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      12-26-2022, 04:36 PM   #1
mbchris
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Driving i4 eDrive40 from Dallas to San Francisco. 1800 miles. 2 days (Post 1/11)

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This is the second long trip I have made in our i4, after Dallas - San Antonio, and I made sure it was a challenge. Dallas to San Francisco Bay Area, 1800 miles, 2 days. We learned a lot on the trip out, dealt with a few unexpected twists and turns, and some expected issues that did not come to fruition.

Iím going to break up my journey into multiple sections, otherwise it will become too long a post. I also want to be able to get some ideas and feedback to make our return smoother. And I think it also makes things more relevant to discuss different aspects of the i4 in addition to long range driving in the i4 and EVs generally.

We chose to drive for a number of reasons. We have done the drive twice before, and with 4 up and our beagle once, so the journey was not unfamiliar. We didnít want to subject our dog to flying, but likely will have to resort to doing that in future, although very reluctantly(You will know why after reading the whole post series). We actually dropped two teenagers at the airport when leaving so that the trip would be more comfortable for two adults and a 30 pound dog. And if you know the new generation, sitting for 2 days on the road is trying for all around.

Here are the stats:

Car - 2022 i4 e40, M Sport, 19Ē all season tires, DAPP (adaptive cruise control)
Manufacturerís range - 282 miles
20-80% SOC range - 170 miles
Regen mode - Adaptive
Drive Mode - Eco Pro
Payload - 2 adults, 30lb dog,, 1 roller bag, 1 gym bag, backpacks and sundry pet items
Departure - Saturday 12/17 6pm CT
Arrival - Saturday 12/19 6pm PT (50 hours including stops)
Route - Dallas - Midland (motel) - El Paso - Tucson - Phoenix - Blythe (motel) - Los Angeles - San Francisco (1800 miles)
Mileage - about 3.0 mi/kWh
Charging Stops - 18 or 19
Charging Cost - $0 (Electrify America new car plan and free public charging overnight)
State of Charge range - 15-80%
Speed - Initially 5 mph over limit. Later at speed limit
Temperature range - 29-55 degrees fahrenheit
Biggest issue encountered (car related) - Fast charging speed reduced by 40% after 8 charges (did not revert to normal until 2 days later)
Biggest issue encountered (non-car related) - Beagle started growling and barking at strangers in the middle of the night from the motel rooms. Did not allow good restful sleep. About 4 hours per night.
Longest wait to charge - About 25 min (Enos Ave, Bakersfield CA)

Overall, it was a mixed bag. We completed the trip in the time expected, not faster or slower. It was tiring from a sleep perspective, but we could also rest extremely comfortably in the i4, so we never felt tired driving or unsafe. And the i4 just eats up the miles comfortably, quietly and with excess performance. But we would likely not do the trip again in the i4, or any EV (other than a Tesla) due to infrastructure. No regrets however, and an experience that we will always remember.

Now weíre just getting set for the return in a weekís time.

Links to Other Parts of this Trip Report:

Route Planning Ė timing, season, bottlenecks (Post 2/11) - https://bmwi.bimmerpost.com/forums/s....php?t=1979774

Fast Charging degraded 40-50% after 5 fast charges (Post 3/11) - https://bmwi.bimmerpost.com/forums/s....php?t=1979776

Holy Trinity of EVs Ė Speed, Temperature, Terrain (Post 4/11) - https://bmwi.bimmerpost.com/forums/s....php?t=1979777

Is a long travel EV trip for me? (Post 5/11) - https://bmwi.bimmerpost.com/forums/s....php?t=1979778

Packing the i4 for a long range trip and Pets (Post 6/11) - https://bmwi.bimmerpost.com/forums/s....php?t=1979779

Highway driving Ė EV vs ICE (Post 7/11) - https://bmwi.bimmerpost.com/forums/s....php?t=1979780

Electrify America Experience and Tesla Supercharging (Post 8/11) - https://bmwi.bimmerpost.com/forums/s....php?t=1979781

Los Angeles to San Francisco corridor (Post 9/11) - https://bmwi.bimmerpost.com/forums/s....php?t=1979783

Having a good navigator and co-pilot (Post 10/11) - https://bmwi.bimmerpost.com/forums/s....php?t=1979784

Managing your stops Ė rest, food, where to stop (Post 11/11) - https://bmwi.bimmerpost.com/forums/s....php?t=1979786
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Last edited by mbchris; 12-26-2022 at 05:26 PM..
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      12-27-2022, 09:26 AM   #2
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Noticed you mentioned a 25min wait for one of the chargers. Curious what the actual time it took to charge each time. Especially in the cold. Were you charging to 100% each time?
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      12-27-2022, 10:01 AM   #3
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I don't believe for a moment you did this in "2" days lol
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      12-27-2022, 10:04 AM   #4
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Great to read this comprehensive view, thanks for sharing. Will be interesting to get your perspective after the trip, when normal sleep patterns return :-)

I drove from Austin or Dallas to San Francisco three times in an ICE car a couple of years ago when my kid was relocating from SMU to a Bay Area tech company, and learned to appreciate the trip. The northern route through Albuquerque is far better than the southern route through Phoenix.
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      12-27-2022, 10:43 AM   #5
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Very helpful, practical review. Thanks for sharing!
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      12-27-2022, 10:55 AM   #6
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Thanks for the post, very informative. Really hope that BMW cools down on the multiple DC charging stops as I do this occasionally too in my Tesla and would like to add a BMW in the future. The Tesla currently can do as many fast charge stops as you need without throttling.
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      12-27-2022, 11:09 AM   #7
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great write up, I agree with the charging network isn't quite there yet like the tesla one is, however Im sure it will eventually and also I am reading some things here and there that tesla may open its network up to non tesla cars? Not sure if that is true or not. Either way great write up and thank you for sharing.
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      12-27-2022, 11:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbchris View Post
This is the second long trip I have made in our i4, after Dallas - San Antonio, and I made sure it was a challenge. Dallas to San Francisco Bay Area, 1800 miles, 2 days. We learned a lot on the trip out, dealt with a few unexpected twists and turns, and some expected issues that did not come to fruition.
....
We need more Beagle pictures and surely the Beagle must have a name. Awesome writeup and and even more awesome dog. I see he got his rest
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      12-27-2022, 12:38 PM   #9
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By the time Infrastructure catches up, battery tech will have improved and cost will have become less than ICE cars (itís close now). I am looking forward to owning a high performance luxury electric vehicle. I just donít have the patience that is needed to own one in this current environment.
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      12-27-2022, 01:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutchinson04 View Post
By the time Infrastructure catches up, battery tech will have improved and cost will have become less than ICE cars (it's close now). I am looking forward to owning a high performance luxury electric vehicle. I just don't have the patience that is needed to own one in this current environment.
Not sure about that one. Batteries have been around longer than ICE and for the last decade or more have seen much more funding and research than ICE in all sectors. The problem with EVs is you'd need around 5 times more energy production when you account for 66% losses in generation to consumption so we'd need atleast 5 times as much production than we currently have just to support 50% of drivers switching to ev in the us. This is possible but only with nuclear. Solar and wind cannot scale close to what is needed with the consistency needed. I'd rather beef up the grid before mandating evs but it seems we're doing the opposite and just hoping it works out hence the rolling blackouts and the state telling us when to charge evs. Then you look at cost. OP was getting 3mi/kwh. Here in California I'm paying $.50/kwh. With current gas prices I just need just under 30mpg to have a lower cost per mile than ev. Pure EV is not the answer and we'll learn it the hard way I guess over the coming decade. Makes much more sense to have a diesel or gas hybrid from a cost, emissions and efficiency standpoint. To put it plainly, we need around 10-20 more years to beef up the grid primarily with nuclear to even begin to support an EV shift and that's ignoring the scarcity of the rare earth metals used which already have volatile costs.
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      12-27-2022, 01:17 PM   #11
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Great recap. Your travel is less that what it takes Southwest to fly to SFO from Austin
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      12-27-2022, 01:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverik259 View Post
Noticed you mentioned a 25min wait for one of the chargers. Curious what the actual time it took to charge each time. Especially in the cold. Were you charging to 100% each time?
With DC fast charging (and even regular charging, unless I have a 1 day longer trip), I only charged up to 80% or 30 min. Whichever came first I stopped.

Fast charging speed didn't seem to be temperature dependent. It was still just as fast near freezing as above. It's likely other factors like other vehicles at the station or output that made a difference. But those factors are hard to quantify, and out of my control. So I didn't worry much about it.
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      12-27-2022, 01:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supershaft View Post
I don't believe for a moment you did this in "2" days lol
I have done it in the past in an ICE Volvo with adaptive cruise with my wife and no pets (I40 route) in 32 hours with just 1 night stop.
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      12-27-2022, 01:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutchinson04 View Post
By the time Infrastructure catches up, battery tech will have improved and cost will have become less than ICE cars (itís close now). I am looking forward to owning a high performance luxury electric vehicle. I just donít have the patience that is needed to own one in this current environment.
Iím 100% where you are with this. I think 5 years from now both batteries and infrastructure will be on par for me to switch to EV. If I ONLY drove around town, I would switch now but I take long road trips so Iím too impatient for current charging times and frequency.
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      12-27-2022, 02:11 PM   #15
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Interesting approach with the separate/sub-threads. I'm not sure if I noticed anyone else doing that here, but I like it. Maybe we won't get derailed as much.
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      12-27-2022, 03:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N54B30A View Post
Not sure about that oneÖ
Not sure about whatÖis it that I said when infrastructure catches up. That could take 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 50 years or is it that I said I am looking forward to owning a luxury electric vehicle. Love you guys that argue for the sake of arguing
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      12-27-2022, 05:23 PM   #17
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Wait, BMW slowed down your fast charging. Thatís ridiculous!! I have 10k free supercharger miles on the Tesla we just bought. And on my 2021 model 3p I had a year of free supercharging with no issues and never had to wait in line. Barf on bmw and EA.
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      12-27-2022, 09:35 PM   #18
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Serious question-

Why did you drive so slow (speed limit or +5)? Was it to conserve battery, or a normal driving habit (and not knocking you if it is)Ö
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      12-27-2022, 10:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandersen View Post
Serious question-

Why did you drive so slow (speed limit or +5)? Was it to conserve battery, or a normal driving habit (and not knocking you if it is)Ö
Itís because there is a vast improvement in range at lower speeds. If you drive 60mph, you get 100% of range estimates assuming ambient temps. For every 5 mph over 60, you lose 8-10% (and ever increasing) amount of range. There are some good charts online that visualize this, like this one attached. Itís due to wind resistance and battery inefficiency. If you drive 80 mph, you lose about 1/3 is the normal range that you would achieve at 60mph.
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      12-27-2022, 11:29 PM   #20
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Main reason to drive at or just above the limit is to extend range. Especially when fast charging speed reduced by 40%. The BMW plan is only 30 min free with an hour between charges. Plus if you drive fast but spend more time charging you havenít gained anything.

The second reason is financial. We have 2 teenage drivers. Insurance without any tickets is already 3-4 times without kids. Getting a ticket is just not worth any thrill or time saving.
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      12-28-2022, 12:46 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerZBMerLife View Post
Iím 100% where you are with this. I think 5 years from now both batteries and infrastructure will be on par for me to switch to EV. If I ONLY drove around town, I would switch now but I take long road trips so Iím too impatient for current charging times and frequency.
5 years is very wishful thinking for either batteries or infrastructure to significantly improve. It will get better, but the current state is quite poor, and as more people adopt EVs, the more the infrastructure will suffer in the short term. My take is closer to 10 years where a long distance road trip is comparable to an ICE vehicle today.
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      12-28-2022, 08:49 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3macster View Post
Wait, BMW slowed down your fast charging. Thatís ridiculous!! I have 10k free supercharger miles on the Tesla we just bought. And on my 2021 model 3p I had a year of free supercharging with no issues and never had to wait in line. Barf on bmw and EA.
It's the car slowing down the charging to preserve the battery (it's in the manual), it has nothing to do with the free charging through EA, it would happen on any network.
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