Need EV recommendation

Discussion in 'General' started by JyChevyVolt, Jan 16, 2018.

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  1. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    31 mile commute (one way)
    Live up the desert, 4000 feet
    Can charge at work
    No kids

    I'm thinking BMW i3 REX
    1. Don't need to charge at home. Regeneration down the mountain.
    Don't need to change electric plan.
    2. Good HP for climbing mountain.
    3. Battery has good thermal management.
    Hot climate.

    Any other recommendations.
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  3. No budget is mentioned, so I'm starting with this: Rimac Concept_One
    Rimac Concept_One.jpg
  4. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    Depending on your driving habits, the Rex might not be good for you.

    The i3 Rex has difficulty maintaining speeds at high loads and can be power limited when the battery is depleted. It is often discussed at highway speeds but can also occur on steep inclines. You could be driving along at 65 miles per hour and suddenly your car drops to 40 mph.

    From Green Car Reports:

    "This author experienced that phenomenon when driving an i3 REx on a cool night (using seat heaters and lights) when traveling uphill at a steady 70 mph on a highway grade that lasted several miles.

    With the battery already depleted and the i3 running in range-extending mode, the car gradually slowed to 45 mph until the grade ended.
    Other i3 REx owners have experienced similar power losses, always when the car is operating at the very outside of its performance envelope, and usually at highway speeds over 50 mph, when aerodynamic drag increases exponentially."

    If your mountain roads are mostly slow speeds anyways then it shouldn't be as much of an issue. But with a 31 mile commute each way, expect to occasionally deplete the battery after your commute and errands. And then expect less performance driving up your mountain road.
  5. Personally, I would forgo the ReX if I was going the i3 route. I believe you can code them so as to avoid the poor performance thing from happening, but it feels a bit like a kludge to me, and can be a beast to deal with if something goes wrong.

    Overall, any BEV or Volt or Clarity would do the trick, I think, as long as it has a liquid-cooled battery.
    WadeTyhon likes this.
  6. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I would suggest an end-of-lease, BMW i3-REx, 2015/2016, because this comes with the left-over, manufacture warranty yet the price should be in the low to middle $20s. Make sure you get dynamic cruise control.

    When you find a candidate car, join:

    The members can answer pretty much any question and offer suggestions on how to optimize the car. Any car within 700-1,000 miles is just a 24 hour drive away. I bought mine sign unseen and without a test drive and drove it 463 mile over a 2,000 ft pass and reached home 12 hours later. My wife and her two dogs and I did 700 miles in 18-19 hours.

    Full disclosure, our 2014 BMS i3-REx has fully met every travel requirement. However, I did suffer a broken motor mount that was fix under warranty.

    Bob Wilson
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  8. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    The car is not for me, co-worker.

    With full charge, can it make it up the hill every day? Coming down will be full regeneration so charging at home would be useless.

    Commute only since he has a pickup truck.
  9. Cypress

    Cypress Active Member

    A used SparkEV would do it.
    jim likes this.
  10. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    I forgot adaptive cruise control. That's why the Bolt EV was eliminated.
    TruckerAlex likes this.
  11. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    A used Gen 2 Premier could be purchased under 30k with ACC. If he gets an i3 he might be able to get a good lease deal on a new one.

    The EV range on the Volt is only slightly lower than a used i3 would be. But the ICE engine can function with no compromise when the Volt's battery is depleted.

    And with either the i3 or Volt he could top off his charge at night with a trickle charge. He can do it with no update to his home. Just a standard outlet.

    In fact, with an i3 I'd highly recommend he do so just to be safe. It's hard to rely solely on public or workplace charging. I've done it. You never know when the charger you rely on might stop functioning or when someone else camps there for hours. If it happens with his i3, he could be stuck limping up towards his house in the slow lane. :p
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  13. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    I don't think he should charge at home since the commute to work is all down hill.

    Do you think the Volt can do the 31 uphill miles in all electric mode? I figured, he needs 62 miles of electric range to climb the mountain.
  14. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    With a 53 mile EV range I think he'd be able to do it if he is in a mild to warm climate. But of course, I live in an area that is as flat as a pancake! :p

    Either way, he wouldn't need to worry if it doesn't quite make it. The ICE engine can take over with no issue. And if he will be relying primarily on workplace/public charging, then I would advise against any short range BEV. And the i3 could potentially be an issue.

    Most of the other PHEV options ranges far too short for his need. Or if pressed hard, they typically engage their ICE engines early before the battery fully depletes. (Which would happen in his situation since he will be climbing uphill for extended periods)

    So I think the Volt is the best no compromise choice for him specifically.
  15. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    I3 has the Rex engine too that can be programmed to charge at higher SOC and 2.5 gallon tank. The i3 REX could make the uphill commute on all electric.
  16. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    I should let him borrow my Volt to see if he could make the trip.

    He was going to buy my Volt but he test drove my Clarity BEV with Honda sensing:(
    WadeTyhon likes this.
  17. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    Yes, as long as he has charge in his battery it would be fine.

    But if he is only charging at work and the charger doesn’t work or is taken (It happens, trust me! :p) or if he has to run a lot of errands while in town etc... he could cause himself a headache and sloooow ascent.

    If there was a Hold mode he could save his battery power, but I don’t think the i3 has a hold mode to conserve the battery SOC.

    So yeah, I think letting him borrow your Volt (or making the trip once with him in the Volt) would let him know if it would cover most or all of the ascent.

    Then he can get one with ACC for himself.
  18. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    I think that's the best option. I wonder how much range he would lose during summer when temps reach 110 in the high desert. Maybe, he would need 75 miles of EV range going up.

    I wonder how the Volt will handle all that regeneration and uphill climb. The engine blew at 170,000 miles.
  19. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Just making sure, 31 mile commute with a 4,000 ft altitude gain?

    Here are my metrics:
    • 4.5% / 525 ft
    • (4,000 / 525) * 4.5% ~= 35% :: altitude gain
    • 31 mi vs 72 mi EV range ~= 43% :: distance traveled
    • Estimated 78% of charge
    A conservative engineer, going over 50% SOC, the REx provides excellent backup. However, I would probably carry a spare 2.5 gal gas can (Briggs and Straton fits.)

    Bob Wilson
  20. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    With AC running during summer, 110 degree, and 70 mph, I'm guessing 75 mile range need.
  21. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    The elevation change is only 2514.32 feet. I put my home location instead of the office location.
  22. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    According to discussion on the Tesla Motors Club forum:

    The rule of thumb is that it requires an additional 7 miles (11 km) of range for each 1,000 foot of elevation gain. You might gain almost 6 miles (9.6 km) of range for each 1,000 ft of descent, as long as you don't have to use the friction brakes.

    So using that rule of thumb, 2514 feet of descent gives an additional 15 miles of range. While significant, I'm not seeing why that's the primary concern when the trip is only 31 miles, or why that mandates charging at one end of the trip rather than the other. If you're getting back an additional range only half of what you're using, then it's not like that's going to overcharge the battery even if you start with a nominally 100% charge, altho for any BEV (and the i3 REx is a BEV, even if it has a range extender bolted on) it's best to limit charge to 80% or less, so long as that is sufficient for your daily needs. And if it's not... then you really should buy a BEV with better range.

    Of course, that's all theory; in practice, the drop over distance isn't going to be the same all along the route, so it's possible there might be a steeper drop to start with, one which might in theory overcharge the battery... but again, only if the driver is foolish enough to start with a 100% charge (or if the car makes it difficult or impossible to charge to 80% or less on a regular basis... like the Leaf does!)
  23. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    I think he could make it. Possibly with a few miles to spare! If you do test it out report back with how it performed. I'd like to know!

    But since his speeds are 70+ mph that combined with the elevation can have a huge impact on both the Volt and the i3.

    As far as the heat, it can get really hot in my area in the summer. We have a black volt and a dark grey bolt. Both our Bolt and Volt meet and exceed the EPA ranges in the summer. And I blast my A/C because I hate the heat. But both of us are in the range of 45-50 mph for our commutes.

    So A/C doesn't seem to have a huge negative impact. But heater use has a much larger impact. I assume winters there are pretty mild?

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