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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 120ish mile commute (there and back), from Cambridgeshire to London.

Is an i3 capable and a good idea? I would say I do roughly 15k-18k miles a year.

Any help from owners would be most appreciated.

Kind regards

Whiggy
 

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2015 BMW i3 REx 60ah, Solar Orange
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Interesting question. Trouble with the BMW i3, even in 120Ah guise is you're getting around 120 miles on electric, and that's optimum conditions. Unfortunately the 120Ah REx isn't available in the UK. Again, fair point, can you always charge on arriving at work?

A late model 94Ah REx could work, but it would need to be under warranty given these are sensor loaded cars and when they go wrong they are expensive.

I disagree with comment above regards petrol can't be used every day. It's a scooter engine and not particularly efficient. That said, fil it with super leaded and you can go anywhere, although you will need to service annually unless your mechanically minded.

The benefit of the REx engine is charging infrastructure is still being installed, let's face it it's a mess. Road works and slow moving traffic, road detours due to accidents will happen, and the speed you drive effects range, so real world driving figures in the dead of winter go out the window.

If it were me and running 15-18k miles a year, then I'd still be looking at a diesel (shock horror) Euro 5 before it went a bit daft with Ad Blu, EGR and other techno wizardry to bring down emissions. By all means look at Kia or Nissan electric if you can't bring yourself to buy a conventional ICE car.

Just my tuppence worth.
 

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Can I recommend an Ampera or Honda Jazz eHEV? 😉 both are electric drive with a beefy generator - the Amp has the advantage of a plug socket and a decent size battery, but is getting old.

Alternatively, get yourself a big old luxobarge like the Jag XJ for the same price as a used i3 Rex..
 
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120 miles in the 120ah will be fine, no idea how anyone could get less than that i had the 94ah BEV and never saw less than 110 miles in the coldest of colds, the 120 is more than 20% more capacity.

REX was great for the 60 and i4 if regularly went 120 or more miles a day but the 120 will be good for worst case 140, if you are wanting to make the transition seamless consider one with a heat pump as it will help slightly in the winter Otherwise there is a chance and I mean very remote that if your 120 mile trip is all motorway and you speed and it is really really cold it may be close, I don’t doubt you would still make it but good to have a buffer.

I had my i3 for 15 months, only sold due to needing more space but i really miss the i3, thinking about getting one for the second car, depends on budget but try to get one in warranty for at least a year so any niggles can be fixed but they are pretty reliable, most issues were with the REX and limited use, reversing camera delaminating was the only issue I had and is quite common but fixed under warrranty.

the i3 Facebook group is a great place for more detail.
 

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I disagree with comment above regards petrol can't be used every day. It's a scooter engine and not particularly efficient. That said, fil it with super leaded and you can go anywhere, although you will need to service annually unless your mechanically minded.
BMW didn't intend for the REx to be used daily. It can but it is not econmic or convenient.

The REx is good for maybe 50-60 miles from the 2 gallon (9L) tank. It only manages 25-30 mpg-UK. Dismal.

Leaded fuel must be a typo. Unleaded only.

The i3 is a complex car. It is densly packed and you need special tools to do all sorts of things. You need a coding computer just to replace the 12V auxillary battery.

To fully answer the OPs question:

The 60Ah i3 REx (2016 and earlier) is not going to make 120 miles reliably year round. Rule that out.

94Ah i3 REx can make a 120 mile trip, but you will need to be refilling the tank every day or at most two. Worst possible choice for the trip in my mind.

120Ah i3 BEV with the optional heat pump should be able to manage 120 miles if driven economically. It won't do it at 70+mph and the margin will be small in the winter. I'd say it would be ok as long as there is a plan B with a reliable rapid charger around the route. I'd think there should be several good rapid charging options in that part of the UK.
 

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My first suggestion would be to move closer. That is a lot of time out of your life lost to commuting.

Nissan LEAF 40 or a Zoe 50 would perhaps be the least expensvie chocies with the required range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Which i3??

Can you charge at the destination?

The range extender is not meant for daily use. Fuel consumption on the Rex is not good.
I can yes, but interesting about the fuel consumption once it goes to the petrol. Thank you for replying
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
120 miles in the 120ah will be fine, no idea how anyone could get less than that i had the 94ah BEV and never saw less than 110 miles in the coldest of colds, the 120 is more than 20% more capacity.

REX was great for the 60 and i4 if regularly went 120 or more miles a day but the 120 will be good for worst case 140, if you are wanting to make the transition seamless consider one with a heat pump as it will help slightly in the winter Otherwise there is a chance and I mean very remote that if your 120 mile trip is all motorway and you speed and it is really really cold it may be close, I don’t doubt you would still make it but good to have a buffer.

I had my i3 for 15 months, only sold due to needing more space but i really miss the i3, thinking about getting one for the second car, depends on budget but try to get one in warranty for at least a year so any niggles can be fixed but they are pretty reliable, most issues were with the REX and limited use, reversing camera delaminating was the only issue I had and is quite common but fixed under warrranty.

the i3 Facebook group is a great place for more detail.
Thank you, very useful advice
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Interesting question. Trouble with the BMW i3, even in 120Ah guise is you're getting around 120 miles on electric, and that's optimum conditions. Unfortunately the 120Ah REx isn't available in the UK. Again, fair point, can you always charge on arriving at work?

A late model 94Ah REx could work, but it would need to be under warranty given these are sensor loaded cars and when they go wrong they are expensive.

I disagree with comment above regards petrol can't be used every day. It's a scooter engine and not particularly efficient. That said, fil it with super leaded and you can go anywhere, although you will need to service annually unless your mechanically minded.

The benefit of the REx engine is charging infrastructure is still being installed, let's face it it's a mess. Road works and slow moving traffic, road detours due to accidents will happen, and the speed you drive effects range, so real world driving figures in the dead of winter go out the window.

If it were me and running 15-18k miles a year, then I'd still be looking at a diesel (shock horror) Euro 5 before it went a bit daft with Ad Blu, EGR and other techno wizardry to bring down emissions. By all means look at Kia or Nissan electric if you can't bring yourself to buy a conventional ICE car.

Just my tuppence worth.
thank you for replying, yes, I think a diesel is what I'll get, I retire in 5 years and will not need to go to London in a car!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
BMW didn't intend for the REx to be used daily. It can but it is not econmic or convenient.

The REx is good for maybe 50-60 miles from the 2 gallon (9L) tank. It only manages 25-30 mpg-UK. Dismal.

Leaded fuel must be a typo. Unleaded only.

The i3 is a complex car. It is densly packed and you need special tools to do all sorts of things. You need a coding computer just to replace the 12V auxillary battery.

To fully answer the OPs question:

The 60Ah i3 REx (2016 and earlier) is not going to make 120 miles reliably year round. Rule that out.

94Ah i3 REx can make a 120 mile trip, but you will need to be refilling the tank every day or at most two. Worst possible choice for the trip in my mind.

120Ah i3 BEV with the optional heat pump should be able to manage 120 miles if driven economically. It won't do it at 70+mph and the margin will be small in the winter. I'd say it would be ok as long as there is a plan B with a reliable rapid charger around the route. I'd think there should be several good rapid charging options in that part of the UK.
Thank you for your reply and advice. I think the trip to London, although not that often will be a stretch for the 94Ah, the 120Ah's are just out of my price range at the moment,
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My first suggestion would be to move closer. That is a lot of time out of your life lost to commuting.

Nissan LEAF 40 or a Zoe 50 would perhaps be the least expensvie chocies with the required range.
There is a chance I will be working in Cambridgeshire from the middle of the year but not a given, so have to consider the London thing still. I don't drive everyday, only when trains don't run at weekends, which has only been a problem the last few weeks, normally a pretty good service. 1 hour to London on the train then a 5 min overground to my work. But the i3 will come into its own if I was to get the job in Cambridge, both Peterborough or Cambridge where id be based are around 20 miles from me, that would be I'm guessing a breeze for an i3.
 

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I sold my i3 recently, I owned it outright. One of my neighbours had a late 94ah on a PCP, BMW allowed him to end it early and trade into a new 120ah for a "very good deal". I expect this would have been to hit their EU CO2 targets (grandfathered in for the UK in 2021). While I'm not a fan of PCP's etc, they do offer a route into heavy discounts and you can always buy yourself out to avoid the interest payments, might be worth enquiring / considering. There is a cheap deals thread on here for various cars Cheap Deals Thread

Appreciate cost is an issue, consider if you have off street parking you can charge at overnight rates very cheaply, I can't remember the "economy" I was getting off the top of my head but I'd estimate charging at home cost at £2.25 - £2.50 for that journey. And of course your 1 less car contributing to the damage to our environment and peoples health, but don't get me going :)
 

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I can yes, but interesting about the fuel consumption once it goes to the petrol. Thank you for replying
That makes all the difference. You only need 60 miles from the car before plugging it in.

94Ah i3 would be perfect. You don't need the range extender, that car can manage 60 mils and have plenty of reserve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I sold my i3 recently, I owned it outright. One of my neighbours had a late 94ah on a PCP, BMW allowed him to end it early and trade into a new 120ah for a "very good deal". I expect this would have been to hit their EU CO2 targets (grandfathered in for the UK in 2021). While I'm not a fan of PCP's etc, they do offer a route into heavy discounts and you can always buy yourself out to avoid the interest payments, might be worth enquiring / considering. There is a cheap deals thread on here for various cars Cheap Deals Thread

Appreciate cost is an issue, consider if you have off street parking you can charge at overnight rates very cheaply, I can't remember the "economy" I was getting off the top of my head but I'd estimate charging at home cost at £2.25 - £2.50 for that journey. And of course your 1 less car contributing to the damage to our environment and peoples health, but don't get me going :)
Thank you for your reply, sound advice
 

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I would get any electric car to go into London to save money in the long term but also because I am a fan of EV’s . Had an i3 for 5 years and went everywhere in it no problem being a REX. It depends on financial situation also overall. If you could charge while parked then any of the recent electric cars would do the job.
 

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We have just bought an I3 Rex great car 94ah version, I looked at others but chose BMW even though I dont like them as a brand. Its the fact that it was built to be an electric car with a lightweight body and chassis that swung it for me, along with better reliability after 2015
 
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