BMW i3 REx Long Distance Question

Discussion in 'i3' started by Viking79, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    No, made the trip in only a few more hours than a regular car. I just need to finish writing my blog. To make the trip in this amount of time requires the use of gas. Actually, I saw a several of the same cars pass me throughout the day, so those cars obviously weren't making better average time. Even if driving 10 mph faster.

    Although I dropped to 30 mph in a few spots for a short amount of time, my average moving speed was still close to 65 or 70 mph. I was never really a hindrance to traffic as it is easy to pass a vehicle that speed. Slow vehicles are only a problem in the passing lanes (what slows up traffic is a vehicle passing another at like 0.5 mph faster).
     
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  2. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Coded so you have more battery reserve and hills are no longer a problem.

    Bob Wilson
     
  3. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Exactly, I will do that if I do another long trip, but honestly, that is why we have the Clarity PHEV. It has no trouble holding 80 mph.
     
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  4. Tom

    Tom New Member

    I like the 'jerry can' idea. It never occurred to me that the frunk would be ideal for such a thing. Any problems with spillage/leakage? I did a little online shopping and it looks like there are some that are pretty tight. I suppose a 2.5 gallon can would be the ultimate in ending 'range anxiety'. I've always thought that the little gas tank the i3 has (which is entirely a product of CARB rules) would itself give anxiety from the start. i.e. when most gas cars hit 'E', there's still a gallon or two in 'reserve' anyway so starting at 2 gallons wouldn't alleviate many people's concern regarding running out of gas if the battery was already bled down (which it would be if not coded). Their lifelong experience with ICE vehicles would leave them to feel (correctly) that the last couple gallons of gas in a vehicle is not to be trusted. They'd carry that forward to the i3 I think and start from a place of discomfort and feel they'd immediately need to look for a gas station once the battery was depleted and the vehicle was running on gas. I wonder if BMW has done any focus groups on that idea. Or it could be that I'm just making something out of nothing. Opinions?
     
  5. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    The "Briggs and Stratton" 2.5 gal gas can fits perfectly. I carry an empty one around town. Only when leaving on a cross country trip do I put gas in it. I've also coded the tank size using Bimmercode that brings the usable from 1.9 to 2.3 gallons as well as enabling the EU option to turn on the REx early.

    In a day or so, I plan to do a max EV range test to a Tennessee fast DC charger put in by the VW diesel fine. It is at the maximum BMW i3-REx EV range but I'm not worried.

    Bob Wilson
     
  6. Jay H.

    Jay H. New Member

    Mr. Viking sir, I live in Ames and plan to do the same thing you did (buy out of state and drive it home.) Aside from stopping more frequently for gas, did you experience any other big issues? I figure I can drive an I3 home cheaper than having it shipped. Overnight charging on 110v of finding a Charge Point location would be battery charging options.
    Maybe you should start a side business driving i3s back to the new owners. LOL
     
  7. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Learn how to code the car and do so before you start driving back (someone local where you buy might be willing too). Make sure dealer has installed all updates.

    When driving, turn on range extender at 75%. Carry water and such with you in case you break down. You need a spare gas can, I picked up a 5 gallon at Walmart that was well sealed (never smelled any fumes) or a 2.5 gallon might fit in frunk (carrying loose gas is always a safety concern, so I only do it where I know I will need it). Drive during mild time of year to avoid heater use (requires extra power). Adjust your speed to not drain battery too fast (probably around 65-70 mph).

    The main issue I had was registration. If you drive the car from CA you have to pay CA tax (like 10%) and will have to pay tax in Iowa as well, and apply to get the CA tax refunded. The dealer will probably hire a title agent to do so, and they will probably keep the difference in tax and fees unless you push them for the refund. It took 2 months to get my title figured out.

    Also, plan on 3 full days to drive back (mine was 2000 miles), so probably 3 hotels, etc. Adds to cost. Someone pointed me to a shipper that would have done it for a cost less than I paid to drive it back once you factor in hotels and such.

    However, it might be fun to make a week out of drive. Find hotels you can charge overnight, turn on hold immediately when you start car each time (once you reach 75% after you charge) use gas during day. Don't bother with chargers during the day unless they are DC or you are doing something else like shopping. Make sure to hit some national parks, Grand Canyon, etc. More southern route has lower passes, but as long as you have some charge from hold mode it shouldn't be too bad.

    I wouldn't do it again, but it was fun :)
     
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  8. Jay H.

    Jay H. New Member

    Thanks for your reply. I did know about the CA sales tax issue. If I buy from CA I'd definitely have it shipped. I'm finding that each dealer has sets of required fees that adds up to 10% or mode to the listed price. I've been asking about those fees before I pursue anything else with a specific dealer.
     
  9. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Did you check eBay automotive? You may not have to go to California.

    Bob Wilson
     
  10. Jay H.

    Jay H. New Member

    I'm following Cargurus, Autotrader, Cars.com, carsforsale.com, truecar, and ebay. Sometimes it's hard to know if the listing is an i3 with REX without looking at the right side photo or CarFax. Many list the interior as Tera brown leather too--but aren't. It's likely more will come up for sale as 2016 lease returns hit the dealers. I've already seen 2016 prices dropping.
    Aside from being the first model year and most likely out of the basic warranty, are there other reasons to avoid a 2014? Thanks.
     
  11. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

  12. Jay H.

    Jay H. New Member

    Here's some news. Stevens Creek BMW in CA won't sell to out of state buyers. That's a Sonic Automotive dealer--but apparently, each dealership mgr. gets to make that decision. Wouldn't you think my dollars are just as good as dollars in CA? OH well, some other dealer will make some money off me--if they really want to sell cars. (IT also appears AutoNation dealers and salesmen are more interested in selling cars and helping would-be buyers.)
     
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