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Evening,

I recently aquired an F30 330e which is my first BMW and first PHEV.

So far I've been might impressed with it, I've had it nearly a month and I've still got half a tank of fuel. I can drive almost everywhere on electric power despite its woeful range (which I knew about ahead of time)

Anyway, today I went to drive to work anf unusually it fired up the motor when I started it.
When I pressed the max edrive button, it said it was unavailable.

Anyone know why this might be. The battery was fully charged.

My only theory is that the motor runs so infrequently that the 12V lead acid starter battery had gone flat and needed a charge from the alternator?

After about 2 miles it let me put it in max E again for the rest of journey.

Any ideas?
 

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EV Convert
iPace HSE / 2019 and eTron 55 / 2020
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I had a 740e for two years. This happens when any of:

  • 12V battery requires charging
  • Electrical load is high (eg heating, heated windows etc)
  • Traction battery is flat
  • It's cold (<about 3 degrees IIRC)
  • You're in Sport mode
  • You're in manual shift mode

There may be one or two other scenerios. In other words, it's almost certainly normal.
 

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To add to what A1GSS said, my 225xe (which I've had for nearly 3 years) does exactly the same if I've been driving on pure electric for 7 to 10 consecutive days: the petrol engine fires as soon as I hit 'start' and Max eDrive is only available when the engine shuts itself off again (usually after a couple of minutes' running).

I remember reading a long while back that the car's ECU forces a petrol-engine start occasionally to turn the engine over and circulate the oil to inhibit corrosion. Unfortunately I now can't find the document which mentioned that, but be assured it's normal.

When the engine starts by itself like that, I usually move the gearstick left into 'Sport' mode (which means the engine doesn't shut off, even at a standstill) and keep it running for 5 or 6 miles to make sure it gets decently warmed up.
 

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I have a 330e and have just had a vacuum pump error (amber warning) i think its just a blocked filter as when i removed the filter the error was gone but didnt have a new one to replace it with just yet. anyway i notice whilst the drive chain error is on the dash i cant operate in electric mode even though the fault is with the engine running rich, is this normal that this kind of fault would prevent electric mode?
 

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Hi,
I also have an F30 330E and recently had the same problem. Defo the 12v battery, I left mine parked up for 4 days and couldn’t select max e-drive until the ICE had fired up and charged the 12v battery. Couple of minutes and it let me select it again.
I’m not sure if the alternator is in the standard position and runs off the ICE or if it has been moved to the gearbox to allow 12v charging whilst in EV mode. Maybe someone here knows.
If it’s still only driven off of the ICE then I can see why it needs a periodic top up every once in a while. I presume the 12v system is supplemented by the HV system somewhere down the line to power the lights etc whilst in EV mode but I’m only theorising.
 
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