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BMW i3, the BMW i8, and the electric lifestyle. Share stories, ask questions, and
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Welcome to The Circuit – the official place to connect with other EV drivers about the BMW i3,
the BMW i8, and the electric lifestyle. Share stories, ask questions, and continue the conversation
as we all journey into the future.
Find out the answers to the most commonly asked questions about BMW i vehicles. If you
still have questions, please feel free to reach out to our BMW Concierge team.
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But, I live in an apartment complex, and I wouldn't be able to charge my vehicle over night because I don't have access to any exterior outlets. I'm also not certain of the number or locations of public charging stations in my area. However, my parents would be willing to let me charge the battery once a week at their house when our family gets together for Sunday dinner. My driving habits are pretty minimal: I live a mile away from where I work, and only drive when the weather is bad; I grocery shop maybe 5 miles away from my apartment; and my parents live about 10 miles away. It's all city driving, so I rarely go on the expressway. At most, I'll drive 50 miles in one week, and that's a generous estimate!
My questions are: Would I be able to do the small amount of driving that I do in a week on a full charge, and then just charge my i3's battery once a week? Would that drain the battery too far - to the point of degrading it?
You have 4 i3 choices: used 2014-2016 BEV (battery pack only), used 2014-2016 REx (battery pack range extended with an internal combustion engine), 2017 BEV, or 2017 REx. With a REx model, you would not have to worry about battery pack range because the range extender engine would charge the battery pack when needed. Disadvantages of a REx compared with a BEV are higher purchase cost, heavier weight (thus slightly less performance and efficiency), need to drive to gasoline stations for fuel, more complexity, and lower reliability (problems involving the REx system seem to be fairly common).
The EPA range rating for a 2014-2016 BEV is 81 miles, or 4.3 mi/kWh (kilowatt-hour, a measure of energy) whereas the EPA range for a 2017 BEV is 114 miles (4.2 mi/kWh). Many i3 drivers easily exceed the EPA range, but cold weather requiring cabin heating might make reaching the EPA range difficult at times, especially without battery preheating which is not possible while not charging. But even under the worst conditions, 50 miles of driving between charges would be easy when most of the driving is not at highway speeds, even with the shorter range 2014-2016 BEV. A 2017 BEV would provide considerably more range margin.
A rough estimate of charging speed for any i3 when using a 240 V 30 A EVSE would be 25 miles of range added for each hour of charging. This would require a 240 V 40 A charging circuit. You would need to verify that such a circuit could be installed. So your Sunday dinner visits with your parents would need to be at least 2 hours to restore the range that you had used during the previous week assuming that you would be able to install a 240 V 30 A EVSE. If the charging circuit is less than 40 A, charging speed would be decreased proportionately.
You didn't mention the possibility of charging where you work. If you could do that, your charging problem would be solved.
If you cannot charge at work, you could make i3 BEV ownership work by charging weekly at your parents' home, but if you are not able to use a public charging station (Level 2) or even better, a public DC fast charger, you might feel limited because you would not have much margin to make unexpected drives. DC fast charging was an option on 2014 i3's, so if you might be able to use a DC fast charger, it would be wise to eliminate 2014 i3's without DC fast charging.
2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE