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Suggestions of things to do on a 48hr i3 test

Discussion in 'General EV Discussion' started by Clem, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Clem

    Clem New Member

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    Hi all,

    Finally gotten around to organising a test drive of an i3 this week. Got it from Weds morning to Friday eve. I can charge at home (yet ... by the time i buy one I will be able to) so I'll probably do most of my charging at work.

    So, what do people suggest are good things to try out in this sort of period of time ... to make sure I can really deal with EV life?

    Current plans include:
    My commute (~30 miles each way, mix of London traffic, brief bit of full speed motorway and then the 50 limited M3 ... urgh)
    Some example charging places, thinking of trying it out on the slow ones at Westfield (to see if they work and how little charge I get) and the fast one at Reading or Chievely Services (these are Ecotricity, can I even sign up in time for weds?).

    Anyway ... looking for other tests if anyone has any suggestions of things they find difficult or unexpected when EVing

    Cheers

    Clem
     
  2. Andybliss

    Andybliss Active Member

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    EV:
    Nissan LEAF
    Do a full weekly shop in it.

    Put pushchairs in it (if you have kids)
     
    SmurfUK76 and Clem like this.
  3. Mo1

    Mo1 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Dundee, Scotland
    EV:
    Renault ZOE
    As soon as you register card details with Eco T and download the app you should be good to go. (y)
     
    Clem likes this.
  4. stratadel

    stratadel Active Member

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    EV:
    BMW i3 94aH
    If it is a 94Ah model you will have absolutely no problem with your commute. You can do it all in 'Comfort Mode' (That is the rocker switch above and to the left of the menu selector knob.

    Comfort mode gives you the lively throttle response and the big grin.
    Try out the other modes too. 'EcoPro Mode' will turn down the heating rate and the trottle will feel stiffer and less responsive, and will resist going haster than 65mph, but will allow you to if you keep pressing. Use Eco Pro mode when you are trying to het as much range as possible out of the battery.
    'Eco Pro + Mode' will limit speed to 56mph and turn off heating and AirCon. Use it only if you are desperately short of battery and need to limp home.

    If it is a REX model you are test driving ask the dealer to program one of the dash buttons to manually enable/disable the REX so you can try it out. Button 8 is a popular choice. REX can only be enabled manually if battery is below 75% charge.

    If you want to charge with Ecotricity all you need is a smart phone. Download the Ecotricity app. You can set it up immediately. Make sure you use the right cable on the charger at Chievely. You need the huge CCS connector, not the smaller Type 2 connector. They both fit the car, but the CCS connector charges much faster.


    Charging at Westfield may be a challenge. You will need an RFID card. The dealer will have to lend you one. In any case the charge bays are likely to be ICE'd (occupied by an internal combustion engine car) which is the bane of all EVers.

    When charging at home with the 'granny cable' be aware the car can charge at 6, 8 or 10 Amps. It defaults to the slowest 6 Amps so charging will take ages. If you increase to 10 Amps it can make the mains socket hot. Check the socket is not overheating. If using an extension lead FULLY unwind it, check its rating, and reduce the charge rate if necessary.
    If you go ahead and buy an EV you can get a grant to install a proper home charger that will charge at 32Amps. (The BMW charger is expensive. There are lots cheaper ones available)

    Enjoy your test drive. It is a terrific car.
     
    RoyOb, JDleaf, Vertigo and 2 others like this.
  5. Duncan

    Duncan Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Abingdon
    EV:
    , Chevrolet Volt
    If you want to try out some fast (as opposed to rapid) chargers, then find a free pod-point one and either try it for free for 15 minutes or create a pod-point account.

    No need to top up or anything and just like with Ecotricity you can use it as soon as you've created the account (or for a few minutes without any account). You can even create an account after you've plugged in and started charging.
     
  6. Andy4Solar

    Andy4Solar Member

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    EV:
    Nissan LEAF
    Find an empty car park and do a handling test. I always think do I want to find out the handling limit in an emergency on a busy 3 lane motorway or an empty car park.
     
    Clem likes this.
  7. prodigymad

    prodigymad Active Member

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    EV:
    Nissan LEAF, BMW i3 94aH
    If you are getting it Weds - Fri then you may be able to try some lovely snow driving in it too if it reaches you!
     
    Donald Allwright likes this.
  8. stratadel

    stratadel Active Member

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    EV:
    BMW i3 94aH
    One other tip on your test drive.
    You will find the regenerative braking is quite fierce. As soon as you take your foot off the throttle the car starts to slow down quite quickly. This can be disconcerting at first until you learn to slowly ease off the throttle to control your speed.
    Eventually you will be able to control the car using just the throttle with scarcely any need to use the brake at all.
    (During regenerative braking the brake lights come on, so people are not going to run into the back of you.)
     
  9. Clem

    Clem New Member

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    Oooh very nice suggestions all, I hadnt though of playing around with the driving modes, will make sure to try them all out.

    Will have to get signing up to Eco and Pod to try those out.

    Stratadel - about the westfield points, I was referring to the 3pin plug ones that are down at the very bottom of the carpark somewhere. Do they need an RFID?
     
  10. m1chaels

    m1chaels Active Member

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    EV:
    Nissan LEAF
    Take 4 of your friends out for a spin....oh no BMW think you never want to move more than 4 people in a car.
     
  11. stratadel

    stratadel Active Member

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    EV:
    BMW i3 94aH
    Not according to Plugshare
    PlugShare
     
    Clem likes this.
  12. SandBee

    SandBee Member

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    EV:
    BMW i3 60ah
    13A plug gives a very very slow charge - in this weather, often less than 10miles for one hour on charge. It's okay when there's nothing else, but takes too long under most circs.

    When out and about, a "type 2" charging point is much more useful, especially the 7kW ones. If you want to try that, check when you collect the car that it has a type 2 public charging cable (usually blue, quite thick) coiled up somewhere. Have a look at Map of charging points for electric car drivers in UK: Zap-Map (preferably on a computer; I find a phone screen too small for this) and see what's available near you. To filter ZapMap to the points that are useful for you, use the EV filter on the left side of the map to select BMW i3. At the bottom of the description of each charge point is an "i" symbol that tells you whether or not a card or app is needed, and whether charging there is free or paid for.

    If you're trying rapid charging (Ecotricity or elsewhere), it might be worth having a look at the explanations on Ecotricity's website first.

    And try out the heated seats. We usually save battery by turning the general heating well down and using the heated seats to warm just us.

    Finally, just have fun - it's a great car for that!
     
  13. Matt Beard

    Matt Beard Still Driving an EV!

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    Location:
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    EV:
    BMW i3 60ah
    If you will be taking anyone in the back ever, try them in it as it is a little cramped for some (and much more noisy than the front). I also get quite travel sick in the back of an i3, but that may just be me.

    Find a supermarket or similar car park and park with cars on each side. Then spend some time experimenting with the rear doors. They are a pain in the proverbial in a car park and you need to see if it is something you can live with. Even if it is not too bad, make sure you let the salesperson know if you found it easy or hard to use them. Most BMW employees seem to think the rear doors are great, but trying to get a restless child in or out in rain and or wind with not much space can be a bit like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube behind your back!
     
    RoyOb likes this.
  14. Clem

    Clem New Member

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    My current garage is a Classic Mini and a Mazda MX5 ... this will be a step up in any case :)

    Yeah the main point for that test was just to see what I get from a standard trip to Westfield (I was going down there anyway this week)

    Good point on the rear doors and car parks I will give it a go, though I dont foresee many rear seat passengers ... least of all children ... my nephews can find their own transport
     
  15. Mike Etchells

    Mike Etchells Member

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    Location:
    Wales
    EV:
    Nissan LEAF
    In order to fully experience the 'EV Experience' you need to give it a real trial. By this I mean undertaking a journey that is outside of the vehicle's range on a full charge. I suggest you undertake a journey of say, 125 miles each way. That is what I did before purchasing my 30 Kwh Leaf. This test was so successful I ordered a Leaf straight away!
     
  16. Clem

    Clem New Member

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    Id love to do this but I would have to take time off work to try it out ... not so sure about that. Might try for a second test before I buy at a weekend to give a long trip a go. As it stands I plan to have a stab at a short motorway run with 2 rapid chargers in it (that I would use if I ever did long trips) so I can extrapolate from there. I know its not as good but ...
     
  17. stratadel

    stratadel Active Member

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    EV:
    BMW i3 94aH
    Even though you only have the car for a test drive you can still try out the smartphone app.
    Register at ConnectedDrive
    You will need the car VIN number (visible at base of windscreen I think).

    You will then be able to do clever stuff like set departure times so your car is ready warmed up when you leave for work. Preconditioning also warms the batteries which maximises the range. Leave the car plugged in to the mains overnight and then preconditioning does not deplete the battery.
     
  18. semmtexx

    semmtexx Well-Known Member

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    @richtrash has some helpful suggestions what you can do try to do in (with) an i3... :eek:
     
  19. richtrash

    richtrash I3 Rex, Solar Orange, Suite, DC Prep

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    Location:
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    Just go easy in London, the state of the streets is rubbish and it's far to easy to get air :eek:
     
    semmtexx likes this.
  20. Rob M

    Rob M EV Newbie!

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    Location:
    Ross on Wye
    Easy. V Max it and see how many traffic light Grand Prix you can win...above all, enjoy it and work out what options you want for when you return it and place your order!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Clem likes this.
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