Why the BMW i3-REx

Discussion in 'EV (Electric Vehicle) Discussion' started by bwilson4web, May 15, 2016.

  1. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i have to disagree here. we need to make it easier for people, not tell them here's the map and filters, figure it out for yourself. plugshare is great for enthusiasts, i'm interested in neophytes.
    i don't get the liquid fuel comparison, it has been a simple matter for people to go to the gas station and get the required fuel for their car, at least for the last 50 years.
     
  2. drash

    drash Senior Member

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    I disagree here too. I make it a point to get non-ethanol gas, particularly for my small engines. It can be hard to find, particularly when you don't want the high octane version. I'm constantly scouting for new locations that offer regular non-ethanol.


    iPad ?
     
  3. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    Even now-a-days people put the wrong octane fuel into their tanks (especially new drivers).

    Neophytes don't look at plug share. They look at what their car's navigation shows. Low and behold, that shows only options their car can make use of.
    Most neophytes charge in their garage, or maybe at work.
    This limits the market, but that limit is perhaps 50% of car owners. So until EV market penatration passes 30-40%, it shouldn't me an issue.

    Once people dive into apps such as plugshare, the filter is pretty darned simple. It can even be used to show only free chargers.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i think a lot of gaso drivers, might be persuaded to ev, wonder where they would fill up. they see gas stations, they don't see chargers. they don't realize charging at home will fulfill a lot of their daily driving. i think we could move things along if there were more attention paid to enlightening the general public on charger locations.
     
  5. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    One of several i've won over (both pv & phev -a Ford ) are content to simply use the existing 120v EVSE that comes with the car. In part, because they don't have a 240v plug near by. That's likely par for the course. Use what you got - keep the costs to a minimum.
    .
     
  6. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Since Plugshare now asks you what EV/PHEV you have, I believe it can automatically filter to the ones compatible w/you car.

    As for the map and the car's nav system, yes... kinda. The funny part is that my current Leaf doesn't have CHAdeMO, yet it can still display CHAdeMO stations (it refers them as quick charge). The CHAdeMO stations have a different icon on the map. I shut those off since they're useless to my current Leaf.
    That's probably why Nissan includes the charging station map database in their nav system, despite it being pretty crappy with horrible data compared to Plugshare (e.g. no way to submit experiences/reports (e.g. charged ok, blocked, busy, broken, etc.) ala Plugshare, no prices (only whether it believes it's free or not), no hours, no photos, often inaccurate info, etc.) But! When you're driving around, if you have those icons enabled, you DO see where there are plugs near where you're passing by.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    great. but that doesn't help prospective buyers.
     
  8. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    I am still researching this with the BMW i3-REx. At least one critical part, the J1772 lock, exists. It really comes down to a question of having two, pairs of relays and the control logic to operate them correctly. This I can test for a fairly modest cost.

    I'm also looking at other power supply options and think I can get to a portable, 25 kW DC charger using single-phase, one or two, J1772, for about $4k. This would give 18.8 kWh / 25 kW ~= 45 minutes (not counting taper.)

    I'm looking at BMW i3-REx charging profile to make sure:
    [​IMG]

    Bob Wilson

    Ran a quick test today, same route and direction, ~80F:
    • 8.2 mi/kWh - cruise control 42 mph; "N" to 25 mph; cruise control accelerate to 42 mph; repeat. Block speed 33.2 mph.
    • 7.9 mi/kWh - cruise control 33.9 mph
    • 0.3/7.9 = 3.8% improved performance
    No, I still won't vary my speed in traffic except in response to traffic or holding a constant speed.

    Bob Wilson

    Some insights: http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/BMW/2014/06_I01-High-voltage-Components.pdf
    • 23 kW is REx output
    • schematic suggests only the DC connector pins are designed to connect to battery
    • "pilot signal" is the key, already identified in the SAE standard(s)
    So the technical challenge is fabricating the DC connector plug.

    Bob Wilson
     
    #288 bwilson4web, Oct 1, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2016
  9. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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  10. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    This summer, the backup camera would randomly not work. I told the dealer and they repeated the stuff already in the manual. Regardless, they wanted me to wait. Then about 10 days ago, it stopped working all together so I dropped it off at the 'spa' and they loaned me a 'Series 2:'
    • Too low - feels like I'm sitting down on a lounge chair
    • 40 acres to turn around - I mean D*mn!
    • Gears! GEARS!! - GACK!!!
    • Auto-stop at a light - just reminds me of how quiet the BMW i3 is all the time
    • Stupid cruise control ... I could drive our 2010 Prius
    • No collision detect ...
    • Engine is a wind-up toy ... supposed to be over 200 HP but feels like a hangover
    I'm going to see if a co-worker will follow me to the dealer and drop me off at home. I really don't like this loaner.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  11. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Maybe see if they could loan you a 328d. Get a little hands on experience with the 'competition'.;)
     
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  12. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    I really enjoyed the i3.
    Now that we don't drive as much, after moving closer to the metro area, I'm sorely tempted.
    I feel for you Bob, it is really tough to drive any ICE after driving electric ;)
     
  13. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Good news! Bad news!
    1. Diagnosis: camera failed.
    2. Replacement should be in next week.
    "Do you want to pickup you car and bring it back when the part arrives?" ... Yes, I'll drop it off the next morning.

    Bob Wilson

    Huntsville just got a high-speed, DC charger up and I visited it today with 91% SOC:
    [​IMG]
    • Single charger, dual head: CHAdeMO and CSS.
    • Two parking spots, next time, the front one to keep the plug-to-charger short.
    • Parking meter, 30 minutes for $0.25, I put in two quarters.
    The CSS plug is pretty large and the power cable at least 1" (25 mm) diameter but there is a top-mounted, steel cable that keeps it from drooping to the ground. I pretty well had to stretch it as far as possible. Here is the plug answering some questions about the contacts:
    [​IMG]

    So everything ready, I hit "START" and after the initial negotiation, 17 A @392 VDC, 6.7 kW???? It was ~75 F (~23 C) and I'd only been doing local, city driving. This bothers me as I don't know if the car or the charger was the limit:
    [​IMG]
    In contrast, my L2 EVSE easily starts at 7.22 kW, 30 A @240 VAC. If I use a nominal 92% efficiency for the onboard chargers, I get 6.7 kW. HUH???

    Now it appears the charger is configured to run for only 30 minutes at a time, $0.25. Not a big problem as there are restaurants on the other side of the block. So as I was monitoring the SOC with my iPhone, it stopped charging a 99%:
    [​IMG]

    I'm left with two hypothesis: (1) charger configuration limitation, or (2) BMW i3-REX limitation. But I have to admit disappointment. I thought the car would charge at something much higher than 6.7 kW. The claims of reaching 80% SOC within 30 minutes can only be reached if the car can take a higher rate.

    As a test, I plan to run the SOC down, say 50%, and see if that changes the rate of charge. It may be that the peak charge rate requires an SOC below 80% and then taper to 6.7 kW for the remaining time. I am OK with this but I need to know.
     
    #293 bwilson4web, Oct 20, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2016
  14. NR427

    NR427 Member

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    This seems similar to the charge taper on my Leaf. Above 85% L2 seems to charge faster. I don't seem to get the full change rate of 50kw unless I'm under 50% and moderate weather conditions. ymmv
     
  15. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Yep - even on our ol' antique original leaf - i've measured 3.7kW's being allowed into the onboard charger when SOC is down below 75% - & on down lower. But up nearing 95% SOC & higher? Only 1.4kW's. CHAdeMO & the other formats - same thing ... only it's even more profound, because near 0% soc you get 50kW's and (again) nearing 100% you only get 1.2kW's DC going in.
    The vehicle experiencing the least amount caper effect are some of the Teslas. For example, the 60kWh pack is actually the exact same pack as the 75kWh pack - software Limited. This means the high & low unusable buffer is much larger - which has the effect of giving greater longevity because less of its gets used. Collaterally there is very little throttle back as it nears 100% SOC.
    And, if there ever comes a day when you have an emergency & you've run out of juice - Tesla can ( over-the-air software mod) permit access to that extra amount to get you down the road a few miles. (no tow truck necessary) They won't do that on and on, but it's good to know it's there. And if there comes a day you want the extra range permanently, pay the extra dough & they can (over the air) adjust the excess capacity via software so you now permanently access its 75kWh capacity.
     
    #295 hill, Nov 19, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016
  16. bhtooefr

    bhtooefr Senior Member

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    Peak charge rate is best done at low SoC, no point in using paid DCFC if you're at 80% or so or more, it's for getting to 80% quickly.
     
  17. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    "was planned" being the operative words. CHAdeMO Network being "absolutely tiny" turns on how you look at it. Nationwide? Sure. But long before the first SAE Franknplug was installed, there was a network that ran through Oregon & Washington to the Cali border, + there were plenty in the Bay Area & La/Orange County/s.Diego too. It's no coincidence that's where the Lion's Share of users were to begin with anyway. Obviously they weren't going to be a thousand across North Dakota when there were no users. But the investment was provided where it was first needed. IF GM had any common sense at all - they'd already have an adapter for their FranknPlyg, so that they could use the existing larger Network - just as Tesla has designed their adapter for CHAdeMO.
    .

    Of course! But as mentioned above, & though it's pricey, you build a big enough capacity buffer, you can then have the upper 20% charge at quick rate. We tend not to realize - that's exactly what's happening. We have 'smaller' batteries then we think. We are simply expecting to be able to charge the whole shebang at the same rate if speed.

    good points, but one important thing is left out. It was first discussed by one of PC's plugin naysayers. In short, with our antiquated transformers in most areas, you can't simply put huge loads onto theoretically millions of plugins. Sadly, Tesla is the only company putting their skin in the game as Bob says. They are installing battery Banks & solar panels over head on many of their multi quantity supercharger locations. That gives relief to transformer loads which were likely only designed to handle loads prior to Tesla coming into existence. Is any other company installing 5 to 12 chargers per location? Do customers grasp how much power can be pulled from 10 plugins each pulling 150kW or more? Yet naysayers bitch if people have to wait 5 or 10 minutes while an existing Frankenplug or CHAdeMO user finishes up their charge. As it is, utility companies aren't changing out they're older transformers in a timely manner. When they finally do get around to it, watch how much they scream if they have to put in a unit that will do ten times as much work. Someday soon the industry is going to have to revisit the whole chicken & egg quandary.
    .
     
    #297 hill, Nov 19, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2016
  18. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    It makes sense that the Huntsville, DC charger is configured for 30 minutes to put an 80% charge on the car. As @hill points out, a paid DC charger only makes sense if the car can take the charge.

    Paying $0.25 for 30 minutes is not just fair but actually a good deal. At $0.10/kWh, 30 minutes @50 kW ~= 25 kWh or roughly $2.50 of electricity.

    Bob Wilson
     
  19. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    In our area, quite a few of the CHAdeMO's pay upwords of a buck a minute. In part it's to reduce usage to more of an emergency, pay for the WAY-more expensive QC equipment, the install/insurance/land lease, a bit of maintenance, & profit (gasp !) - AND - to forstall the need to replace transformers/subsidize inevitable changeout.
    10ยข/kW around here for DC use would be a serious money loser.
    @Bob,

    If you're seriously wanting to charge DC, this fellow could certainly give you a few pointers and actually sells his product.
    .
     
    #299 hill, Nov 19, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016
  20. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Thanks @hill as I was planning to go that way. There are some technical challenges but do-able. But with my new insights I have to re-do my model.

    Bob Wilson
     
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