In New Zealand, no such software modification has been made to new i3's sold here. Therefore, I guess the range extender can be set to kick in when the state of charge is below 75%, which would be the sensible thing to do if you are driving a long distance before you want to charge the battery at a charging station etc. The example you gave illustrated that the range extender can be used very effectively.

 

Overall, it seems prudent to buy an i3 with a range extender even if it isn't used very much. But, if the pure electric range of an i3 was 300km, then the need for a range extender would be reduced considerably.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1892240 29-Oct-2017 19:09
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Does anyone know if the 130km ish range for a gen 1 i3 is for city or highway driving?




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1892812 30-Oct-2017 20:19
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RunningMan:

 

Does anyone know if the 130km ish range for a gen 1 i3 is for city or highway driving?

 

 

I don't own one so I can only comment on what I've read, so perhaps someone who has driven the i3 extensively might be able to give you their hands-on experience.

 

But, the maximum range I've seen advertised in used car advertisements for the Gen 1 i3 is 160km, but the 130km range I have quoted comes from here.

 

There are so many factors involved with range estimates, such as speed, weather conditions, and whether the vehicle is loaded with passengers or not.

 

There is also the age of the vehicle to take into account, and some Gen 1 i3 models on sale here are 2014 models, so you may have to allow for natural degradation of the battery since that time.

 

My advice is to look at several of the online YouTube reviews as these sometimes comment on the likely range of the i3 under various driving conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1895742 5-Nov-2017 22:42
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The 130km range figure is the EPA rated range (for the 22kWh battery). The 160km number comes from the untrustworthy NEDC test cycle. EPA range for the REX variant is 116km. This is because you can't count the bottom 6% or so of the battery (no way to stop the REX from starting without running it out of fuel, or coding the car), and also because the weight of the REX, and the wider rear tires have some impact on efficiency.

130 km on the open road was reasonably attainable when I had an i3. Could go + or - 20 km if you babied it, or drove aggressively and cranked the climate control. I never fully tested it, but generally city mileage with lover travel speeds it good for EV's, so they can go further in the city. (petrol cars are the opposite normally).

Regarding battery degradation. Don't expect leaf like levels of capacity loss. The i3 uses the air conditioning system to keep the battery nice and cool, and to stop it from cooking like happens in the leaf's.


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  Reply # 1895786 6-Nov-2017 09:08
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Scott3:

 

The 130km range figure is the EPA rated range (for the 22kWh battery). The 160km number comes from the untrustworthy NEDC test cycle. EPA range for the REX variant is 116km. This is because you can't count the bottom 6% or so of the battery (no way to stop the REX from starting without running it out of fuel, or coding the car), and also because the weight of the REX, and the wider rear tires have some impact on efficiency.

130 km on the open road was reasonably attainable when I had an i3. Could go + or - 20 km if you babied it, or drove aggressively and cranked the climate control. I never fully tested it, but generally city mileage with lover travel speeds it good for EV's, so they can go further in the city. (petrol cars are the opposite normally).

Regarding battery degradation. Don't expect leaf like levels of capacity loss. The i3 uses the air conditioning system to keep the battery nice and cool, and to stop it from cooking like happens in the leaf's.

 



What do you drive now, Scott? 





____________________________________________________
I'm on a high fibre diet. 

 

High fibre diet


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1897127 7-Nov-2017 20:08
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Linuxluver:

 

What do you drive now, Scott? 

 



An 11 year old Toyota corolla hatch back, worth like $3k.

I brought my i3 from the UK when the pound dropped post Brexit. Was always the plan to sell it, and to have it as a toy / daily driver while it was on the market, and hopefully both make a little money, and push the market price of these down a little. Unfortunately a failure of the electric machine (generator) component of the REX, meant I ended up selling it at quite a loss (keeping it wasn't a great option as my wife had just got pregnant, and we wanted to cash out so we had an ampel cash buffer to take extra leave from work) .

My wife and I really enjoyed the car while we had it. I washed and dried it every week, so it was spotlessly clean. Its lots smaller outside than my corolla, yet I could stretch out in the i3 while i am cramped in the corolla. Tight turning circle, and small size made it very nice in the city. Rear wheel drive means that it don't spin the tires if you accelerate hard from a standstill, like will happen in a leaf, and out one had the premium sound system that was really nice. Auto dimming in all three mirrors is very nice too. Headlights were disappointing (halogen), was surprised that the i3 didn't come with LED as standard.

My use pattern at the moment isn't ideal for a cheaper electric car. My wife and I share a car, My commute is so short (under 2km each way), that there are virtually no fuel savings to be had while commuting. Also my job has me making occasional day trips to far away cities in the north island (went Auckland - Tauranga and back on Friday). Not really feasible in a leaf without making my day unreasonably long. I could take a company pool car, or a rental car, but work pays the IRD mileage rate (72c/km), so I make a bit of money taking my old car.

We hope to buy another i3 in a few years, when we need a second car in the family. Would go for a bigger battery pack size, and not bother with the REX.

If anybody else gets one, make sure you get the car with a fast charge port even if you don't need it. They are hard to sell without it. I ordered mine back when NZ was using the type 1 CCS, and euro cars are fitted with type 2 plugs, so due to the incompatibility didn't bother to get one with that option. NZ fast charge standard change over announcement came while my car was in transit. 









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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1898513 9-Nov-2017 20:15
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Scott3:

 

The 130km range figure is the EPA rated range (for the 22kWh battery). The 160km number comes from the untrustworthy NEDC test cycle. EPA range for the REX variant is 116km. This is because you can't count the bottom 6% or so of the battery (no way to stop the REX from starting without running it out of fuel, or coding the car), and also because the weight of the REX, and the wider rear tires have some impact on efficiency.

130 km on the open road was reasonably attainable when I had an i3. Could go + or - 20 km if you babied it, or drove aggressively and cranked the climate control. I never fully tested it, but generally city mileage with lover travel speeds it good for EV's, so they can go further in the city. (petrol cars are the opposite normally).

Regarding battery degradation. Don't expect leaf like levels of capacity loss. The i3 uses the air conditioning system to keep the battery nice and cool, and to stop it from cooking like happens in the leaf's.

 

 

Thanks for that interesting information. A recent advertisement for a 2014 REX BMW i3 quotes the range as 340km.

 

I thought the overall range (pure electric plus range extender) from a Generation 1 i3 was around 250km, so do you think the 340km quoted may be a bit overstated?

 

It's interesting that the price of this vehicle is only $37,500 with 20,850km on the clock, so that's quite good for a "full leather" model.

 

There are now one or two Generation 2 i3's (with range extender) appearing on TradeMe for around $60,000, so that's not a bad saving on the new price of $87,000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1898567 9-Nov-2017 22:57
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frednz:

 

 

 

Thanks for that interesting information. A recent advertisement for a 2014 REX BMW i3 quotes the range as 340km.

 

I thought the overall range (pure electric plus range extender) from a Generation 1 i3 was around 250km, so do you think the 340km quoted may be a bit overstated?

 

It's interesting that the price of this vehicle is only $37,500 with 20,850km on the clock, so that's quite good for a "full leather" model.

 

There are now one or two Generation 2 i3's (with range extender) appearing on TradeMe for around $60,000, so that's not a bad saving on the new price of $87,000.

 



I would say 340km is a bit optimistic, but can comfortably surpass 250km. Have done the latter a few times. i.e. Auckland to Hamilton return trips (roughly that distance), I would fill up once, use the whole battery, and end with more petrol in the tank than what i started with. I did it once with something like 3/4 of a tank of gas without refilling. Car was freaking out as I neared my destination in Auckland (had an appointment to make, so didn't want to stop for fuel). Empty tank of fuel, and something like 3% battery left... (normally it doesn't let you go under 6%).

 

Be careful with 2014 model year REX i3's (definitely get a decent extended warranty if you get one). This was the first model year of a car with many new parts, and has a few common (very expensive) faults. I think it is the least reliable BMW. That said, most of the faults are with the REX bit of the car, and i think they fixed faults in later model years (for example by humidity controlling the factory so they didn't get moisture in sealed parts.)

UK and Japan have EV subsidies of around $10k (in the UK you can both claim this subsidy, and claim back VAT when the car is sold offshore (if registered to a company)). Beyond that other markets seem to get better pricing on cars than in NZ... Add in a years depreciation, and the $17k saving is not that surprising. International cars have a 2 year (from first registration or similar) global BMW warranty, but I think the NZ cars warranty is longer which is worth something.

Also note that overseas cars are often higher specified. Mine had premium audio, Professional NAV (gives you bigger center screen which makes the cabin look way better), tire pressure monitoring etc. 




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1899024 10-Nov-2017 17:48
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Scott3:

 

frednz:

 

 

 

Thanks for that interesting information. A recent advertisement for a 2014 REX BMW i3 quotes the range as 340km.

 

I thought the overall range (pure electric plus range extender) from a Generation 1 i3 was around 250km, so do you think the 340km quoted may be a bit overstated?

 

It's interesting that the price of this vehicle is only $37,500 with 20,850km on the clock, so that's quite good for a "full leather" model.

 

There are now one or two Generation 2 i3's (with range extender) appearing on TradeMe for around $60,000, so that's not a bad saving on the new price of $87,000.

 



I would say 340km is a bit optimistic, but can comfortably surpass 250km. Have done the latter a few times. i.e. Auckland to Hamilton return trips (roughly that distance), I would fill up once, use the whole battery, and end with more petrol in the tank than what i started with. I did it once with something like 3/4 of a tank of gas without refilling. Car was freaking out as I neared my destination in Auckland (had an appointment to make, so didn't want to stop for fuel). Empty tank of fuel, and something like 3% battery left... (normally it doesn't let you go under 6%).

 

Be careful with 2014 model year REX i3's (definitely get a decent extended warranty if you get one). This was the first model year of a car with many new parts, and has a few common (very expensive) faults. I think it is the least reliable BMW. That said, most of the faults are with the REX bit of the car, and i think they fixed faults in later model years (for example by humidity controlling the factory so they didn't get moisture in sealed parts.)

UK and Japan have EV subsidies of around $10k (in the UK you can both claim this subsidy, and claim back VAT when the car is sold offshore (if registered to a company)). Beyond that other markets seem to get better pricing on cars than in NZ... Add in a years depreciation, and the $17k saving is not that surprising. International cars have a 2 year (from first registration or similar) global BMW warranty, but I think the NZ cars warranty is longer which is worth something.

Also note that overseas cars are often higher specified. Mine had premium audio, Professional NAV (gives you bigger center screen which makes the cabin look way better), tire pressure monitoring etc. 

 

 

Thanks for a very informative post. It's interesting that you made the return journey of about 250km from Auckland to Hamilton in a Gen 1 BMW REX i3, even if you only had 3% battery left when you arrived. I think that's pretty much in line with the maximum distance I would attempt without refuelling in a Gen 1 REX i3. But, at least with the REX model, you could have filled up the 9 litre tank and got another 120km or so with careful driving, which would have been a lot quicker than finding a charging station and charging up the battery.

 

I have read that the Gen 2 REX 2017 model has a more reliable range extender system, so if you wanted to spend less than $40,000 on a Gen 1 2014 i3, it might be better to just buy a pure electric one. But, of course, with only 130km of pure electric range and no petrol back-up, the 250km return journey from Auckland to Hamilton would require at least one, if not two, 30-40-minute stops for recharging.

 

So, paying $35,000 - $50,000 for a well worn Gen 1 i3 is pretty expensive considering that you can buy plenty of brand new ICE cars for that price.

 

Even $60,000 for a second-hand Gen 2 i3 is a bit over the top when you consider that you can buy a brand new NZ-new pure electric Hyundai Ionic for just over $60,000 which has a range of around 200km.

 

Perhaps when the Gen 2 i3's come down in price to around $40,000 - $50,000 they will be a better investment!




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  Reply # 1901240 15-Nov-2017 13:16
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Yesterday, I noticed this advertisement for a BMW i3 Range Extender 2017 model with 38,202 km on the clock for a price of $41,995.

 

My first thought was that this might be a Gen 2 model rather than the older Gen 1 model. But, I was a bit put off by the fact that the car had travelled more than 38,000 km in a year. But, I suppose this is possible and a lot of regular use is probably quite good for the battery?

 

But, all was revealed today when the dealer altered the listing to say that it is in fact a 2015 model. So, this shows you need to carefully check all the details of car listings on TradeMe, but I'm sure we all do that?


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  Reply # 1901351 15-Nov-2017 15:25
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frednz:

 

 

 

Even $60,000 for a second-hand Gen 2 i3 is a bit over the top when you consider that you can buy a brand new NZ-new pure electric Hyundai Ionic for just over $60,000 which has a range of around 200km.

 

 

Or a new 36Kwh e-golf for $62K

 

https://www.volkswagen.co.nz/new-cars/electric/




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  Reply # 1901386 15-Nov-2017 17:05
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wellygary:

 

frednz:

 

 

 

Even $60,000 for a second-hand Gen 2 i3 is a bit over the top when you consider that you can buy a brand new NZ-new pure electric Hyundai Ionic for just over $60,000 which has a range of around 200km.

 

 

Or a new 36Kwh e-golf for $62K

 

https://www.volkswagen.co.nz/new-cars/electric/

 

 

Thanks for that, there is also a review of the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf EV here:

 

https://www.caranddriver.com/volkswagen/e-golf

 

Apparently, the new e-Golf has a range that is almost identical to that of the all-electric Hyundai Ionic of about 125 miles (202km).

 

The new Nissan Leaf is also a contender, although I'm not sure when it's going to be released in NZ. It has a range of about 150 miles (242km).

 

So, the BMW i3 is slowly getting some competition, but the useful range extender version hasn't been matched by the e-Golf or the Ionic. If BMW could match the new NZ prices of the Leaf or e-Golf it might get a greater market share here.

 

But when are we going to see a NZ-new EV for around $30,000, now that's when EVs will really start to take off.

 

 


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  Reply # 1908173 26-Nov-2017 21:53
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Regarding the i3 vs other electric cars (leaf, ioniq, e-golf), I think the i3 is targeting a different market. For starters, the i3 is by far the smallest externally, and has the smallest turning circle (9.9m), has the most distinctive styling, and is rear wheel drive.

BMW intended this car to be their "Mega city" car. And I imagine their target market will keep it alongside another larger BMW in their garage. This shows in design decisions they have made, such as the small gas tank. This is not a great car to drive Auckland to Wellington, and BMW didn't intend it to be so. From that point of view, a massive range isn't also important.


frednz:

 

Thanks for a very informative post. It's interesting that you made the return journey of about 250km from Auckland to Hamilton in a Gen 1 BMW REX i3, even if you only had 3% battery left when you arrived. I think that's pretty much in line with the maximum distance I would attempt without refuelling in a Gen 1 REX i3. But, at least with the REX model, you could have filled up the 9 litre tank and got another 120km or so with careful driving, which would have been a lot quicker than finding a charging station and charging up the battery.

 

I have read that the Gen 2 REX 2017 model has a more reliable range extender system, so if you wanted to spend less than $40,000 on a Gen 1 2014 i3, it might be better to just buy a pure electric one. But, of course, with only 130km of pure electric range and no petrol back-up, the 250km return journey from Auckland to Hamilton would require at least one, if not two, 30-40-minute stops for recharging.

 

So, paying $35,000 - $50,000 for a well worn Gen 1 i3 is pretty expensive considering that you can buy plenty of brand new ICE cars for that price.

 

Even $60,000 for a second-hand Gen 2 i3 is a bit over the top when you consider that you can buy a brand new NZ-new pure electric Hyundai Ionic for just over $60,000 which has a range of around 200km.

 

Perhaps when the Gen 2 i3's come down in price to around $40,000 - $50,000 they will be a better investment!

 



Regarding that trip to Hamilton, I started with a full charge, but not with a full tank of gas. (I was around 3/4).

I think BMW air conditioned & humidity controlled the factor in 2015 which stopped moisture getting in a sealed component that was the cause of a lot of the issues.



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