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      04-05-2015, 01:17 PM   #1
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EV range test results - please keep to data only

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I know there are other threads and posts about rights and wrongs of BMWs spec on electric only miles, but I would like to ask we make this a place for test results only, not arguments.

Did first test today. Ambient temp came up to 60 (from lows of 40' keep in mind battery has a large temperature mass). Did an ok run, not as flat as I wanted and had to accelerate fast due to traffic a couple of times.

Full charge said 19 estimate, got 16 before engine turned on. Trip data: 30 min, 16 miles, 3.2 miles/KWHr, 34.2 miles/h average.

Please provide same info if you get a chance to test.

I am guessing when ambient is stable around 75 average and with a slightly better route I can hit 19 or 20. Obviously not at all a realistic driving scenario, but nonetheless.
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      04-05-2015, 01:41 PM   #2
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Good information. A couple of questions:

1. What was your elevation before and at the end of the test run?

2. Did you hit the electric only button so that you were certain the engine never turned on? (I've noticed that if not in sport it can be pretty quiet.)

One of my problems is that where I live in the Santa Monica Mountains there are lots of elevation changes. During my gentlest run, which I previously reported, there was an elevation change of about +450 feet over 12 miles and I drove over slightly rolling hills. I suspect the "up to 15 miles" (or 35-37 kms) range is tested where the elevation does not change.
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      04-05-2015, 02:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalibuBimmer View Post
Good information. A couple of questions:

1. What was your elevation before and at the end of the test run?

2. Did you hit the electric only button so that you were certain the engine never turned on? (I've noticed that if not in sport it can be pretty quiet.)

One of my problems is that where I live in the Santa Monica Mountains there are lots of elevation changes. During my gentlest run, which I previously reported, there was an elevation change of about +450 feet over 12 miles and I drove over slightly rolling hills. I suspect the "up to 15 miles" (or 35-37 kms) range is tested where the elevation does not change.
Yes I made sure it's electric only, in fact was monitoring on status page. Got warning and heard engine turn on. I did an almost perfect loop (same start/end) so net elevation change was 0, but was climbing and descending. Next time I'll log elevation but in guessing from my experience with my leaf logger that I have +/-200 ft delta. That's why I want to find a better course.

In fact I'll repeat loop with leaf and use the logger app and report back.

Final note: estimated range dropped to -- (no estimate) and I still went 2 miles before engine turned on.
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      04-05-2015, 02:23 PM   #4
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One interesting comparison note: so I looked up weight and drag coefficient for Leaf vs i8, and the i8 is comparable (slightly heavier but much better drag CF).

Leaf vs i8
3250 lb vs 3455
0.32 vs 0.26

Both are "front wheel drive" for electric.

Only major factor is Leaf has extremely thin and very low rolling resistance tires, and I overinflate by 6 PSI. I can get 4-4.2 miles/kwhr in similar loop (will confirm). I only manage a little over 3. So I have to say it's the tires. If you were willing to swap to much lower performance tires with low rolling resistance you may get the range you want at the expense of, well, everything else! I know from Leaf forums that when people upgrade to better rude/handling tires they take a significant hit in efficiency (20+%).

My tires were exactly as recommended on the i8. I have the bigger tires, I wonder if smaller tires also help (less contact).

Last edited by Epirali; 04-05-2015 at 02:24 PM.. Reason: Didn't include actual weight and CF
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      04-05-2015, 03:10 PM   #5
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Holy crap!

I just got back. I'll start with the electric only range first: 21.3 miles!

Before I start the car the electric range is indicated to be 18 miles. We shall see.

My starting elevation was 1050 feet above sea level. I hit 1120 feet on my trip twice. My lowest elevation was 590 feet. Most of my travel was in the 850-950 elevation range, 8 miles on suburban roads and the rest on urban roads. Instead of travelling north as I usually do (which is quite hilly) I went south.

Ambient temperature was between 63-69 degrees F. (Temperature at the wheels, per the temperature gauge that v12 activated the code for, was 77 degrees F.) My tires were inflated to 33 ppsi cold. I currently have 2,303 miles on the odometer. (After the test.)

I averaged about 35 MPH but had a lot of stops at traffic lights and stop signs. I accelerated gently and never really stepped on it. But other traffic wasn't going around me, either.

I had a full tank of gas and weigh 230 lbs. I drove in Eco Pro and eDrive. I suspect that if I had been on entirely level ground, with very few stops, I could have gone 23 miles on electric only. I was 8 miles from home when the ICE kicked in. I knew it had because the screen told me I was now out of eDrive. But the car stayed on "0" for well over a mile on eDrive only. Then instead of a number for range I got a "-" mark. I put it in sport on the way back and then coasted home from the north and had 2 miles of electric range. I'm now charging the car and it says it will be fully recharged in 1 hour 50 minutes.

I have a new-found respect for the car.
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Last edited by MalibuBimmer; 04-05-2015 at 03:19 PM.. Reason: Added current mileage
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      04-05-2015, 03:49 PM   #6
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A couple of other notes. The trip computer screen told me I was getting 4.1 m/kWh just before the ICE kicked in. And I was hoping to capture everything on the i App's "statistics" with a screen capture. But for some reason it decided to tell me only what my last 5 miles of my drive were. Consumption for that part of my drive was 47.0 mpg and 15.9 m/kWh. But my total fuel consumption average jumped from 60.0 to 60.5 mpg.

If any L.A. drivers want to do a run with me on the route that I took, I'll be happy to recreate it some Sunday and you can see what your range is. The terrain is gentle hills, but some hills nevertheless, for the first 7 miles. Then pretty much city streets.

Also, the car was charged with my BMW 240v wall charger. I charged it last night and disconnected the charger at about 9 pm. Last month when I did the 12 mile test I had recharged the car from the 110v charger provided with the car. I do not know if there is a difference in charging, but report this anecdote so that we can gather data. That test began with an initial uphill run. This test began with an initial run for the first 6 miles that was gently downhill, from 1050 to 790 feet (with one 1120 foot high hill in between). I never exceeded 50 MPH.

When my ICE started my elevation was 1020 feet above sea level. On Topanga Canyon Blvd near Mulholland Drive.
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      04-05-2015, 03:51 PM   #7
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That is awesome thanks for details. I believe your average temp overnight is higher than here so your battery is probably warmer overall. I hadn't thought of fuel (good point) I also have a near full tank of gas. I weigh 200 pounds for reference, tires at 30 psi cold.

Did you precondition before start?

I just got back from a second test run, slightly different route, elevation ranged from 850 down to 480, so not flat. Most of the road was on cruise set to 56 mph, but stop lights and one rapid stop for emergency vehicle.

Temp 63 outside, miles to empty 17, 3.3 m/KWH, average speed 38.5 mph.

Last edited by Epirali; 04-05-2015 at 03:59 PM.. Reason: Added info
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      04-05-2015, 04:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalibuBimmer View Post
Holy crap!

I just got back. I'll start with the electric only range first: 21.3 miles!

. . .

I have a new-found respect for the car.
Nice to read this, MalibuBimmer! You were getting a little cranky on the blog over the e-range thing!
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      04-05-2015, 04:09 PM   #9
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We had a warm day yesterday (in the high 70s) and for some reason my garage is a heat sink. It was 73 degrees when I checked this morning, while my house was between 67 and 69 degrees (downstairs/upstairs). So that must have something to do with it, too.

I did not precondition. No need to.

It got pretty stuffy in the car because the aircon was off. But I did have the fan going.

Note that BMW recommends a tire pressure of 32 ppsi all around. I put an extra 1 ppsi in mine and during the test they got up to around 35.9-36.2 ppsi.

I should also add there was no wind and it was and is clear, dry and slightly cloudy outside.
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      04-05-2015, 04:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Fred View Post
Nice to read this, MalibuBimmer! You were getting a little cranky on the blog over the e-range thing!
Moi? Me cranky?

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      04-06-2015, 10:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalibuBimmer
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Fred View Post
Nice to read this, MalibuBimmer! You were getting a little cranky on the blog over the e-range thing!
Moi? Me cranky?

Hehe!
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      04-12-2015, 12:24 PM   #12
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Third try today, got 19 miles, 3.7 miles/kWh 62 degrees average speed 29 mph. And this was not on flat at all (apparently I am trapped by hills in all directions!).

But this is not what the car is for obviously, an i3 or leaf is much better suited to maximize small range.

Next tests: launch control and what MINIMUM range and mpg can be achieved!

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      04-12-2015, 01:02 PM   #13
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To be fair guys, I don't think BMW misrepresented electric range at all.

First of all, to maximise range you would need a basic i8. No extras, especially the wheels. That minimises weight and rolling resistance.

Secondly, you would need to test in optimum conditions, as the claim is "up to x miles". So, ideal temperature, constant speed, smooth surface, no wind, flat surface, eco pro mode and no use of fans etc. Probably a circular track too. It wouldn't surprise me if well over 25+ miles were achieved like that.

Remember that accelerating and slowing (regenerating) is inefficient, so it would be most important to keep rolling.
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      04-12-2015, 01:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasH View Post
To be fair guys, I don't think BMW misrepresented electric range at all.

First of all, to maximise range you would need a basic i8. No extras, especially the wheels. That minimises weight and rolling resistance.

Secondly, you would need to test in optimum conditions, as the claim is "up to x miles". So, ideal temperature, constant speed, smooth surface, no wind, flat surface, eco pro mode and no use of fans etc. Probably a circular track too. It wouldn't surprise me if well over 25+ miles were achieved like that.

Remember that accelerating and slowing (regenerating) is inefficient, so it would be most important to keep rolling.
Agreed, I am in no way optimal in temp, tires or flatness and I am getting pretty close.
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      04-12-2015, 01:36 PM   #15
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I got 21.0 miles yesterday. Since we have more than one thread on range I accidentally posted it there.

Same hilliness a little more speed than my 21.3 run. And a touch hotter outside.

In my opinion 23-25 miles range is achievable in perfect weather with perfect preconditioning at maybe no more than 40 miles an hour on flat ground with very few stops.

In the US BMW says "up to 15 miles." The car meets that easily. The 35-37 kms? Puffery but probably not actionable.
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      05-03-2015, 09:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalibuBimmer View Post
Same hilliness a little more speed than my 21.3 run.

...

In the US BMW says "up to 15 miles." The car meets that easily. The 35-37 kms? Puffery but probably not actionable.
Your 21.3 miles is 34.2 km. Not far off the 35-37 km, especially since you don't drive in ideal conditions.

Where I drive, it's not ideal, either. Hilly as well, plus there's always traffic lights, even in the middle of the night. Yet, I've managed over 20 miles / 32 km a few times already. It's entrirely possible. But it takes a driving style that doesn't want to agree with such a hot looking - and actually fast - car.
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      05-03-2015, 03:39 PM   #17
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Snap out of it guys - the I8 is not per say an EV car so forget the mileage that is unless you're round trip total mileage is 7-8 miles from your home because you're only going to get 15-19 that is if your lucky.

As far as I'm concerned, the so-called "Plug In" capability is a waste - just leave it in Sport and it will charge the battery to 75 % - you get 11-12 miles off the engine or 16-19 plugging it in so what's the sense, just use the electric for launch and acceleration and go buy a I3 if you want an EV to ride around.
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      05-03-2015, 08:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Snap out of it guys - the I8 is not per say an EV car so forget the mileage that is unless you're round trip total mileage is 7-8 miles from your home because you're only going to get 15-19 that is if your lucky.

As far as I'm concerned, the so-called "Plug In" capability is a waste - just leave it in Sport and it will charge the battery to 75 % - you get 11-12 miles off the engine or 16-19 plugging it in so what's the sense, just use the electric for launch and acceleration and go buy a I3 if you want an EV to ride around.
I sort of agree. But the "Plug In" capability will come in VERY handy in Michigan in the winter when I want to precondition the i8 on cold mornings without draining the battery.
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      05-04-2015, 06:09 PM   #19
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Yep, one of the major advantages is sitting in the car with the AC or heat without running the engine!
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      06-10-2015, 03:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idleup View Post
Snap out of it guys - the I8 is not per say an EV car so forget the mileage that is unless you're round trip total mileage is 7-8 miles from your home because you're only going to get 15-19 that is if your lucky.

As far as I'm concerned, the so-called "Plug In" capability is a waste - just leave it in Sport and it will charge the battery to 75 % - you get 11-12 miles off the engine or 16-19 plugging it in so what's the sense, just use the electric for launch and acceleration and go buy a I3 if you want an EV to ride around.
Not so. For everytime you charge up from the grid, you get a practically free 15, 20, whatever miles of driving. A lot of times, that's an entire trip or at least a good portion of one.

If you charge up from the engine, the energy needs to come from somewhere. So you're burning expensive, highly taxed gasoline to charge up a battery that you could have easily charged up with much cheaper and less taxed grid power. Uncle Sam and Big Oil will be grateful.

For me, who commutes in the i8, that makes a world of difference. Over 80 mpg average so far. Do I want an i3? No way. It's ugly and I can't used it to chase hot hatches up a mountain pass on the way home, if I feel like it.

The i8 is Dr. Jekyll AND Mr. Hyde - perfect. But you gotta have the good Dr. Have his fair share ...
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      06-11-2015, 07:00 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aye-eight View Post
Not so. For everytime you charge up from the grid, you get a practically free 15, 20, whatever miles of driving. A lot of times, that's an entire trip or at least a good portion of one.

If you charge up from the engine, the energy needs to come from somewhere. So you're burning expensive, highly taxed gasoline to charge up a battery that you could have easily charged up with much cheaper and less taxed grid power. Uncle Sam and Big Oil will be grateful.

For me, who commutes in the i8, that makes a world of difference. Over 80 mpg average so far. Do I want an i3? No way. It's ugly and I can't used it to chase hot hatches up a mountain pass on the way home, if I feel like it.

The i8 is Dr. Jekyll AND Mr. Hyde - perfect. But you gotta have the good Dr. Have his fair share ...


Love your reasoning. We spend 130 K on a car and look for fuel economy great fun
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      06-14-2015, 03:43 AM   #22
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Love your reasoning. We spend 130 K on a car and look for fuel economy great fun
And why not? We all could have spent the same amount of money on less economic cars, but we didn't. Might as well get some of those benefits out of it.
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