BMW i3 REx Long Distance Question

Discussion in 'i3' started by Viking79, Apr 5, 2018.

To remove this ad click here.

  1. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    I am going to purchase an i3 REx out of state, how doable is driving it back long distance? The dealer doesn't really want to ship it (maybe ran into issue). I could always fly out to take delivery and have it shipped back, but that defeats purpose of just shipping it for convenience. I could buy the car locally, but they cost more, have more miles, and aren't the options/color I want.

    I am well aware of limitations of range extender being only 30 or so HP. I might pick up a 5 gallon gas jug to carry with me, and maybe use software to unlock the hold percentage. What are my options for software unlock, and is that just require OBD II connector, or does it require something else? I.e., could I do that when I pick up the car?


  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    Buy one from California and have it shipped.
  4. sipabit

    sipabit Member

    You'll need a wifi enabled OBDII reader and you'll have to download Bimmercode. That'll cost you about $22 + $26 respectively. Yes, you can do that when you pick up the car. If you don't plan on coding anything else though and want to avoid driving the car for some reason, you can have a third party deliver the car to you. Personally, I think it would be worth it to have the color, spec and packages you want. Don't compromise on your dream car. Even though these are priced so low used, it feels like a dream car every time I get into it.

    Are there not gas stations along the way? I hear it's a pain in the butt to drive it long distance all at once like that, but it's doable. Some have theorized that if you code it to hold the charge and the gas runs out, it won't necessarily go back to battery. For sure it works in reverse as it's designed to. Run out of electricity and it goes to gas; not sure about the other way around, so be careful.

    While it's using gas, it's doing so as a generator to power the battery. The battery will widdle down little by little as you use more and more gas. You'll eventually need to recharge the car. I'd recommend looking for a route of DC chargers (assuming you got a 2015 or newer or a 2014 with the DC option). Don't buy a 2014 by the way.

    I would try to convince the dealer to ship it. If it's BMW dealer, which it should be (b/c there's no reason to get a non-CPO unless your'e getting a limited edition or Value package model), keep negotiating with them.
    Domenick likes this.
  5. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    It is a 2015 with tech/drive assist package and 20" wheels, solar orange with less than 10k miles. I will hit up some DC stations if I can. Will keep speeds on the lower side, extra gas was just in case (for more remote areas).

    I will have stuff to code, but maybe not do it right away. Will bluetooth OBD 2 adapter with Android work?

    Thanks for the tips!
  6. sipabit

    sipabit Member

    Yes, but I've heard more success with coding using the wifi one. The adapter itself produces a wifi signal which is much stronger than bluetooth technology. The prices are the same for each. I don't think there's any reason to get the bluetooth version over the wifi one unless your situation is such that you already bought the bluetooth one. I can't say how well it'll work or if it even will. Mine was a wifi with an iphone.

    I'm glad you're getting a 2015. That's the way to go. Best value out there right now. At 10k miles, that's great. The driver's assist package is fairly rare by itself. I only have the parking assist package, but love it. I would've waited for a driver's assist package but the value package one I have never got that combination. What state are you driving from/to? Any idea how many miles you'd be traveling?
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Sounds good, was curious as I know Apple requires WiFi for those types of devices, so not sure if Android would be different.

    Buying in LA area, live in Iowa. Plan to drive back east through Albuquerque and then head north east. Make a fun weekend road trip out of it and hope the range extender doesn't break. I will buy a 5 gallon gas can when I get there for more rural areas.
  9. sipabit

    sipabit Member

    Does LA mean Louisiana, the state or Los Angeles the city? The latter would be quite far in which case I highly recommend having it shipped. Also look for another dealer bc California has tons of inventory. Louisiana is definitely closer, but you’re still crossing several states.

    When I answered your question initially, I was thinking Nevada/Oregon and California. With the far distance you have, it will be quite the trek. It won’t be much fun unless you really have some scenery to see on the trip.

    If it were me, I’d fly there and arrange shipment.
  10. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I bought my 2014 BMW i3-REx in May 2016 in Charlotte NC, 463 miles away. So with the VIN, I bought DVDinmotion product to allow enabling the REX at 75%. One block away, I stopped and patched the car. When I reached the Charlotte beltway, I enabled the REX and drove home stopping for gas when I reached the lowest quarter of a tank. But today, BIMMERCODE is more affordable and practical.

    With BIMMERCODE, you can change the usable tank from 1.9 to 2.3 gallons. As for a spare can, a Briggs and Strantton 2.5 gallon can fits in the frunk taking about half the space.

    In September 2016, my wife, two dogs, and I drove 700 miles to a family affair using the 1.9 gal tank setting and a 1 gallon spare can. We had 10 fuel stops and only once used the 1 gallon when we found a truck stop shutdown at 2 AM. With BIMMERCODE and the Briggs and Strantton can, the gas range extends to ~192 miles at 70 mph. There will be about 54 miles of EV reserve from the 75% SOC.

    Bob Wilson
    Domenick likes this.
  11. sipabit

    sipabit Member

    Wow Bob, great response. Just what the OP was looking for. Thanks for the contribution!
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Thanks! Yes, Los Angeles to Iowa, worst part is continental divide. I am just using truck lanes on passes for now, and using southern route with less elevation change.

    I love this car so far, the range extender isn't as bad as I feared, and would be perfect with the higher SoC hold level.

    Thanks for all the advice/tips!

    lorem101 and bwilson4web like this.
  14. lorem101

    lorem101 Member

    Great road trip, thanks for taking us along for the ride!

    I've had the same idea as well but did not see any deals to be had that would make sense to make this trip. Were you able to get a substantial discount compared to i3 prices locally?
  15. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Using dynamic cruise control following a truck, pickup, SUV, or motorhome makes the miles pass easily.

    Bob Wilson
  16. sipabit

    sipabit Member

    Wow, I'm totally following you. This is great! Nice that you're blogging this. Let us know if you have an Instagram we can follow as well. Sounds exciting. Drive safe.
  17. sipabit

    sipabit Member

    I see you got the orange with Driver's assist package. Based on the wheels, it looks like you got the Terra World interior. Doesn't look like you have the Harmon Kardon sound system. Me neither. I bet you can't wait to show it off back in Iowa. I'm assuming you'd probably be the only one out there with one of these. Very exciting. I'm stoked. It's going to be awesome.
  18. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    BTW, strangers will come up and ask you about the car. If you have the time, give them a walk around and sit in the driver seat.

    Bob Wilson
  19. sipabit

    sipabit Member

    The things you can do outside California. How I wish people here could be trusted to do such things.
  20. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    I will update over the next few days, made it back to Iowa, car ran great! I wouldn't necessarily recommend it unless you are feeling adventurous. It only took 35 gas stops ;)
    LegoZ, bwilson4web and Domenick like this.
  21. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    I updated my blog, sorry it is verbose.

    I search for the car I want. I search all distances and then narrow down by options.

    My search requirement for i3 was White, Black, Orange (color I wanted in 2014 when it came out) or dark gray. I filter with a mileage cap and a price cap. My search looked something like $25k or less, 20k or less miles, and range extender. I then looked at each of those individually to find Tera World package with "large" infotainment screen (meaning tech package on 2014 and 2015). This information is often not entered in listings correctly so you have to manually screen your results for it. It might show up, but you will miss a lot that might be good buys and for some reason nearly every i3 on has interior listed incorrectly, etc.

    This is basically the car I have been looking for since 2014 ;)

    I have to say it is surprisingly comfortable, 2000 mile drive was no issue for comfort. I would have not said that about most compact hatchbacks! Refinement and relatively low road noise helps a lot. My 1996 BMW 318ti Club Sport was a bear, I couldn't stand that more than 4 hours let alone over 30 hours.
    lorem101 likes this.
  22. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, yes, Tera World with 20" wheels/summer tires (oops, going to have to replace before winter) and tech/drivers assist package. No parking assist or Harmon Kardon. I really wanted the dark leather interior and the larger infotainment screen, so those were pretty much the minimum packages for me.

    We have a few in Iowa, but mostly in Des Moines. I have seen a couple others in Cedar Rapids area, and then only at community events like drive electric week, where I am like whoa, there is an i3 in the area (they are actually from a different town is why).

    Now to sell my Volt. Too many car purchases this year ;)
    bwilson4web and Domenick like this.
  23. sipabit

    sipabit Member

    Beautiful sunset, eh? 30mph on the freeway? Oh my. Wow. I was going to say that I'm glad you made it safely back, but it looks like you're still out there on the road. Is that right? Charge the car was often as you can. You don't want to be DC charging so much as it's not good for the battery but all that stress isn't good for the engine either. I'd recommend extending the trip if you need to. Take a few more nights. Enjoy the world that much more and let the car rest and charge somewhere for a few hours. Best of luck. I'll be reading your posts.

Share This Page