Sunday, July 6, 2014

After 1,000 miles, fun, usefulness and an i8

I'm just past the 1,000 mile mark in my i3 and I'm really enjoying the car, it has not been all EV bliss though as I have had some software glitches along the way, like a rolling reboot.  With that said I have no regrets and I'm confident these software issues will be taken care of soon, either way I'll blog about them.  Having an EV has opened up a whole world of cars to me and not just EVs....a recent ride in a BMW i8 the other day was icing on the cake, read on for more of that.

Onto the fun....I went to another Cars and Croissants and once again my i3 drew a crowd.  This car is truly a magnet, people chase me on the highway, if I'm at a light they either talk to me from their car or they leave the safety of their sidewalk for a chat.  It is family is like 'not again'....I really don't mind.

A little Cars and Croissants
At Cars and Croissants with other NJEAA members
Tesla Roadster, BMW i3, Honda Fit EV and two LEAFs

Hard to tell but we are pretty close in color

The i3 is a magnet
People really love the i3

As I mentioned the i3 attracts attention anywhere it goes.....if I park somewhere it does not take long before people are around it looking and taking pictures.

Number 6 in less than 1 hour...actually a slow day
The i3 is not just all looks and is useful too, it hauls stuff.  The seats fold flat.  That EV jeep fit in with room to spare.

Not bad...not bad at all
I chose the BMW i3 REx (range extender with the 2 cylinder generator) because I did not want to worry about getting stranded with my family or cutting our trip short, or worse, not using climate control.  Yes, I've been told to get a Tesla, fine, then give me the extra $40k to get one.  I've also been told my REx is a hybrid, well whatever.  EVs with range extenders under $50k with a range of 40 to 100 miles spur adoption, so how can this be wrong?  I'll probably only use the REx 10% of the time, if that, and it will be probably during winter.  I still have a 2nd and 3rd car, the 2nd for long trips and carrying more stuff, the 3rd for fun but really is never driven.  Our EV gets the majority of the use because we enjoy it the most as a family.  When DC fast chargers are more common place then our i3 may take much longer and frequent trips.

With that said, the i3 has done pretty well maintaining its range of 80 to 90 even with AC blasting and hot days along the highway.  My ActiveE would not have fared as well.   On the day we go and check out the BMW i8 we encountered some serious heat but the range held fast and when all was said and done I was over 90 miles all electric, eco pro, AC running high, and most of it was highway.  My i3 was loaded with family...not bad.  Granted I stuck to 65mph or less but still good.  The AC worked well up front, the back not so much and that is because there are no rear oversight.

Range holding has impressed - yes that is the CEL light (engine warning) you may have heard of - software glitch
Now...what I'm sure you've been waiting for.....the BMW i8.  I've seen them up close before but never have sat in one, this time I did more than that, I got a ride and with my family.

In a word 'wow'.  The car is amazing inside and out.  The ride, and this one was a pre-production, is not punishing and yes it is fast.  In EV mode it is not as quick as my i3 but is louder, you can hear the electric motor very well.  It drives the front wheels and has more weight to lug around plus the power is it is somewhat quick in EV mode.  Once the 3 cylinder engine is engaged it is an entirely different story, things come alive.  The car moves and it is not quiet, it roars.  BMW enhanced the exhaust note, it does not sound like a 3 cylinder and that is not a bad thing.  However they did it-they nailed sounds it is not pure but once you hear it you will like it.  EV mode for about 20 miles and combined mode 0-60 in low 4s with AWD - I'm sure that is conservative....want.

You have to see one in person....amazing inside and out

Love those doors and they open from inside with the push of a button

Interior is typical BMW....good

Not sure I could smile any bigger

Check the video below for the sound the 3 cylinder in the i8 makes

I recorded the sound the i8 makes

Almost forgot, while I was in the i8 my i3 was getting a DC quick charge 84% in just over 20 minutes....we really need more of these around.  Unfortunately this one is not for public use.

The % was clicking away nearly every 30 seconds

Big plug produces big energy
Driving an EV has proven to be, over the past 5 years, a wonderful experience.  There is no turning back.