HELP!!!! They’re taking the BMW i3 back tomorrow.
I have fallen in love with my BMW i3 without a doubt. The more I drive it the more driving becomes a pleasure and this became crystal clear the day I had to take out our diesel car as I hadn’t changed over the child seats after the weekend.
Why did I revert back to our car for the weekend? Because we had to tow our caravan for a quick weekend trip ;)
Anyway I jumped into our diesel run Picasso and it felt sluggish and had no power to the accelerator. I pushed my foot down but it was slow working through the gears and slow to get going.
In our first #GoUltraLow review we spoke about what are ULEV’s and gave lots of basic information that will be very helpful to read if you are considering investing in an electric car. This time I want to talk about charging and costs.
Charging an electric car
When the car was dropped off I sat in the car for an hour whilst Geoff, the BMW man, went through all of the details with me and we also spoke of charging the car. The car came with two cables to cover the different types of charge:
This cable allows you to connect your car to any household 3 pin socket. We tried this overnight and got an 80% charge the following morning. It’s an AC type 2 charge giving up to 2.4 kW/10Amps an estimated 7 hour charge giving 0 – 80% charge.
AC Fast Charge
For regular fast charging this method is extremely convenient, to use it you will need a Wallbox fitted on the exterior of your house in a convenient place to plug your car in. Please note that British Gas will install a charging point at your home free of charge until 31 March 2015. The AC Fast Charge is extremely easy to use and it locks into place so no passer by can pull the plug out whilst you’re charging. The Wallbox can also be padlocked to prevent any cheeky chargers whilst you’re away or switched off at the mains.
This AC type 2 charge uses 7.4kW/32 Amps and will give a 0 – 80% charge in 3 hours.
Take a look at my video here at just how simple it is.
How much does a full charge cost?
I have checked our meter and on average a full charge will use about 20kW. We’re on a Standard plan and pay 13.37p per kW. That’s a cost of £2.67.
NB. Thanks so much to @shovelbarn_mike who spotted I had completely misread my meter reading and have since updated this post to show a full charge costs me
How long will one charge last?
It will obviously depend on how fast you go, if you have the AirCon switched on (I have!) and music blaring out (yep). A charge would normally last me more than 10 days for short after school activities, a trip or two to the supermarket and a trip to Bluewater our local shopping mall. Longer journeys use more juice.
I have also noticed the car loses some charge when sitting unused as various electrics are still functioning I imagine.
I tried out a longer journey to Essex to visit Talliston House and Gardens a 50.8 mile journey one way which takes 1 hour 7 minutes. I didn’t have a full charge so knew I would need to charge at some point to get home as the petrol was running low as well. I stopped at a supermarket garage and filled her up which took about £10 and gave me circa 70 miles. I got home with no problem.
DC Rapid charge
I have yet to try this method but will be doing so on our trip to Butlins Bognor Regis. The DC Rapid charge is the best and quickest solution and can be found at a public DC rapid charge stations across the UK. The charge uses 50kW/125Amps. It gives a 0 – 80% charge in 30 minutes. It is also currently FREE. There are various networks but I have an Electric Highway credit card which I swipe and charge at no cost to me. This is current at the time of writing as the aim is to encourage more and more people to convert to electric.
On a long journey half an hour goes really quickly for us, by the time we’ve all visited the toilets, had a peek at the shop and filled our water bottles half an hour is for the best part done. I will discover more on our trip to Bognor
So as I write with only one more day to go with this dream of a car I would love to know any questions you may have which I can address in my next #GoUltraLow blog post. I’ll be back with news on how our long journey went (85+ miles one way)
The most common question so far has been – do you like it? And the answer to that is YES, I love it. It’s a dream to drive.
Pssst. Have you seen the new BMW i8 *swoons*
Disclosure: This BMW i3 is on loan to us for 6 weeks so that we can test how it fits into our lives and I can report back with my honest opinions as part of the #GoUltraLow campaign.