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All electric vehicle with low range. Are you able to find charging stations?
Old 08-01-2019, 10:49 AM   #1
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All electric vehicle with low range. Are you able to find charging stations?

I am looking into a used, BMW i3. It does NOT have the Range Extender so EPA claims it can go 82 miles between charges. I would NEVER use it for long trips. It would be my around town car. 20 to 40 miles per trip. I would charge it every night. One of the local towns has a FREE charging station. So, I am good if I go there. If someone else is not using it.

There are also businesses that let you charge if you are a customer, so I can charge if I eat at the restaurant. You can decide if that is a good deal.

There are apps that help you find charging stations.

My question is: Does anyone who has an all electric with limited range have trouble finding a quick charge if you are getting too low?
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:59 AM   #2
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My 2 electric vehicles go 237 and 310 miles so I wouldn't say they are limited range, but in Southern California you have numerous places to charge. There are 3 places near me that have free electricity that I've never been to yet.

I found out yesterday two more locations are in the works for Pasadena.
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:03 PM   #3
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I own a Chevy Bolt (all electric car). I think you might be better off finding a used EV that has longer range, such as a Nissan Leaf. The problem with your proposed 80 mile BMW is, you really shouldn't use more than about 80% of the battery in you car, in order to ensure battery longevity.


Let me clarify the above. A 100 mile range vehicle should be charged to around 80 or 90 miles per charge, for longest battery life. My Chevy Bolt has a full charge range of about 240 miles. I charge it to 75% when needed, and that gives me about 200 miles of range at that point.



Go to this web site to see the charging stations in your area:


PlugShare:


https://www.plugshare.com/


Good luck with your decision.


Rich
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:11 AM   #4
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I'd hate to think what repairs would cost on such a BMW--if it ever was out of warranty. They're not the most trouble free brand of vehicle.

I just went with a Camry Hybrid last year. I've got a 600 mile range, and it does everything I need @ 49.5 real mpg. 38K miles and it's yet to see the shop. And there's no reason hanging around waiting for its battery to charge or spending a small fortune to have an electrical port installed in my garage.
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:44 AM   #5
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The ease of finding charge locations probably depends on where you live and commute mostly...and is also very much influenced by the number of EV's around. See a lot of T's when you are out and about? Probably lots of stations.

I'm in a fancy car town, so lots of T's....and lots of charging locations (library, mall, grocery store, parking lot in my gym...etc.)
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:50 AM   #6
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I'd hate to think what repairs would cost on such a BMW--if it ever was out of warranty. They're not the most trouble free brand of vehicle.

I just went with a Camry Hybrid last year. I've got a 600 mile range, and it does everything I need @ 49.5 real mpg. 38K miles and it's yet to see the shop. And there's no reason hanging around waiting for its battery to charge or spending a small fortune to have an electrical port installed in my garage.
Those are valid points. Some want their daughters to marry doctors or lawyers. Maybe a BMW mechanic makes more. Someone has to pay for that.

But there are also pluses.

Charging stations availability is one negative I would like more info on. I have gone to a number of websites for ones around me. Problem is that most want you to buy dinner there or pay a $5 fee to charge or....
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
I own a Chevy Bolt (all electric car). I think you might be better off finding a used EV that has longer range, such as a Nissan Leaf. The problem with your proposed 80 mile BMW is, you really shouldn't use more than about 80% of the battery in you car, in order to ensure battery longevity.


Let me clarify the above. A 100 mile range vehicle should be charged to around 80 or 90 miles per charge, for longest battery life. My Chevy Bolt has a full charge range of about 240 miles. I charge it to 75% when needed, and that gives me about 200 miles of range at that point.



Go to this web site to see the charging stations in your area:


PlugShare:


https://www.plugshare.com/


Good luck with your decision.


Rich
Thank you as I had not read enough to learn about not charging it to zero. This is not that I want an eV or a hybrid. This is that the BMW dealer sent me an email advertising a 2015 BMW i3 with 4,396 miles for $20,392. And the warranty is extended out to 2021. Don't know what all is in the warranty but $20k for a fully loaded (without Range Extender) BMW suv with virtually no miles seemed like something I should look into it.

Your math of only driving the thing 60 miles before charging may have killed it.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:56 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
The ease of finding charge locations probably depends on where you live and commute mostly...and is also very much influenced by the number of EV's around. See a lot of T's when you are out and about? Probably lots of stations.

I'm in a fancy car town, so lots of T's....and lots of charging locations (library, mall, grocery store, parking lot in my gym...etc.)
In the rural south, they....

And commute is only valid if you w***. I am a travel agent with two clients. No, I am an investment adviser with two clients.
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:27 AM   #9
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"20 to 40 miles per trip. I would charge it every night." -- if that is round trip, then you should be OK with the 80 mile range, even if it degrades a bit over time.

If you are expecting to get an 80 mile round trip though, check the capacity of those 'free chargers' - if they are not fast chargers, you might not get many miles added, even over an extended lunch/shopping.

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Old 08-02-2019, 09:33 AM   #10
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From the Web, I read that common Level 2 chargers deliver either 3.3kW and 7.2kW.

An EV uses roughly 330 Wh/mi, so that means 10 miles and 22 miles per hour of charging.
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:22 AM   #11
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I would only consider a limited range (<100 miles?) electric if I could charge it at home and rarely needed to charge it elsewhere. While it would be ideal for short trips around town while never having to go to the gas station, it could be quite a time burden if you had to wait for slow charging while traveling.

Even a standard 120V 15A outlet can be used for home charging overnight, so you may not need any special equipment. It depends on how much you'll be using the car.
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:32 AM   #12
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A 220V outlet identical to the ones used by cloth dryers and stoves can be added at little cost, and can be done as a DIY project. That's a lot faster charging than a standard 110V 15A outlet.

I know that Tesla cars can be plugged into a NEMA 14-50 outlet, but am not sure about other EVs.
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:43 AM   #13
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"20 to 40 miles per trip. I would charge it every night." -- if that is round trip, then you should be OK with the 80 mile range, even if it degrades a bit over time.

If you are expecting to get an 80 mile round trip though, check the capacity of those 'free chargers' - if they are not fast chargers, you might not get many miles added, even over an extended lunch/shopping.

-ERD50
Yup. Gym, Church, Grocery Store, Hardware, Bank, Doctors, Drug Store, Restaurants, Trash Dump - all 6 to 8 miles north of Casa Z3. Round trip hitting some or all is 20 to 40 miles.
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:46 AM   #14
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I would only consider a limited range (<100 miles?) electric if I could charge it at home and rarely needed to charge it elsewhere. While it would be ideal for short trips around town while never having to go to the gas station, it could be quite a time burden if you had to wait for slow charging while traveling.

Even a standard 120V 15A outlet can be used for home charging overnight, so you may not need any special equipment. It depends on how much you'll be using the car.
That is the plan. My busy, retired guy schedule may be leaving home at 10 AM, putzing around town, putting 20 - 40 miles on the car and getting home in time to cook DW's dinner. Maybe 4 PM at the latest. So, car gets charged on 110 circuit for 18 hours. Sound like a plan?

I would say that this car would have less than 5,000 miles per year.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:13 AM   #15
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That is the plan. My busy, retired guy schedule may be leaving home at 10 AM, putzing around town, putting 20 - 40 miles on the car and getting home in time to cook DW's dinner. Maybe 4 PM at the latest. So, car gets charged on 110 circuit for 18 hours. Sound like a plan?

I would say that this car would have less than 5,000 miles per year.
Sounds like a plan, if you can stick to the typical 20-40 round trip. Even at 40 miles, that still leaves you ~ 40 miles range, so overnight should top it off. Even if it only gets to 3/4 full rather than 100% if you got home late and had to leave early, you'd still have a buffer for two 40 mile days back-to-back.

And as NW-B mentioned, a 220V outlet probably would not cost much to add, and would provide extra margin.

I'd consider it myself, but every once in a while I might need even the second car for a longer trip, and I just don't want that limitation, and don't want to spend the bucks for a longer range electric.

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Old 08-02-2019, 11:34 AM   #16
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That is the plan. My busy, retired guy schedule may be leaving home at 10 AM, putzing around town, putting 20 - 40 miles on the car and getting home in time to cook DW's dinner. Maybe 4 PM at the latest. So, car gets charged on 110 circuit for 18 hours. Sound like a plan?

I would say that this car would have less than 5,000 miles per year.
So, do you really want or need a $20K BMW to do that? If I wanted to fool around with an electric, I'd probably look into a Leaf. I assume, maybe incorrectly, that they would be a whole lot cheaper. If, OTOH, I just wanted a BMW, a nice care to drive around in, I probably wouldn't mess around with an electric and just get something I really really want. Of course if that's a $20K electric BMW, then what are you waiting for?
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Old 08-02-2019, 01:02 PM   #17
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Being a worrywart, I tend to think of potential problems such as an accident causing a traffic jam, and I am sitting there in the summer with the AC running, or in the winter with the heater. I would not like to see the "juice" gauge going steadily down, while I sit twiddling thumbs.

I would throw a Honda generator in the back to be safe. A 2kW generator will charge an EV at the rate of 6 miles/hr. Not too fast, but I should be able to get home before midnight.
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Old 08-02-2019, 01:40 PM   #18
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Being a worrywart, I tend to think of potential problems such as an accident causing a traffic jam, and I am sitting there in the summer with the AC running, or in the winter with the heater. I would not like to see the "juice" gauge going steadily down, while I sit twiddling thumbs.

I would throw a Honda generator in the back to be safe. A 2kW generator will charge an EV at the rate of 6 miles/hr. Not too fast, but I should be able to get home before midnight.
The chance of that happening is probably the same or less than any car breaking down, having a flat tire, your own accident, running out of gas (hitting that big traffic jam with 1/8 tank of gas). If it happens you call for a tow, call for a ride home with the spouse or a friend or uber. No way to I lug around a generator for that possibility. Would it even fit in an I3? I'm not sure mine fits upright in my Miata. I'd keep whatever cord you need to charge it in the car and beg to use somebody's outdoor outlet if it came to that.

Look at the poster's handle, this is probably close enough to it, and a good fit for the driving habits.
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Old 08-02-2019, 03:24 PM   #19
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We love our I3. Fun to drive.
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Old 08-02-2019, 04:20 PM   #20
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So, do you really want or need a $20K BMW to do that? If I wanted to fool around with an electric, I'd probably look into a Leaf. I assume, maybe incorrectly, that they would be a whole lot cheaper. If, OTOH, I just wanted a BMW, a nice care to drive around in, I probably wouldn't mess around with an electric and just get something I really really want. Of course if that's a $20K electric BMW, then what are you waiting for?
Leaf's have ranges from 150 to nearly 230 miles. The 150 mile range Leaf costs 30k. After deducting 7500 federal credit, a 2500 state credit and a 1000 utility credit, you drive away with a brand new Leaf that travels 150 miles for 19k, cheaper than the BMWI3 price the op is deciding on.

I've driven an I3 numerous times, nothing wrong with them, but I'd take the new Leaf myself.
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