Saturday 11th July 2015
It has finally happened – and this only happened this past Friday – that I do in fact rather like the BMW i3. Yes, yes, I know, I have had the car for over a year, but some things just take time! I think I am only just getting to fully appreciate what I have with this car and finally accepting it. It isn’t the MINI E – most unfortunately, and isn’t the ActiveE either – not so unfortunately. It is the i3 – it is itself and it is different and unique. I realised that for over a year I have been telling myself that I liked the car, when I really wasn’t so sure, and knew it was just okay, and going along with what I had. However, if BMW offered me the MINI E back again, I would still take it – even in its experimental state, it’s still the best EV for me. But I think I have realised that it isn’t likely to happen so it appears that I have finally come to appreciate and accept the i3.
Now I have decided that it is staying, for a little while at least, then I am looking at the efficiency of this Electric Car. It should be super efficient, after all it is made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic making it nice and lightweight. Then there is the fact that they didn’t add a lot of things to the car (according to the visit we had at BMW HQ way back before the cars were even released!) – all to keep the weight down apparently. I remember being most unimpressed that day as all I was hearing was, ‘Well we didn’t put that in and we took that out and we didn’t do this, etc., etc.” I was originally imagining a car that would have not much left in it at all – just the bare necessities – a steering wheel and a couple of seats!
Anyway, during this past week, and I am not sure why, but I have been particularly interested in my i3’s efficiency and I have to say that it is one very efficient Electric Car.
I am currently at a steady average of 5.7miles/kWh and regularly see 98 – 105 miles of estimated range each day. The i3 seems to glide through the air with little resistance and it probably gets such good miles/kWh because I keep it so clean! I am finding I can drive my first 3 miles on a morning using only 0.3% of battery and usually increasing my range by 2 or 3 miles. The journey is one of a mixture of flat and hilly roads.
In the i3 there are potentially three driving modes – Comfort, Eco Pro and Eco Pro Plus. I always drive in ‘Comfort Mode’ and find there is very little difference, if any at all, in range guesstimates between the three driving modes. We actually tested this theory with the ActiveE and found that it’s all down to how you drive the car, drive gently in ‘Comfort mode’ and you will see the same results in mileage range as you would in ‘Eco Pro’. In my experience ‘Eco Pro’ and ‘Eco Pro Plus’ just dumb down the car for you – softer accelerator, no AC and speed limited to 55mph. I can do all this myself and can moderate the accelerator rather well, if I do say so myself! I have heard some one call the Eco Pro settings the cars nanny! If I drive gently in ‘Comfort mode’ with no AC then there is no need for all the Eco Pros. It’s just all about how you control the car, and for me, I prefer to make those decisions myself, rather than have the car do so. Although even in Eco Pro you can still floor the i3 off the line, you just have to press the accelerator a bit harder.
I often return from a journey in my i3 with more miles than I set of with – this is usually the case when my sidekick has driven it the day before!
On our recent trip of 158 miles round trip to Philadelphia we were at 99% efficiency as reported on the BMW i-Remote App – that’s pretty impressive for a route that was hilly and had road speeds that varied from 25 – 55mph, oh and it rained on the return journey. Also, our last few miles home is a climb of 360 feet, up a few very steep hills.
In conclusion – my BMW i3 is very efficient and I like that!