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316 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).



316 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 132


  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.


 
 
 
 




565 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 56


  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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