BMW i3 can suddenly lose power under range extender

narf

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Going from 125kW from the battery to 28kW from the generator is a loss of power? You don't say...
 

jack_christie

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Going from 125kW from the battery to 28kW from the generator is a loss of power? You don't say...
Sounds like the transition to generator backup could be managed better.

Wonder what the Chevy Volt does under similar conditions?
 

Spectre

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BMW i3 can suddenly lose power under range extender

Sounds like the transition to generator backup could be managed better.

Wonder what the Chevy Volt does under similar conditions?
Not much, it just keeps going. Then again, the Volt was designed from the start as a serial hybrid and the i3 is a BEV with a hastily tacked on generator. The Volt has a 55kW generator and a 111kW motor so even if it's being forced to run at the maximum output of the generator (which it is programmed switch to much earlier), it's still going to be better off than the i3's tiny 23kW afterthought of a generator trying to feed the 125kW motor.

My guess is that (in addition to woefully undersizing the generator) BMW muffed the transition point to generator in order to get better 'electric only' numbers. It should probably have the generator start far earlier. Alternately, BMW might have screwed up the power routing so that it is radically different when running off the generator.

Either way, congratulations BMW - you've successfully managed to be worse than the dude rigging a generator trailer to his Leaf in his garage.
 
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narf

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Sounds like the transition to generator backup could be managed better.

Wonder what the Chevy Volt does under similar conditions?
I've never driven an i3 with the range extender, so idunno for sure how the transition feels like... But I highly doubt the part about no information given, BEVs should have a battery indicator / fuel gauge like any other car, and if all else fails there's the bike engine kicking in to let you know aurally.
If you run out in your ICE or purely battery car, the loss of power is even more dramatic.

As for the Volt, the two aren't comparable. The i3 was intended as a BEV with a backup to get you to the next charger if you do run out, not to run on petrol all the time. You just need to look at the tank capacity to see why it kicks in late, else people complain about having to fill up their thimble all the time.
If you know you're going to run out and want to keep going with more power, you can always tell the car to charge sooner.
 

Shentar

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My boss has an i3. He told me that the range extender doesn't kick in till something like 5% battery left (might be 15%), but thats a US thing. The Euro version has a setting where you can tell it which point to activate. Based on what Spectre said, that kind of discrepancy would make sense because it would lengthen the range that the car could go on battery before the engine kicked started. My boss is currently waiting for his warranty to run out so he can get that feature activated.

I do enjoy messing with my that my Miata can travel farther than his i3.
 

eizbaer

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Yeah afaik the euro version allows you to simply push a button to tell the car to "hold current charge level" as good as it can. Which should work out fairly well, because you should never really be able to use on average more than the generators power over longer distances. Regardless of that setting the generator will come on at 6% or something like that, just like the US version... which might be a bit late, because you don't have any battery capacity left to even out spikes in consumption.
 

D-Fence

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Can second that. Euro version has settings to hold charge (can be triggered manually) or recharge to 6km of range. Also, it has comfort, eco pro and eco pro+ settings to save range.

US version has 7.2l tank, EU has 9l. Thank your retarded CARB laws.

The REX can only recharge 6km of electric range, so if you use that up, you are limited to the power of the REX minus heating and AC until it can recuperate. And it is NOT meant for continuus travel, but to reach the next charging spot. I can only assume someone went flatout over a long stretch of flat road and suddenly lost all battery power and is now complaining that he had limited power instead of being stranded completely.

People, really.

If you want a clue for their dumbness:

The lawsuit also said drivers have told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the speed of their i3 vehicles fell by half in similar incidents, even under full throttle.
Complete lack of understanding how this works. In a gasoline or electric car their speed would have dropped to ZERO once the energy runs out (or fuel). Here they have the chance of recharging and reaching a spot to properly charge, what do they do? FULL THROTTLE! WASTE EVEN MORE ENERGY!
 
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IceBone

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Surely this is explained in the MANUAL. How can a lawsuit go forward over a documented feature?
 

eizbaer

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Probably under the assumption that people can not possibly be expected to actually READ that damn document? I mean, surely, everybody knows how a car works, you can't sell cars for which you need a manual!
 

Redliner

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USA does not deal well with manuals, it is known! :p
 

chaos386

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Surely this is explained in the MANUAL. How can a lawsuit go forward over a documented feature?
The lawsuit hasn't gone forward at all. It's just some idiot who's managed to file the forms for a lawsuit without bleeding to death from papercuts, first. I'd be surprised if this even gets far enough for a judge to laugh it out of the courtroom.
 

Spectre

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The lawsuit hasn't gone forward at all. It's just some idiot who's managed to file the forms for a lawsuit without bleeding to death from papercuts, first. I'd be surprised if this even gets far enough for a judge to laugh it out of the courtroom.
A lot will depend on how BMW marketed the i3 - what promises they made. I hadn't paid any attention to it so I can't say one way or the other, but if they promised that the performance would be the same for the entire extended range, they could be in trouble. Much like when they sold the E32 here as 'maintenance free' (their actual ad and words, not mine) and ended up having to settle a number of lawsuits out of court for a number of years.
 

Interrobang

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Read the manual? Ain't nobody got time for that!
Only if I have to scroll all the way down and then click "I?ve read this, I swear" before being able to use the car!

That how the church does it, how Jesus wanted it!


 

public

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Usually you use a BMW to extend something completely different than range.
 

Spectre

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Something else to throw in to the debate - apparently this was the 2014 i3 REx version's US window sticker.



Apparently BMW was claiming that the car would go 72 miles on battery and a further 78 miles on gasoline. It doesn't seem that they were claiming that the generator was 'just to limp to the next charge point' unless your next charge point is in the next county.
 
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