• Hi All. i3 owner here, feel free to ask questions

    Hi all

    Great to see a board for EVs.

    Had an i3 for over 2 years now and we are soon to get another one in the family. Happy to help answer any questions you may have.

    V.
  • Hi all

    Great to see a board for EVs.

    Had an i3 for over 2 years now and we are soon to get another one in the family. Happy to help answer any questions you may have.

    V.
  • Nice one @VijayB
    This is a great idea.
    I'm going to be asking a lot of questions.
    My first one - why did you choose the BMW i3? How does it differ from a Leaf or Zoe, etc?
    Community Manager - Pure Planet.

  • Nice one @VijayB
    This is a great idea.
    I'm going to be asking a lot of questions.
    My first one - why did you choose the BMW i3? How does it differ from a Leaf or Zoe, etc?
  • Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Nice one @VijayB
    This is a great idea.
    I'm going to be asking a lot of questions.
    My first one - why did you choose the BMW i3? How does it differ from a Leaf or Zoe, etc?

    Got our first i3 in 2016. Looked at both the i3 and the leaf at the time. The only other alternative was the Zoe, but that didn't really appeal.

    I had arranged to take the i3 demonstrator for 3 days, followed by the leaf. Picked the i3 up and was amazed at the pickup and also very impressed by the one pedal driving. 3 days later, went to pick up the leaf. The dealership had forgotten, and I ended up getting the salesmans car for 24 hours. Drove it home, it felt sluggish to me, also had a whine coming from the back. Didnt help that it also smelt of smoke. Got home, wife took it for a spin, 2 minutes later just said "no". So I drove it back to the dealer straight away, went back to BMW and placed my order

    The i3 seats just 4 people, so may not be suitable for everyone, it also has the reverse doors (not sure what they call it), but you get used to them very quickly.

    We like it so much, when our 2 year PCP was up, we got another one.

    Now, this is where it gets interesting.

    My lad does 17k miles a year and was looking at EVs. He decided on an Ioniq. We went to look at it last Saturday and the Premium SE model is a fully specced out car. We both drove it and we both thought the rear window visibility was restricted by the spoiler which effectively splits the view in half. It also didnt have a rear wiper and it was raining heavily during our test drive and the rain never seemed to clear.

    The dealer worked out finance on a new car and also on the demonstrator we had just driven. The figures he came back with for a 4 year PCP were quite high, I messaged my BMW dealer and he soon found a new i3, well specced, for less per month than the Ioniq. So, he too is getting one now. In fact, it is the 2nd i3 in the house which prompted me to take another look at energy suppliers this morning which is when I decided to switch

    The Ioniq is not as fast to get going as the i3 either.

    If you are looking, I definitely recommend taking them for a test drive, 24-36 hours if you can wangle it. But do the i3 last.

    For my lad, it was strange that a car costing £10k would be cheaper to finance given all the same variables (Deposit, miles per annum etc, but it was.
  • Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Nice one @VijayB
    This is a great idea.
    I'm going to be asking a lot of questions.
    My first one - why did you choose the BMW i3? How does it differ from a Leaf or Zoe, etc?

    Got our first i3 in 2016. Looked at both the i3 and the leaf at the time. The only other alternative was the Zoe, but that didn't really appeal.

    I had arranged to take the i3 demonstrator for 3 days, followed by the leaf. Picked the i3 up and was amazed at the pickup and also very impressed by the one pedal driving. 3 days later, went to pick up the leaf. The dealership had forgotten, and I ended up getting the salesmans car for 24 hours. Drove it home, it felt sluggish to me, also had a whine coming from the back. Didnt help that it also smelt of smoke. Got home, wife took it for a spin, 2 minutes later just said "no". So I drove it back to the dealer straight away, went back to BMW and placed my order

    The i3 seats just 4 people, so may not be suitable for everyone, it also has the reverse doors (not sure what they call it), but you get used to them very quickly.

    We like it so much, when our 2 year PCP was up, we got another one.

    Now, this is where it gets interesting.

    My lad does 17k miles a year and was looking at EVs. He decided on an Ioniq. We went to look at it last Saturday and the Premium SE model is a fully specced out car. We both drove it and we both thought the rear window visibility was restricted by the spoiler which effectively splits the view in half. It also didnt have a rear wiper and it was raining heavily during our test drive and the rain never seemed to clear.

    The dealer worked out finance on a new car and also on the demonstrator we had just driven. The figures he came back with for a 4 year PCP were quite high, I messaged my BMW dealer and he soon found a new i3, well specced, for less per month than the Ioniq. So, he too is getting one now. In fact, it is the 2nd i3 in the house which prompted me to take another look at energy suppliers this morning which is when I decided to switch

    The Ioniq is not as fast to get going as the i3 either.

    If you are looking, I definitely recommend taking them for a test drive, 24-36 hours if you can wangle it. But do the i3 last.

    For my lad, it was strange that a car costing £10k would be cheaper to finance given all the same variables (Deposit, miles per annum etc, but it was.
  • hi Vijay
    isn't the 17K Miles an issue? I thought most PCP's limited the mileage or does it just reduce the value when you change?
    It doesn't surprise me that the monthly price isn't directly related to the purchase price, it depends on manufacturers subsidies ultimately.
    Some of the prices for PCP on very expensive cars mean you'd have to be insane to buy the car rather than PCP it, the depreciation would wipe you out if you'd borrowed the money.
  • hi Vijay
    isn't the 17K Miles an issue? I thought most PCP's limited the mileage or does it just reduce the value when you change?
    It doesn't surprise me that the monthly price isn't directly related to the purchase price, it depends on manufacturers subsidies ultimately.
    Some of the prices for PCP on very expensive cars mean you'd have to be insane to buy the car rather than PCP it, the depreciation would wipe you out if you'd borrowed the money.
  • Quote Originally Posted by woz View Post
    isn't the 17K Miles an issue? I thought most PCP's limited the mileage or does it just reduce the value when you change?
    Miles didn't seem to be a problem at all. In fact, in our initial discussions with a Hyundai dealer, he quoted a figure of 10000 and 20000 miles/year and the cost difference was £32.34 a month, so approx £3.25 per 1000 miles.


    Quote Originally Posted by woz View Post
    Some of the prices for PCP on very expensive cars mean you'd have to be insane to buy the car rather than PCP it, the depreciation would wipe you out if you'd borrowed the money.
    This was the case of my new i3, it would have cost me more to pay off my GFRV on my 2 year old, than it did to get a new one on PCP. I had to double check, and got the dealer to double check
  • Quote Originally Posted by woz View Post
    isn't the 17K Miles an issue? I thought most PCP's limited the mileage or does it just reduce the value when you change?
    Miles didn't seem to be a problem at all. In fact, in our initial discussions with a Hyundai dealer, he quoted a figure of 10000 and 20000 miles/year and the cost difference was £32.34 a month, so approx £3.25 per 1000 miles.


    Quote Originally Posted by woz View Post
    Some of the prices for PCP on very expensive cars mean you'd have to be insane to buy the car rather than PCP it, the depreciation would wipe you out if you'd borrowed the money.
    This was the case of my new i3, it would have cost me more to pay off my GFRV on my 2 year old, than it did to get a new one on PCP. I had to double check, and got the dealer to double check
  • Quote Originally Posted by VijayB View Post
    Got our first i3 in 2016. Looked at both the i3 and the leaf at the time. The only other alternative was the Zoe, but that didn't really appeal.

    I had arranged to take the i3 demonstrator for 3 days, followed by the leaf. Picked the i3 up and was amazed at the pickup and also very impressed by the one pedal driving. 3 days later, went to pick up the leaf. The dealership had forgotten, and I ended up getting the salesmans car for 24 hours. Drove it home, it felt sluggish to me, also had a whine coming from the back. Didnt help that it also smelt of smoke. Got home, wife took it for a spin, 2 minutes later just said "no". So I drove it back to the dealer straight away, went back to BMW and placed my order
    Ha! Good enough reason to choose it! I was lucky enough to test-drive the Leaf for a week, and thought it was brilliant, which I was why I've gone for it. Mind you, it's the 2018 model I'm getting.
    Thanks for the reply @VijayB

    Have you got a home charger set up? (I'm just in the process of sorting it out...)
    Community Manager - Pure Planet.

  • Quote Originally Posted by VijayB View Post
    Got our first i3 in 2016. Looked at both the i3 and the leaf at the time. The only other alternative was the Zoe, but that didn't really appeal.

    I had arranged to take the i3 demonstrator for 3 days, followed by the leaf. Picked the i3 up and was amazed at the pickup and also very impressed by the one pedal driving. 3 days later, went to pick up the leaf. The dealership had forgotten, and I ended up getting the salesmans car for 24 hours. Drove it home, it felt sluggish to me, also had a whine coming from the back. Didnt help that it also smelt of smoke. Got home, wife took it for a spin, 2 minutes later just said "no". So I drove it back to the dealer straight away, went back to BMW and placed my order
    Ha! Good enough reason to choose it! I was lucky enough to test-drive the Leaf for a week, and thought it was brilliant, which I was why I've gone for it. Mind you, it's the 2018 model I'm getting.
    Thanks for the reply @VijayB

    Have you got a home charger set up? (I'm just in the process of sorting it out...)
  • I got an EO home charger installed 2 years ago by Phoenix Works. They did my solar panels too.

    If I was doing it now, I would go for a Zappi which I believe you can setup with load balancing so it will only take any excess electricity generated by you panels. It is not cost effective for me to change just yet, or to get a 2nd one installed.
  • I got an EO home charger installed 2 years ago by Phoenix Works. They did my solar panels too.

    If I was doing it now, I would go for a Zappi which I believe you can setup with load balancing so it will only take any excess electricity generated by you panels. It is not cost effective for me to change just yet, or to get a 2nd one installed.
  • Are the home EV chargers all single phase or is it possible to get a 3phase charger (which I’m assuming would charge quicker).

    Thanks

    TonyMcH
  • Are the home EV chargers all single phase or is it possible to get a 3phase charger (which I’m assuming would charge quicker).

    Thanks

    TonyMcH
  • Quote Originally Posted by TonyMcH View Post
    Are the home EV chargers all single phase or is it possible to get a 3phase charger (which I’m assuming would charge quicker).
    I don't think many homes will have a three phase supply. The key is to get a 32A charger rather than a 16A. With a 32A charger I can charge at 7Kw/h at home.

    The Type 2 cable I got with the car is also a single phase cable, which I think is capable of charging at a max rate of 11Kw/h. (not tried a public charging point)

    The rapid public charging points are probably three phrase, but these are tethered so should be able to charge at however fast you car can charge.
  • Quote Originally Posted by TonyMcH View Post
    Are the home EV chargers all single phase or is it possible to get a 3phase charger (which I’m assuming would charge quicker).
    I don't think many homes will have a three phase supply. The key is to get a 32A charger rather than a 16A. With a 32A charger I can charge at 7Kw/h at home.

    The Type 2 cable I got with the car is also a single phase cable, which I think is capable of charging at a max rate of 11Kw/h. (not tried a public charging point)

    The rapid public charging points are probably three phrase, but these are tethered so should be able to charge at however fast you car can charge.
  • HI @VijayB
    This is a great thread.
    Nice one for answering all these questions!

    Have you ever had to abandon a journey? Or not start a journey? Because of range / lack of chargers ??
    Community Manager - Pure Planet.

  • HI @VijayB
    This is a great thread.
    Nice one for answering all these questions!

    Have you ever had to abandon a journey? Or not start a journey? Because of range / lack of chargers ??
  • Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Have you ever had to abandon a journey? Or not start a journey? Because of range / lack of chargers ??
    We have a diesel car for the longer trips. so have never had the so called range anxiety.

    I did have an 80 mile round trip commute which was easily doable, even in winter, I would get home with about 230% charge left (in winter) so would just charge up over night.

    I would have more concerns if I needed to rely on the current charging infrastructure. So many different companies, varying success rates, though I can see things are getting better now than 2 years ago, the new rapid charges now take contactless payment, so no need for multiple RFID card, though I think many still need an app of sorts. Also nice to see Shell and BP rolling out chargers in their petrol stations too.

    We use the i3 about 95% of the times. Only get the ICE out when we need to go more than 100 miles, which is about once a month.
  • Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Have you ever had to abandon a journey? Or not start a journey? Because of range / lack of chargers ??
    We have a diesel car for the longer trips. so have never had the so called range anxiety.

    I did have an 80 mile round trip commute which was easily doable, even in winter, I would get home with about 230% charge left (in winter) so would just charge up over night.

    I would have more concerns if I needed to rely on the current charging infrastructure. So many different companies, varying success rates, though I can see things are getting better now than 2 years ago, the new rapid charges now take contactless payment, so no need for multiple RFID card, though I think many still need an app of sorts. Also nice to see Shell and BP rolling out chargers in their petrol stations too.

    We use the i3 about 95% of the times. Only get the ICE out when we need to go more than 100 miles, which is about once a month.
  • It is possible to get 3 phase points, whether you can find a domestic installer is another question.
    example here
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyMcH View Post
    Are the home EV chargers all single phase or is it possible to get a 3phase charger (which I’m assuming would charge quicker).

    Thanks

    TonyMcH
  • It is possible to get 3 phase points, whether you can find a domestic installer is another question.
    example here
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyMcH View Post
    Are the home EV chargers all single phase or is it possible to get a 3phase charger (which I’m assuming would charge quicker).

    Thanks

    TonyMcH
  • This is really interesting thread, thanks @VijayB . Forgive my very basic questions!

    1) My daily commute is about 40 miles, so from a distance point of view that would not be an issue for the i3? However, half of this is on a motorway, does the i3 reach 70mph?

    2) A couple of times a year will travel to the South Coast, so that's a 400 mile round trip roughly, nearly all motorway. I guess the i3 would not be suitable for that which is why you still have the diesel?

    thanks in advance
  • This is really interesting thread, thanks @VijayB . Forgive my very basic questions!

    1) My daily commute is about 40 miles, so from a distance point of view that would not be an issue for the i3? However, half of this is on a motorway, does the i3 reach 70mph?

    2) A couple of times a year will travel to the South Coast, so that's a 400 mile round trip roughly, nearly all motorway. I guess the i3 would not be suitable for that which is why you still have the diesel?

    thanks in advance
  • Happy to help @dgilbert2



    Quote Originally Posted by dgilbert2 View Post
    1) My daily commute is about 40 miles, so from a distance point of view that would not be an issue for the i3? However, half of this is on a motorway, does the i3 reach 70mph?
    40 miles round trip is not a problem for any i3.
    If you mean 40 miles each way then I would avoid the early models as they had a smaller battery.
    It reaches 70 just fine, the speed it gets there will blow your socks off.


    Quote Originally Posted by dgilbert2 View Post
    2) A couple of times a year will travel to the South Coast, so that's a 400 mile round trip roughly, nearly all motorway. I guess the i3 would not be suitable for that which is why you still have the diesel?
    My first i3 was a "REX" model, which has a small petrol engine which generates electricity for the car to use, so in reality, there is no restriction. We kept the X5 for the Uni runs, I cannot get all that junk in the i3 , especially as one was studying over 200 miles away. So the i3 is not used much for long range stuff, but I recommend you join the BMW i3 Facebook group as there are many who regularly do long distances, it just needs you to get up to speed with the various charging methods and a bit of extra planning to charge as you go, or you can get a REX and just top up 9l every 90 or so miles.

    One thing to be away of is that the 94ah version (which has a 33-34Kwh battery) is being replaced by a 120ah version. If you were looking at new, the pure electric 94ah are rare to come by now and the REX versions are mostly all over £40k, so will attract the luxury car tax.
  • Happy to help @dgilbert2



    Quote Originally Posted by dgilbert2 View Post
    1) My daily commute is about 40 miles, so from a distance point of view that would not be an issue for the i3? However, half of this is on a motorway, does the i3 reach 70mph?
    40 miles round trip is not a problem for any i3.
    If you mean 40 miles each way then I would avoid the early models as they had a smaller battery.
    It reaches 70 just fine, the speed it gets there will blow your socks off.


    Quote Originally Posted by dgilbert2 View Post
    2) A couple of times a year will travel to the South Coast, so that's a 400 mile round trip roughly, nearly all motorway. I guess the i3 would not be suitable for that which is why you still have the diesel?
    My first i3 was a "REX" model, which has a small petrol engine which generates electricity for the car to use, so in reality, there is no restriction. We kept the X5 for the Uni runs, I cannot get all that junk in the i3 , especially as one was studying over 200 miles away. So the i3 is not used much for long range stuff, but I recommend you join the BMW i3 Facebook group as there are many who regularly do long distances, it just needs you to get up to speed with the various charging methods and a bit of extra planning to charge as you go, or you can get a REX and just top up 9l every 90 or so miles.

    One thing to be away of is that the 94ah version (which has a 33-34Kwh battery) is being replaced by a 120ah version. If you were looking at new, the pure electric 94ah are rare to come by now and the REX versions are mostly all over £40k, so will attract the luxury car tax.
  • Thank you @VijayB for your really quick informative and helpful response.

    So that's a tick for the commute and driving on the motorway .

    The longer trip though clearly needs some more thinking about and research from my side. Will take a look at the Facebook page you mentioned

    I have read that the i3's with a small (2 stroke?) petrol engine (670cc?) are more for getting you to the next charging point. So its more of a petrol generator than the traditional drive train.

    If the industry can develop and improve the long distance performance, then your diesel could go also, albeit needing a trailer for all the luggage
  • Thank you @VijayB for your really quick informative and helpful response.

    So that's a tick for the commute and driving on the motorway .

    The longer trip though clearly needs some more thinking about and research from my side. Will take a look at the Facebook page you mentioned

    I have read that the i3's with a small (2 stroke?) petrol engine (670cc?) are more for getting you to the next charging point. So its more of a petrol generator than the traditional drive train.

    If the industry can develop and improve the long distance performance, then your diesel could go also, albeit needing a trailer for all the luggage
  • @dgilbert2 The ones with the petrol engine are the ones I refereed to as REX (Range Extenders), they can be used both ways, 1 as a safety net as you mentioned, the other as an alternate to charging.

    One thing to note though, the REX version of the new 120ah i3 will not be sold in the UK, only the pure battery version.

    See if your local BMW dealer has an i specialist and get an extended test drive booked. BMW dealers are a bit hit and miss when it comes to the i3, as the sales model is actually direct with BMW, they just process the sale, so there is no real haggling to be done (unless you are looking to PX a car). I have heard that some dealers in the midlands are not as good. Indeed, my local dealer where I got my first i3 lost interest in me as a client as soon as I drove off, was difficult to contact, would not return calls etc. My new dealer, 90 miles away is on social media and responds within minutes.

    - - - Updated - - -

    This is the link to the facebook group. There is a knowledge base there too created by the super friendly members.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/bmwi3uk
  • @dgilbert2 The ones with the petrol engine are the ones I refereed to as REX (Range Extenders), they can be used both ways, 1 as a safety net as you mentioned, the other as an alternate to charging.

    One thing to note though, the REX version of the new 120ah i3 will not be sold in the UK, only the pure battery version.

    See if your local BMW dealer has an i specialist and get an extended test drive booked. BMW dealers are a bit hit and miss when it comes to the i3, as the sales model is actually direct with BMW, they just process the sale, so there is no real haggling to be done (unless you are looking to PX a car). I have heard that some dealers in the midlands are not as good. Indeed, my local dealer where I got my first i3 lost interest in me as a client as soon as I drove off, was difficult to contact, would not return calls etc. My new dealer, 90 miles away is on social media and responds within minutes.

    - - - Updated - - -

    This is the link to the facebook group. There is a knowledge base there too created by the super friendly members.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/bmwi3uk
  • @VijayB, yes, I recognise that behaviour with some BMW dealers which is a real shame. We have found a good one though not too far away. Will need to pay a visit!

    Its the distance thing for me as I sit here tonight, as I certainly don't want to have two cars. So much to think about.

    Thanks again for your time
  • @VijayB, yes, I recognise that behaviour with some BMW dealers which is a real shame. We have found a good one though not too far away. Will need to pay a visit!

    Its the distance thing for me as I sit here tonight, as I certainly don't want to have two cars. So much to think about.

    Thanks again for your time
  • Hi there, I was very interested in your comments, as I would love to go electric, I am sure it is all out there in various websites, but what maximum range can you get with your i3 as although I work with clients locally, I could do upto 50 miles in a day?
  • Hi there, I was very interested in your comments, as I would love to go electric, I am sure it is all out there in various websites, but what maximum range can you get with your i3 as although I work with clients locally, I could do upto 50 miles in a day?
  • Quote Originally Posted by Beetle View Post
    Hi there, I was very interested in your comments, as I would love to go electric, I am sure it is all out there in various websites, but what maximum range can you get with your i3 as although I work with clients locally, I could do upto 50 miles in a day?
    Nice question @Beetle
    I'm sure the i3 will easily get 50 miles with plenty of room to spare
    Unless @VijayB corrects me
    Community Manager - Pure Planet.

  • Quote Originally Posted by Beetle View Post
    Hi there, I was very interested in your comments, as I would love to go electric, I am sure it is all out there in various websites, but what maximum range can you get with your i3 as although I work with clients locally, I could do upto 50 miles in a day?
    Nice question @Beetle
    I'm sure the i3 will easily get 50 miles with plenty of room to spare
    Unless @VijayB corrects me
  • @Beetle 50 miles a day is well within the capability of an i3, even the early 60ah versions. I personally would avoid those though and if you are looking at 2nd hand, try to pick one up which is about 2 years old, so you still have a years warranty left. With your mileage, you do not need the Range EXtender version (REX), a pure EV will do.
  • @Beetle 50 miles a day is well within the capability of an i3, even the early 60ah versions. I personally would avoid those though and if you are looking at 2nd hand, try to pick one up which is about 2 years old, so you still have a years warranty left. With your mileage, you do not need the Range EXtender version (REX), a pure EV will do.