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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Traveling home from Inverness today and the snow was quite heavy. Have to say this wasn't the most pleasurable journey!

Firstly the car almost crashed itself when some sort of auto braking came on presumably the massive snow flakes triggered some sort of city safe braking? Anyway I turned this feature off for the remainder of the drive so thats fine. The biggest issue is not being able to lift your foot off the accelerator for fear of initiating the regenerative braking. Can someone tell me is there a way to disable the regenerative braking?

I don't feel too bad as the i3 managed what a Audi A4 and Land Rover Evoque didn't! (From the looks of both accidents nobody was hurt, just low speed bumps)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When the car automatically "jumped on the brakes" a little car icon showed just above the speedo so I thought it must be the front collision system kicking in? I basically pressed that little green circle button in the centre console which I thought turned all the city safe features off and the issue certainly didn't reoccur.

The regen system is shockingly dangerous in the snow, I mean to the point you have to leave miles of space in front and hope to god theres nothing in front that requires you to take your foot off the accelerator. The second you take your foot off the cars back end wildly swings out like you have just yanked on the hand brake! You need to start correcting a skid. I have to say thats the last time I take the i3 out in the snow, think I will take our VW golf next time it snows.

I've done that stretch of the A9 hundreds of times (every other weekend). I know it can be bad sometimes in the snow but this was the first time I really could say I thought there would be a real chance of coming off the road.
 

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The regen system is shockingly dangerous in the snow
This is worrying, and conflicts with most of the reports I have seen about driving i3s in the snow. I haven't seen much however about driving while it is actually snowing, as opposed to driving on settled snow. Do you have winter tyres? I gather they make a huge difference. Also were you using EcoPro, and what kind of speed were you going?
 

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i3 with Range Extender (EREV) Sept 2014
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When the car automatically "jumped on the brakes" a little car icon showed just above the speedo so I thought it must be the front collision system kicking in? I basically pressed that little green circle button in the centre console which I thought turned all the city safe features off and the issue certainly didn't reoccur.

The regen system is shockingly dangerous in the snow, I mean to the point you have to leave miles of space in front and hope to god theres nothing in front that requires you to take your foot off the accelerator. The second you take your foot off the cars back end wildly swings out like you have just yanked on the hand brake! You need to start correcting a skid. I have to say thats the last time I take the i3 out in the snow, think I will take our VW golf next time it snows.

I've done that stretch of the A9 hundreds of times (every other weekend). I know it can be bad sometimes in the snow but this was the first time I really could say I thought there would be a real chance of coming off the road.
Not good, so you have driver assist options I guess? Not that good at assisting you then in snow, did you turn on DTC which turns off DSC to see if any different? Just reading manual now and says in slush or snow that has not been cleared it is on page 102.
 

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Interesting, because last two winters I've actually found the regen braking an advantage in snow with my Ampera. All you have to do is gently ease back on the accelerator well in advance and the car gently slows down according to how much you let off - but never just take your foot right off quickly. No danger of locking the wheels by pressing the brake pedal too much as I sometimes used to do with my Jag...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No winter tyres but yes to Eco Pro, @Eunicholas the picture was taken just as the snow started it all felt a bit Christmasy at this point before all the "incidents". At the heaviest the traffic was crawling at 20mph. @hopbackguy yes the just keep your foot on the accelerator for a 2hr stretch was what I ended up doing. Which worked so long as you left plenty of room and nothing caused you to actually need to press the break. Where this was dangerous was on down hill descents. The car gathers momentum so you have 2 choices press as light as you possibly can on the accelerator and gain speed with momentum. Or hope for the best and apply the hand brake (I mean take my foot completely off the accelerator). Haven't driven a Ampera but the BMW fairly stops when no accelerator is pressed.
 

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Interesting, because last two winters I've actually found the regen braking an advantage in snow with my Ampera. All you have to do is gently ease back on the accelerator well in advance and the car gently slows down according to how much you let off - but never just take your foot right off quickly. No danger of locking the wheels by pressing the brake pedal too much as I sometimes used to do with my Jag...
I do not think the Ampera suffers the same as the I3 in the snow because of the following reasons;
1) Regen is on the front wheels and not the rear wheels
2) Regen on the I3 has a stronger affect than driving in low in the Ampera
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
@PRO-AMPERA thats a good point, front wheel regen v rear wheel sounds like a much better idea.

I honestly think BMW have missed a trick here. A simple winter mode button that turns off (or reduces) the breaking force when your foot is lifted off the accelerator seems a no brainer to me. IMO driving the i3 in the snow is like driving a car with no working brakes or gears to slow you down only a handbrake.
 

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No winter tyres but yes to Eco Pro, @Eunicholas the picture was taken just as the snow started it all felt a bit Christmasy at this point before all the "incidents". At the heaviest the traffic was crawling at 20mph. @hopbackguy yes the just keep your foot on the accelerator for a 2hr stretch was what I ended up doing. Which worked so long as you left plenty of room and nothing caused you to actually need to press the break. Where this was dangerous was on down hill descents. The car gathers momentum so you have 2 choices press as light as you possibly can on the accelerator and gain speed with momentum. Or hope for the best and apply the hand brake (I mean take my foot completely off the accelerator). Haven't driven a Ampera but the BMW fairly stops when no accelerator is pressed.
Thanks for info, I will be extra cautious if I have to drive in snow, I don't have collision avoidance system but read it works upto 35mph so maybe like you say camera got confused.
 

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Short but relevant thread on mybmw13.com, including very confident statement by Tom Moloughney, one of the US's i3 gurus and veteran of previous BMW EV prototypes. Sounds like this issue needs to be escalated and got to the bottom of...

http://www.mybmwi3.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=617
 

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I'm sure if the tyres fitted were applicable to the freezing conditions that would certainly help. Summer tyres do not work well in snow and ice. Winter tyres are available in the i3 tyre sizes (19" anyway) and for a good reason by the sound of it.
 

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I have the winter tyres fitted, but no snow here yet to try them . They seem fine so far with only frost on the country roads.
Do you have them on your supplied rims, Brian? Or have you got a second set?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I might price up some Winter tyres, but I'm a little hesitant as its a leased car which has tyres included. Though if this makes a huge difference then its probably worth the £600
 

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My all be it limited experience with RWD and snow, is that without winter tyres they are almost totally useless. A couple of years ago my next door neighbour had to abandon his 3 series at the bottom of the hill (its not steep either) he just couldn't get any traction.

My smart fortwo at the time had no trouble :p
 
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