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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

BMW i3 REX Adventure

Guest Post by Bryce

I drove a BMW i3 REX to Arlington, OR last weekend and tested out the new SAE Combo charger. The charger worked exactly as expected, with a convenient gas station and diner next door.

This location is perfect for those heading east out of Portland into the "dark zone" of Eastern Oregon/Washington with an i3 REX! For example, one can get to Tri-Cities, WA with only one 45 minute stop to refuel and recharge... most of the trip is in EV mode, getting a trip economy of well over 100 mpg!

BMW i3 at new SAE Combo charger in Arlington, OR

I think that this is a great "bridge" car (while the DC charging infrastructure continues to grow and battery technology develops) for those that want to drive 100% electric around home, but occasionally adventure out far from public infrastructure (and can't afford a Tesla). Previous plug-in hybrids really turned us off due to poor range which would use the gas engine during most of our (longer than average) driving patterns, but the i3 has the same EV range as our Leaf plus the optional range extender doubling that.

I also drove from Portland to Florence, using the SAE Combo charger in Salem and doing some L1 and L2 opportunity charging at some tourist traps along the way. Again, this is a really great stretch of the i3 REX range with mostly EV driving and a little REX driving with very little time spent recharging.

If you haven't test driven the i3, I encourage you to do so. Portland is perhaps the best place in the whole country for this vehicle due to our charging infrastructure currently available. Having the option of either a BEV or REX model with or without DC fast charging also gives the buyer some great flexibility depending on their needs.

BMW i3 and proud owner on the Oregon coast

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