20,000 Miles on my BMW i3 and It’s Cold Outside

It’s now been a few weeks since BMW admitted their tyres were faulty and replaced my very annoying wub, wub ones. I have to say it is now total bliss driving the car, gone is the constant wub, wub and all that’s left is the noise from the motor as you accelerate and decelerate. It really has made a significant difference to the driving of the car, we really enjoy driving it now! Lowered suspension, wheel spacers and quiet tyres – Awesome!

With it being winter now we have below freezing temperatures and a rather unhappy range predictor. Gone are my 100+ miles of range per day from the warm summer days and I am left with anywhere between 73 – that would be ones sidekick driving – and 85 – that would be me driving, of course. The low temperatures also bring reduced power, notice the missing power bars in the photo. This is because the car protects itself from too much thermal stress on the battery that would occur if you tried to draw full current whilst it was at low temperature where the internal resistance is very high. I’m also down to 4.5 miles/kWh – which I will blame on my sidekick – you have got to be nice and gentle with the accelerator and not go zooming around everywhere – Ugh! Now I will have to wait until the warm weather comes back to get that miles/kWh back up where it should be, or not let him drive the car, hmm there’s a thought! Then at least there won’t be a constant – “Slow down that’s a tight corner – Ouch that was my elbow!

It may be rather chilly outside but we do have Pre-Conditioning and it’s lovely at this time of the year, especially the fact that we can make use of it with an Electric Car without idling. Since winter arrived I am seeing far too many petrol cars sat idling, whether that be waiting for the school bus – they really should walk to the bus not drive – or just thinking they should be warming the car in a morning before they leave because they do not know any better. I see two cars on a regular basis idling, and what I don’t understand is, why aren’t they bothered that all those fumes are going directly into their house and they are then breathing in those fumes? It must smell awful. I’m not too comfortable on approaching people to tell them that idling is illegal in NJ, as most people don’t even know it’s illegal, although I am starting to tell friends. I have managed to persuade one friend to turn off their car when stopped. I understand people want to be warm but they should just get in the car and drive. It’ll warm up a lot faster and their car will last longer and they won’t be polluting anywhere near as much and then we’ll all be thankful. Especially the children who are affected the most by idling vehicles.

That is one of the reasons I love driving an Electric Car as I can “idle” without any worries.  Although there isn’t really a concept of idling in an Electric Car – it’s either on or off. With my BMW i3, I find that 10 minutes of Pre-Conditioning is plenty to have the car lovely and toasty. I just log into the app on my phone and click the Pre-Condition Now and off it goes, connecting to the the BMW servers and then sending the message to the car. And that is it – done. Pre-Conditioning lets the car use the mains electricity to get the heat started rather than depleting my battery. I have the temp set to 19℃ and as soon as I get in the car and turn it on, I put the heated seat on to low and then I’m just right. If the sun is shining I find I don’t need any heat, just the heated seat is enough. The i3 is very well insulated so the heat from the sun keeps the car super warm.
However, I am still conservative with using the heat, even though the MINI E days are long gone and I really don’t need to be that conservative. I’ll often Pre-Condition the car to remove that chilliness of being sat in a cold garage overnight, then turn off the heat when I get in the car and just have the seat heater on – call me crazy, after all I probably am!! It’s difficult to change old habits that are well and truly rooted! Plus those days of the MINI E were definitely the best and the most fun ever, even if we couldn’t have the heat on! **Remembering the days of layers of clothing, hats, gloves, scarves and blankets or duvets – depending on how cold it was. **

Oh, and with the winter weather comes the issue of keeping the car nice and clean. When it’s cold out and the water freezes as soon as it touches the car, I can’t wash it and you all know how I do not like having a dirty car! Solution – well mine would be don’t go out while it’s drizzling/raining/snowing/slushy, wait until it’s all stopped and dried up. If that means I can’t leave the house for days – then so be it! Only joking!! Or am I – ask my sidekick!

During the long winter months what else do I have going on in my Electric Car world?

Well, one of my friends at my exercise class thinks I have the cutest car ever and while I am totally happy with that, ones sidekick is not so happy – I can’t imagine why!

It is a quieter time of the year for us – sort of. There are no events to attend at this time of the year, although I have had a couple of requests for Spring 2017 already. I was beginning to think our work was nearly done in spreading the EV word but recent surveys would suggest otherwise, although NJ seems to be pretty knowledgeable judging by the Electric Cars I see on the road every day now.

We’re loving the fact that finally there are more DC Fast Chargers appearing, meaning we can finally take a longer drive, should we so chose and only as long as we go in the direction where the chargers are located! Hmm, not quite there yet, but it is all moving forwards.

We’re looking forward to seeing the new Electric Cars with bigger batteries and longer ranges on the road and getting to drive some of them. There is definitely a change happening and the manufacturers are making longer range EV’s. Let’s just hope a certain someone that was recently voted in doesn’t spoil it for everyone. I don’t do politics so I am not saying anymore.

New groups are being formed to push forward EV’s and charging infrastructure and we are keeping a close eye on what is happening. It’s all looking hopeful and that as more charging options become available then people will feel more comfortable buying or leasing an Electric Car. That of course is our hope.

I’ve just reached 20,000 miles on my i3. I’m below my allotted 12,000 per year, but always good to have some spare in case I should need them.

Lastly – Now it’s time to head out and do some wub – wub free driving in my nice, clean Electric Car!! I’m so happy!

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