A while ago I announced that I would be starting a new series here called, "I was Born Electric on...". The series will be featuring readers who are i3 owners and who are willing to share their thoughts on the car after owning it for a while. They will begin the post by introducing themselves and stating the date they were Born Electric, which is when they picked up their i3. Last week we had the pleasure of kicking off the series with a post from Andy, who lives with his new i3 in the UK. We'll now be hopping over to Holland to visit with Hil and his new Ionic Silver i3:
Hello, my name is Hil and I was Born Electric on Monday, December 30th 2013.
My recent BMW history
My BMW before the i3, was a 5 door 118i (F20) which I bought for it’s economy and comfort. It was less the sports car than the Z4M Coupe I had before it, but with more room and an adjustable suspension, it meant super daily driving pleasure! Just after the “1” came, BMW launched their ActiveE program with a preview of the concept i3 and i8 in Rotterdam. With my eldest son Tom (also a motor head!) our short, snowy test drive in the ActiveE sold us to the i concept!
The big wait...
This past summer, BMW made production slots for the i3 available in Holland. An i3 in the autumn? Great! In early September the i3 was ordered and after a few glitches in the ordering process (an other color and not fully optioned!), the i3 turned up in the early winter, on snow tires, in Ionic Silver (which is more blue than silver) and with it’s cool Adaptive LED headlights.
I use the car mostly for local trips, from one village to the next. As a rural Family Doctor, it’s great to do my rounds in the pre-warmed comfort of the i3! To now the only EVSE I use is the standard socket plug-in, delivered with the car. It charges at 3.4 kW which is fast enough for my daily trips. Occasionally I make a longer trip to meetings, for post-grad education or visits to family and friends. Those trips are between 100 to 140 kilometers (60 - 87 mi), but according to my i Agent (and BMW), form no problem to the all-electric i3! For on the road charging, there’s also a growing network of quick DC chargers in Holland, thanks to Fastned!
By now I had become a bit more EV savvy and after studying the settings and menu of the i3, it seems I had started out in the standard, uneconomical but sporty “Comfort” mode! In “EcoPro” mode (EP) the range sprung from 55 to 65 km and in the EcoPro+ (EP+) mode, all of a sudden I could go 81 km! I kept it at EP+ and drove on with the Southwesterly storm at full head. On the freeway ahead, a Motor Home drove a leisurely 85 kmh (50mph) so I slid behind it and slipstreamed further. Meanwhile my hands and feet had turned to ice, as had everyone in the car! EcoPro+ is a spartan experience, with no heated air or seats, but it got us to our friends house, with 3 km to spare. We had become true pioneers on New Year’s Eve!
A Second Go…
|DC Quick charging at 50kW's on a Fastned CCS Quick Charge Station|
In the parking garage there was an EVSE which only charged at 3.4 kW instead of the expected 7.4 kW. After 2.5 hours the state of charge increased from 5 to 27%, not enough to get home! But I had enough range to get to the nearest Fastned DC 50kW quick charger, 40 km away. Within 30 minutes I had more than 90% of charge, enough to get home comfortably. When the Fastned network is expanded from the present 5 to the planned 100 stations at the end of 2014, cross country trips in Holland with the i3 will be no problem! At the end of 2015 the projected planning even calls for 200 stations, one for every 40 to 50 freeway kilometers!
EcoPro EcoPro+ and Comfort:
My lesson is: when range is at issue, put the i3 in EP mode but turn the heater off with the dashboard button. The seat heater still works and hardly reduces range, but keeps you warm! If the windows fog, the heater rapidly clears them and when done, switch it off until needed again.
Yes, the i3 is the future of mobility, now! It’s quick, quiet, economical and clean! Range anxiety is unnecessary if you drive the i3 according to your purpose (range or fun!) and because this car also happens to be a BMW, that fun begins on your driveway!
|The future has never looked brighter|
Big thanks to Hil for sharing his experiences and thoughts here! If you own an i3 and would like to participate in the "I was Born Electric on..." series here email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get you in the queue.