Sunday, April 16, 2017

Fueling up my i3

I have to go to Nevada City in a couple of weeks for work. It's in the Sierra foothills (around 2,500 feet in elevation) and 150 miles away. Normally, the i3's battery runs out of juice after 125 miles. But since I'll be going uphill, I suspect my electric range will drop to 80 to 90 miles. Then, the gas Range Extender generator kicks in (I have yet to use it).

This has led to some thinking. The easiest solution is to take the TSX wagon. But we have family visiting so I'd rather let my wife and guests drive/ride in the TSX. The Civic is fine, but I'm relegating it to transporting the dog and transporting sweaty-me from the gym.

The next solution is to call the BMW dealership and borrow a gas-powered BMW for free under its Flexible Mobility program. Under the program, electric BMW owners can get around 10 days of free rentals when they have to travel long distances. The caveats? You are limited to 100 miles per day (dumb) and the vast majority of dealers do not participate in the program (dumber).

But you know what's even dumber? The dealer where I got my i3 participates in the program. But recently, I found out that while I was filling out paperwork to lease the i3, the dealer slipped in, unbeknownst to me, an application for a BMW credit card. When I received the card in the mail, I was pissed. Needless to say, I don't want to go back there.

So I have to drive to Nevada City in the i3. I am plotting out a route that would take me to DC Fast Chargers. These chargers are indeed fast. I found one that's only 1.3 miles from my office. It's free and will charge 80% of my battery in less than 30 minutes. I can catch up on email and voicemails in that time.


Lukas said...

What happens if you exceed 100 miles per day - they start billing you?

Also, does the i3 manual say anything about using the range extender every now and then, so the fuel doesn't go stale?

Maxichamp said...

@Lukas: They start billing me.

I haven't read the manual yet. I think when it gets serviced, and if they see that the engine has not been used often, they change out the fuel. Also, the engine runs itself for a brief while automatically if it hasn't been used in a while.

Starting today, I'm going to stop charging the car so that I can use the engine generator.