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iPace HSE / 2019 and eTron 55 / 2020
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Ah, I think maybe I've muddied the thread a little. I'm not looking for a car...I already have a new 530e, and am delighted with it. I have my own charge point, and regularly charge it so I can use a PHEV as intended.
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I was just curious why everyone was slating PHEV BMWs, when they are so much more efficient to run than their ICE equivalents, especially when charged up before driving. I felt there was a lot of apples and oranges comparisons going on.
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I was (and am) one of the slaters, that was based on my own experience with a new 740e, over about 25k miles it averaged 70mpg (good) and when it worked it was a great car (good) but it was the most unreliable pile of crap I've ever owned. And BMW gave not one single toss. Had to resort to litigation to get them to take it back.

I hope you have better luck than me.
 

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I was (and am) one of the slaters, that was based on my own experience with a new 740e, over about 25k miles it averaged 70mpg (good) and when it worked it was a great car (good) but it was the most unreliable pile of crap I've ever owned. And BMW gave not one single toss. Had to resort to litigation to get them to take it back.

I hope you have better luck than me.
And so many people buy german cars thinking they are the standard for reliablity/durability :unsure:
 

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I guess its down to to personal choice. I've been happy with both by 225's so far both relable. Unusually in this period of working from home I've had to come into the office today, 27 miles with the heater on on electric with no problerms. I can charge at work and at home, so will use almost no petrol on the return jurney. I agree that the best way by far is to charge them up for efficency, but I dissagree that they drive diferanty when the battery is empty. I dont beleve you can fully discharge the battery, the software will not allow it.

As a company car I think the bmw's make a sensable choice. Lower co2 and therefor tax rates than the non plug in hybrids, and you have the abilitty to do long juirneys and not rely on the terrible charging infrastructure (tesla excepted).

136801
 

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EV Convert
iPace HSE / 2019 and eTron 55 / 2020
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I was (and am) one of the slaters, that was based on my own experience with a new 740e, over about 25k miles it averaged 70mpg (good) and when it worked it was a great car (good) but it was the most unreliable pile of crap I've ever owned. And BMW gave not one single toss. Had to resort to litigation to get them to take it back.

I hope you have better luck than me.
And so many people buy german cars thinking they are the standard for reliablity/durability :unsure:
It's been the exception. I've had dozens of german cars (merc, BM, Audi) with minimal problems apart from that one.
 

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Here's what I've learned, for what its worth....

If you are prepared to think a little carefully how to use the car you can still get both performance and good mpg and miles from the battery. Just get in and drive without considering what the car is doing you won't, or, at best, unlikely to get the most from the PHEV, and, as a consequence, be somewhat disappointed - simple as that.

Had a 330E for two years and done 25k miles of which 8k have been electric (I bought it at 11 months but just 1k miles). The car is charged every night. Over the last 18k miles is has returned 61mpg over mixed driving. Battery used locally and, to ensure a warm engine under load at speed, I use Save mode for the first few miles for longer motorway journeys and to keep battery power for lower speed driving later. Just system management.

The battery never actually gets completely flat, even if showing no electric miles available on the display. There is always some electric power (6-8%) there to assist performance if you hoof it, but it is limited (having two Z4s it's difficult to be totally restrained 😁). That said, the car starts harvesting power back to the battery both from braking/coasting recovery and also from the motor. Mpg will be somewhat reduced until approx two miles of energy is restored. Driving around town etc constantly on a discharged HV battery you will still return a reasonable number of miles from energy recovered. The ICE cuts out when you are driving at a constant speed on low load.

In Save mode you can recharge the battery (to about 85% I understand), but your mpg drops by about 50%. At higher speed, more fuel is used to drive the car rather than to recharge the battery, so recharge rate isn't as quick as you would imagine. You can do 50-100 miles at a constant hit speed without necessarily getting back to close to full charge. Using night rate electricity to charge the car gives you between 2ppm to 4ppm - compared to 15ppm from fuel. Plugging in is far more cost effective to get those electric miles.

So, it is possible to drive electrically without ever plugging the car in. But, to do so, you have to use the Save feature. Not the best way of getting the best from the car imho.

Overall, I am impressed with the car, and not overly disappointed by performance - yes there are better and more powerful alternatives and it is no 3L six pot Z4. There are however, some serious issues now that are somewhat worrisome.

When I first got the car it was easy to get 26+ miles from a charge. After 12 months that dropped to 19 (which was reflected in the display after a charge). The dealer said that was normal and that most drivers get between 12 and 18!

Over the last twelve months the range has dropped to 14 and frequently only getting 8 to 12. That is with no change in charging and driving distances and style and 95% of electric driving done in economy, including trying to use the battery at less than 40mph. Above that the battery drains very quickly indeed. Use Sport or Save mode to get the engine running when needed.

The car is in tomorrow for a service and warranty check. I expect the dealer to be completely dismissive of the range issue. If that is the case, then I simply cannot justify the car on total cost of ownership despite the fuel economy that can be obtained. A battery replacement after 26k miles seems a complete failure of the technology if that is what BMW expect the car to achieve. Let's see.
 

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it was the most unreliable pile of crap I've ever owned

136808

136809


Ditto it was awful I only had it for 14 months and it suffered complete engine failure with 28k on the clock.

These fault messages were a twice weekly occurrence and the dealer support was terrible.

I will never darken BMW’s door again!

On the plus side though my Nissan Leaf is bullet proof!

It maybe made of scratchy plastics but it works properly!

And it’s never thrown a single error. 👍
 

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@Drewby80 Luck of the draw though isn't it recurrent problem is a nightmare, but having a dealer who doesn't actually play nicely in getting it fixed, that is where it goes very wrong.
 

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Luck of the draw though isn't it
It’s not supposed to be when you buy an approved used car with only 12k on the clock from a franchised dealer, that should be a pretty safe bet.

And if things go very wrong you should be covered, not dismissed by the dealer.
 

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I mean on the car, stuff happens, it is how the dealer sorts it that makes the experience good or bad. Agree entirely it should not be bad, and paying main dealer premium one hopes to be able to get some return out of it.

I have a 62 plate 528i on the drive with 115k on it, w originally a company car for me and I bought it at the end of lease, now my wife's runabout. Sytner Maidenhead have been absolutely sterling with getting it sorted, while under warranty, while it was out of warranty and still a company car and finally when it has been privately owned.

However that is my n=1 and pretty sure someone will be able to give their horror stories of them as well, customer service is something which is easy to do well, and unfortunately even easier to do badly!
 

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I mean on the car, stuff happens, it is how the dealer sorts it that makes the experience good or bad. Agree entirely it should not be bad, and paying main dealer premium one hopes to be able to get some return out of it.

I have a 62 plate 528i on the drive with 115k on it, w originally a company car for me and I bought it at the end of lease, now my wife's runabout. Sytner Maidenhead have been absolutely sterling with getting it sorted, while under warranty, while it was out of warranty and still a company car and finally when it has been privately owned.

However that is my n=1 and pretty sure someone will be able to give their horror stories of them as well, customer service is something which is easy to do well, and unfortunately even easier to do badly!
Biffa, full agree.
I have a 330e (2016, first generation). Pre-COVID I did many short (25 mile) trips mixed with some longer ones (80, or 150) without charging facilities. I enjoy my driving and the 250hp. For the first year I got 68mpg, up from 38mpg for similar driving with a 530d and an Audi TT.
I used Octopus Go and now Octopus Agile and a typical charge costs 30-50p for around 18 miles.
Now my world has changed and I am doing much longer trips again without charging facilities at the destination. I’m back to 45mpg average with spirited driving, and the battery doesn’t get me very far.
I had a £3k out of warranty engine problem which BMW fully covered.
For me the 330e is a great compromise. It cost me £16k and has probably cost £4K in depreciation over 2 years.
I’m looking at a Model 3 but it will be much more expensive to own, and will slow down my journeys both in speed and charging time as I won’t be able to do my round trip (often a 5am-10pm day, with 6 hours driving) without stopping to charge on the way home.
For now the 330e (used) is the best compromise available.


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Think we have 4 of them at work now, with about 350 people working in our building and 12 charging points. All the PHEV and EV owners know each other by sight for obvious reason, i.e we are always parking in the same spots!

One of my mates got his 330e and has no charging at home as he lives in area with on street parking. He charges it at the office and then he manages to drive home and back to the office, with the engine kicking in as he is in the run up to the car park gates. For him it is great his commute is effectively free as work does not charge us for electricity, and he has a car that does not require him to think about what to do when they go up the M1 to see in-laws. It meets his needs well, it is cheap on tax and that is what matters to him.

For my 1st service at 18k in the 528i I managed 23mpg... I drive much more efficiently with an EV now, although like many of us I am not driving at all, and not charging at the office for free either! I have thought about the 330e as a replacement for the 528 but my wife has no love of hybrids, doesn't see the point for lugging both battery and engine around, so i3 will be the replacement.

I would counter your point about the journey times, in terms of average speed and then time to charge, I went to Glasgow in August and did that journey in pretty much the same time as I would of in the ICE. Although I have small kids and regular stops are the norm, bit even quick pit stop results in meaningful range being added. I was also more relaxed and less tired due to AP, but i am sure that many of the more modern ICE than mine had decent ACC and lane keeping these days too.

In addition to that when I did move to an EV I saved £330 a month on fuel as was covering 28k a year... which is not to be sniffed at.
 

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Here's what I've learned, for what its worth....

If you are prepared to think a little carefully how to use the car you can still get both performance and good mpg and miles from the battery. Just get in and drive without considering what the car is doing you won't, or, at best, unlikely to get the most from the PHEV, and, as a consequence, be somewhat disappointed - simple as that.

Had a 330E for two years and done 25k miles of which 8k have been electric (I bought it at 11 months but just 1k miles). The car is charged every night. Over the last 18k miles is has returned 61mpg over mixed driving. Battery used locally and, to ensure a warm engine under load at speed, I use Save mode for the first few miles for longer motorway journeys and to keep battery power for lower speed driving later. Just system management.

The battery never actually gets completely flat, even if showing no electric miles available on the display. There is always some electric power (6-8%) there to assist performance if you hoof it, but it is limited (having two Z4s it's difficult to be totally restrained 😁). That said, the car starts harvesting power back to the battery both from braking/coasting recovery and also from the motor. Mpg will be somewhat reduced until approx two miles of energy is restored. Driving around town etc constantly on a discharged HV battery you will still return a reasonable number of miles from energy recovered. The ICE cuts out when you are driving at a constant speed on low load.

In Save mode you can recharge the battery (to about 85% I understand), but your mpg drops by about 50%. At higher speed, more fuel is used to drive the car rather than to recharge the battery, so recharge rate isn't as quick as you would imagine. You can do 50-100 miles at a constant hit speed without necessarily getting back to close to full charge. Using night rate electricity to charge the car gives you between 2ppm to 4ppm - compared to 15ppm from fuel. Plugging in is far more cost effective to get those electric miles.

So, it is possible to drive electrically without ever plugging the car in. But, to do so, you have to use the Save feature. Not the best way of getting the best from the car imho.

Overall, I am impressed with the car, and not overly disappointed by performance - yes there are better and more powerful alternatives and it is no 3L six pot Z4. There are however, some serious issues now that are somewhat worrisome.

When I first got the car it was easy to get 26+ miles from a charge. After 12 months that dropped to 19 (which was reflected in the display after a charge). The dealer said that was normal and that most drivers get between 12 and 18!

Over the last twelve months the range has dropped to 14 and frequently only getting 8 to 12. That is with no change in charging and driving distances and style and 95% of electric driving done in economy, including trying to use the battery at less than 40mph. Above that the battery drains very quickly indeed. Use Sport or Save mode to get the engine running when needed.

The car is in tomorrow for a service and warranty check. I expect the dealer to be completely dismissive of the range issue. If that is the case, then I simply cannot justify the car on total cost of ownership despite the fuel economy that can be obtained. A battery replacement after 26k miles seems a complete failure of the technology if that is what BMW expect the car to achieve. Let's see.
So - am completely underwhelmed by BMW. I reported the range drop to less than 10 miles/charge, so they did the usual palaver of software upgrade and reset the system adjustments and then recharged the system overnight. I picked the car up with it reporting 21 miles. I drove less than half a mile in Economy mode and it had already dropped by 4 miles. I managed 11 miles on battery on the way home and reported back to the dealer immediately. The service front desk said they had passed it up to the senior technician for further investigation. Made a second follow up call a week later. Nothing from BMW at all. Not even acknowledgement....

Been averaging 8-9 miles the last week.

So, while in its early years, the PHEV is a fabulous way of reducing tail pipe emissions and dramatically reducing cost per mile especially on lower speed journeys, I believe there is only one of two possible conclusions.
a. The HV system in may car has degraded dramatically due to one or more of the 5 modules in the battery system having a fault and BMW simply don't care, or,
b. The HV system is now simply not fit for purpose over a short period of use compared to the life time of the car. And, BMW still don't care.

As a Chartered Electrical Engineer working in telecoms and broadcasting for 35 years and so well familiar with UPS and battery charging systems both large and small, I would like to think it is a. The cynic in me tells me it is b. Either way, the BMW dealership are now not even acknowledging the issue. Next stop BMW head office.....show me that your warranty is actually worth more than the paper it is written on.
 

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I think the major issue here is the size of the battery (hang on, keep reading before the pitchfork comes out), I recall a similar thread on this some time ago. With a large battery EV on a longer journey that early penalty for a cold battery gets wrapped up in a longer journey or disguised in remaining charge on short ones. The smaller battery of the 330e means that the battery is for about 6 months of the year never really warm or reaching a decent thermal efficiency. You jump into a car in the morning which is stone cold, my commute to work is 22 miles and about 35 minutes and the battery is just warming about a mile from work, you will be out of charge by some margin in the winter and possibly just out in high summer.

My thought would be to charge it from flat (3.6kWh charge rate?) and then immediately drive it, the charging should hopefully have warmed up the battery and you can see if indeed it is the cold, and if you still have it next June and you are getting 25 miles out of it then clearly that is the answer.

The impact of colder weather really cannot be underestimated here as the ranges for many PHEVs can be somewhat unrealistic.

Fit for purpose, depends on the purpose, the ones at work seem to be spot on, the people who are driving them love them for their use case they hardly ever fill up with charging at work.

YMMV sorry couldn't resist :)
 

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If the car uses the HV battery to run the heating (pretty sure 225xe did that in EV mode) the PTC heater can draw up to 5-6kW which will stuff the range, on top of Biffa's comment on cold batteries/cars being less efficient.
 

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...although it's pretty poor of BMW not to explain any of this as justification for why they believe there isn't a problem, etc. To just ignore the customer is unforgivable.

But is this problem with BMW or the dealer?
 

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Would it be a bad idea to hang a battery on the charger and not use it for a week or is it better to unplug it once charged?
 

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BMW 300e 2020 model and Leaf 40kW 2019 model
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I'm thinking of getting a PHEV and I heard an interesting story about a friend of a friend. He drives his company 330E once a week or so into London, it switches to electric at the congestion charge zone and back to petrol when he leaves. The thing is, apparently he's never charged it using the lead. So is the braking recuperation good enough over what might be a 50 mile round petrol journey to give him maybe 5 miles electric range or is he using Battery Control Mode? And how daft is it financially to use petrol to charge the battery?
I have a 330e 2020 model and the recuperation is indeed very efficient, considerably more efficient than the previous BMW models. Recuperation happens not only when you are braking but also when you have to slow down, drive downhill or in any situation when the engine is coasted. I have done a few long trips (300+ kilometers) and quite a few shorter trips (100-150 kilometers) and depending on the terrain, recuperation can be extremely good, especially on the shorter trips. If I start with a fully charged battery, at the end of the day many times I manage to drive 100-120 km on battery on 120-150km trips with mixed road situations (city, highway, country road, dirt road). On my long trips, or where it is mostly highway, recuperation is not giving that much extra, especially if you can't keep an even pace and often must take over other, slower moving vehicles. For daily commuting to and from work, the electric range is just enough for my needs, and almost every day I manage to drive the 50+ kilometers with battery only. The only exception is very cold days during winter when I max at 47km. Note that I have all LED lights, which means some extra saving of electricity, even with the headlights on, but still, it is noticeable when it is dark that the battery is drained faster.

The 330e has a special mode you can set for saving battery for city driving, but otherwise you are free to switch between modes. In Sport mode the car is driving on petrol all the time, except if you need extreme fast acceleration, otherwise in Hybrid mode electric driving at slower speed up to 110 km/h (unless you accelerate fast) and if you chose Electric then you can drive electric up to 140 km/h and it stays there until the battery is flat or you make a fast acceleration, in which case it switches to hybrid. The car accelerating fast enough to overtake in most cases without switching to hybrid.

In my opinion, buying a PHEV without charging at home or somewhere else regularly is a bad idea and waste of money. It kind of invalidates the reason of driving a PHEV. Recuperation only is not enough. to take benefits of the car. If I´d not have not bought any PHEV without possibilities to charge on daily basis.
 

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BMW 300e 2020 model and Leaf 40kW 2019 model
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When I first got the car it was easy to get 26+ miles from a charge. After 12 months that dropped to 19 (which was reflected in the display after a charge). The dealer said that was normal and that most drivers get between 12 and 18!

Over the last twelve months the range has dropped to 14 and frequently only getting 8 to 12. That is with no change in charging and driving distances and style and 95% of electric driving done in economy, including trying to use the battery at less than 40mph. Above that the battery drains very quickly indeed. Use Sport or Save mode to get the engine running when needed.
I had mine almost exactly a year now and have not noticed any range drop at all. Have a Leaf Tekna 40kW and also that is still at the same range as new after two years of regular use and charging. Sounds like there must be something wrong with your car because that much drop is definitely not normal. Be aware that you have a battery warranty also. That covers not only the battery itself, but also the charging circuit. I would be seriously worried if my range would drop to 30%... that is totally unacceptable after two years and definitely not normal.
 

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If the car uses the HV battery to run the heating (pretty sure 225xe did that in EV mode) the PTC heater can draw up to 5-6kW which will stuff the range, on top of Biffa's comment on cold batteries/cars being less efficient.
The car uses recycled heat from the engine and the liquid cooled battery. The electric heater is only used for parking or departure heating. The battery is liquid cooled, at least in the 330e, but I don't know the 225xe, though I am sure it works the same way.
 
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