|The MINI-E SOC was front and center|
|The ActiveE SOC & Battery Temp|
BMW had a special event private at the LA Auto Show for ActiveE drivers only. I believe most people felt as enthusiastic about the i3 driving experience as I did, yet a lot of the conversations were about the lack of a state of charge gauge and how baffled many of us were about this. When the time came for a Q&A session it didn't take long for it to be asked and BMW tried their best to explain that the i3's range predictor will be so accurate that a proper SOC gauge isn't needed. That didn't sit well with the ActiveE drivers and the protest continued until the managers said they hear our displeasure and promise to revisit this, opening the possibility to adding the state of charge display before the US launch - or possibly just to quiet us down a bit and move on the the next topic!
|There it is! 85.5% state of charge - only US customers don't get to see it!|
One thing I found interesting is that on the European i3's, at least the one's with the range extender option, there is a state of charge display. A BMW i3 forum member sent me the above picture as proof. However here in the US that screen isn't available since unlike in Europe, US customers will not have the ability to manually turn on the range extender once the state of charge dips below 75%. The inability to do so does make the range extender less useful, however how much less useful is a story for another day once I've had the opportunity to properly test drive an i3 REx with a depleted battery in range extender mode. The point is, the car knows its state of charge and can display it for European REx customers, so why not just make the display standard on all i3's and make everybody happy?
Will this prevent me from buying an i3? No. Will it make the driving experience much worse? Probably not. What bothers me more than anything else is this is something the MINI-E and ActiveE were overwhelmingly in favor of and I don't know how BMW missed it. The point of the MINI-E and ActiveE trials were to find out things like this so the i3 and future BMW electrics would be the best they could be. I hate to really harp on this so much but I'm really disappointed this was somehow overlooked. It's not a little oversight, it's a major omission to me because it's something their pool of beta testers appreciated and wanted on their future EV's. When the Nissan Leaf launched back in 2010 it didn't have a state of charge gauge and the LEAF owners were very disappointed. So much so that they complained continuously until Nissan added the state of charge gauge two years later. How did BMW not miss this? It's really baffling.