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Hi all, just bought my first ever PHEV having come from a Mercedes 220d and bought a 2016 330e. Really love the car but being new to PHEV I have a few questions and if anyone can give me any pointers I would really apprecaite it.

1) I don't have a charging point at home as of yet - can anyone recommend a good company that fits them? I believe there is also a government grant towards this so am I right in thinking the costs overall will be around £400 - £500?

2) The charging cable that came with the car has a standard 3 pin plug that fits into any UK socket. Can this be used straight away or do I need to upgrade my socket in some way before using it to charge the car? Don't want to blow all the electrics in my house by assuming I can use it without any upgrade

3) I thought all of these cars had a built in 20GB storage for music? Mine doesn't seem to have any option to add or use a 'music collection' and can only use wither CD / Aux / USB. Am I missing something simple to be able to access the 20GB storage?

4) What are the key differences between Sport + / Sport / Comfort / Eco modes. I tend to drive around 40-50 miles per day so imagine I'd be best off using a mode that intelligently switches between battery and petrol but these modes are all new to me.

5) I currently use Octopus as my gas / electric provider anyway, has anyone used them for their PHEV provider? How good are they?


I think that's it for now though no doubt will have more questions in the days to come. Thanks in advance :)
 

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Hi, and congrats on the 330e. I have a 2016 330e and I've had it for just over 2 years and I still love it. It suits my needs perfectly as I can do the majority of my daily commute on electric and longer distances it's really good too. Then, when the fancy takes, you can utilise all the power and give it the beans. It helps that it has pretty much every option on it, so it's a very nice place to be. I'm planning on getting a 330e Touring later this year. The bigger battery will certainly be welcome.

1) I haven't got a home charger, I just use the granny charger that came with the car. I put in an external power socket on the front of the house and bought a weather proof box for the charger. I never charge away from home as it's pretty pointless on a PHEV

2) As above, I wouldn't worry about it. Just plug it in.

3) Think that depends on the head unit. Do you have pro nav with the larger screen? It might be worthwhile you trying to figure out the full spec of the car. You can use VIN decoders to show the full factory spec. This one works well: bimmer.work : VIN Decoder for BMW. Go there, pop in your VIN and it will show you everything the car came with.

4) You're best off just leaving it in Auto eDrive and Comfort. Use the nav and the car will kick the ICE in when needed. I never use battery save as it's a false economy. You're using petrol to charge the battery and drive the car. I sometimes pop it into Eco to coast. If I want to behave like a teenager, I sometimes pop it in Sport/Sport+ and put the box into manual to give it a blast. Sport mode and Sport+ firm up the suspension, steering and throttle response.
You're best off just letting the car deal with everything though for normal driving.

5) Octopus get good reviews from that I've read but I'm not with them so can't answer that.
 

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Some answers from my PoV...

1) Talk to Octopus. They did a pretty good installation deal - not huge savings in cost, but a better charge point for the money.

2) Standard sockets are rated for 13A. The car/charger combination won't let you exceed this, but if you need to use an extension lead, it might be wise to set the charge rate on the car to 10A or less, to give you a bit more margin. Make sure you uncoil an extension lead, as they will generate heat, and at high currents, there is a risk of the cable melting if there isn't sufficient airflow around it.

3) Can't help you on this one, sorry. @smorg99 has a good suggestion.

4) I use sport every now and again to force the ICE to run. I really dislike it running for only a few seconds or minutes and not having a chance to warm up properly, so if the ICE has kicked in at any point, I run in Sport for a few miles after, just to be sure. Battery save can be useful if you know you need to save some battery power for later in your journey, such as preparing for the inevitable traffic jam at the Dartford Tunnel on the M25. Sport mode will only stiffen your suspension if your car has that option. Gearbox and engine behaviour will change, however.

5) Look at Octopus Go. It's great, and very popular on here. Slightly higher standing charge, but 5pm per unit electricity between 00:30 and 04:30. If you're charging at a low rate due to using a 13A socket, 4 hours might not be enough to give you a full charge, but when you can charge at 16A from a proper charge point, you'll be able to easily take a full charge at the lower rate.
 
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