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This may sound like a weird title for a post in the Charging Section but bear with me... it is very much relevant :)

Last week @sallybuswell and I drove to Sunderland to visit the Nissan Factory. This is documented in another post. But on the way back we went "off-piste" and decided to enjoy the return trip off the motorway.

We were in the Ampera and as you all know it has about 40 miles battery range and then about 350 miles on petrol.

You have all heard of "Range Anxiety" with respect to battery EVs and their short range...? Well, we never get that in the Ampera because when the battery runs flat the car smoothly and automatically switches to petrol.

That is all very well if you have petrol in the tank. On this occasion we had run the battery flat already and were down to about 50 miles range on petrol when I kind of remembered that you have to fill the Ampera with dino-juice. I am so used to driving on battery, in the Nissan Leaf or Ampera, that I kinda forgot! :rolleyes:

Anyway, I had 50 miles estimated remaining and I was on the A38... a major north-south arterial... there was bound to be a petrol station soon... wasn't there?

We drove on not at all concerned as we didn't even imagine that there wouldn't be a petrol station coming up soon. We drove on... and on... and on. We were down to 25 miles range on petrol when we thought that we couldn't leave it to chance any longer and so we used the SatNav to do a Point of Interest (POI) search to find the nearest petrol station. Funnily enough, it was just a few miles further on and so we just carried on and filled up there.

Now, a strange story perhaps, but it raised a few points of interest for us:

- were we in danger of running out of petrol? Possibly. Had we not had that petrol station on our route and had the nearest one been a few miles away then it was possible.

- we should have been more attentive to our petrol state. OK, "I" should have been more attentive being the driver :eek: but it does show that driving an EV all the time you can lose the simple skills you take for granted when driving a ICE... specifically remembering to fill up!

- it also showed me something which I was not really aware of before now... that the BMW i3 and its 80 mile petrol range means that it is at risk of being 20 or 30 miles away from a petrol station and so once it is out of battery power then to imagine that it has a usable 80 mile range on petrol is rather foolish given that even petrol stations can be 20-30+ miles apart on major routes. If I had a BMW i3 REx then when running on petrol I think I would be looking to fill up after 50 miles unless I was certain of having a petrol station in range.

Just a thought...

It also shows that range anxiety can still exist with an Ampera or BMW i3... as it can with any vehicle if you push it to the limit.
 

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I think if I were planning a long trip in an i3 Rex I would fill it's tank and a coue of jerry cans in the boot! With the trip to Sunderland (400 mile round trip) you'd to stop about 5 times, assuming you got 70 miles from each fillup. At least with a can in the boot you can pull into any old layby and top it up when you're about to run out.
 

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Just as well that the petrol station was not closed or out of fuel then, Paul.

How long until there is an aftermarket larger fuel tank for the i3 REX. Is there room to install a larger tank? The one that is there is only that size to comply with US rules on EV definitions so has no real connection to engineering restraints.
 

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I was a bit concerned about how small the tank was on the i3, but it just encourages you to use it less often :)

I usually have the i3 display split with the right panel permanently showing a moving map with the real-time traffic information and charging/petrol stations. It's amazing how many petrol stations there are when you do that... and certainly relieves any concerns about where to fill up when necessary when you can see 3+ in easy reach all the time.
 

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I've got close to your situation once as well Paul, in the Ampera :) Fairly early on I decided to get into the habit of filling up as soon as the petrol range showed less than three figures.
 
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Been there myself, coming back from England a few weeks ago the Volt was showing 40 miles range left on petrol (Enough for where I'd planned to fill up) then suddenly the range disappeared and Low was showing in place of any range. So did the POI on the sat nav for fuel, no problem local villages on the A9 have petrol stations. Forgot it was Sunday and most of them are closed. Continued on, Low warning light went out (not sure why) but Low was still showing instead of range. Just hoped the range was correct before the Low light came on. Managed to fill up at one of the services but was sweating for a while (had done 20 miles showing Low). Lesson learnt, will fill up before the Low warning in future on long trips.
 

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I find I have two different mindsets for normal versus long trips. Coming back from Scotland a couple of weeks ago I was busy calculating petrol range against distance remaining. With a full tank it looked like I could get home with about 70 miles left, which as a 2 digit range is definitely in the 'fill it up now' category, so I was contemplating having to fill up again en route.

As it happens, I got home with 105 miles remaining petrol range, so I didn't have to fill up. That was two weeks ago and I still haven't bothered to fill up. I'm back in the mindset where range is 43 miles electric and the petrol tank is just an occasional backup.
 

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Petrol has a definite 'shelf life', but I'm not sure how long it's good for in a fuel tank. The Ampera / Volt is more likely to get through a little petrol now and again, but the i3 could go a while without burning any.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A few years ago I took a motor boat around Britain for charity and I was carrying fuel on board in jerry cans. I remember that there are regulations that prevent the storage and transport of petrol in large quantities and by "large" I mean more than 5 litres!

I do agree that it sounds like a possible solution for any ER-EV but I would check first on just how much petrol you can store and carry in the car... if I remember correctly it is an issue to carry more than 10 litres and then they must be in approved plastic 5 litre contains... although I might have that wrong but it isn't very much anyway :)
 

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Petrol has a definite 'shelf life', but I'm not sure how long it's good for in a fuel tank. The Ampera / Volt is more likely to get through a little petrol now and again, but the i3 could go a while without burning any.
The Ampera/Volt monitors the average age of fuel in the tank and burns it off if it gets too old (about a year without filling up). It also runs maintenance cycles on the engine every 6 weeks to circulate the engine oil if it hasn't otherwise been used. Does the i3 do something similar?
 

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The Petroleum Regulations are a mess, so you may store at home without license:

2 X 2 gallon metal cans (not 20l jerry cans)
2 X 5 litre plastic cans
As much as you want in a vehicle tank
No regs that I can find covering outboard motor tanks but until proven otherwise I class them as a vehicle tank.
Also no real regs covering storage in the workplace, plenty of advice though.

Transporting petrol is a worse mess and really only apply over 333 litres when licenses, training and on and on, are required.
 

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The Ampera/Volt monitors the average age of fuel in the tank and burns it off if it gets too old (about a year without filling up). It also runs maintenance cycles on the engine every 6 weeks to circulate the engine oil if it hasn't otherwise been used. Does the i3 do something similar?
At 'certain intervals' it will perform a maintenance run. Not sure what those periods are or what triggers it.
 

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That's an interesting one, I am used to range anxiety with an ice as I normally run it down to 20-25 mile range (have filled with more than the stated capacity of the fuel tank before ...) so that will be a nice treat in the ampera if it still has a few miles of electric left in the battery :)
 

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As I understand it, in the Volt if you completely run out of petrol the car will then use the remaining about 3kw buffer that normally the car wont let you use.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I heard that if it had run out of petrol then it stopped and you couldn't the battery even if there was plenty remaining?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Fantastic! That is great news that at least it won't just stop but 3-4 miles isn't much more than eneough to get somewhere safe to stop but it is better than any ICE!

Thanks for that @AndyG
 

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That's good news I was under the impression that as it says in the manual never run out of fuel that I would need a reset or something if this happened. I did come near once and the low fuel light came on but when refilling it seemed that there was about 5 litres of petrol left.
 

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35 litre tank and I have managed to get 31.5 litres in. Low fuel light had been on for a few miles (I think the last range I had seen for petrol was 50 miles before it went to Low) but I was using the battery for the last part before I managed to fill up.
 
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