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Recharging at the Beach - 2014 BMW i3 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited October 2015 in BMW
imageRecharging at the Beach - 2014 BMW i3 Long-Term Road Test

Searching for an available Level 2 charger on the Internet doesn't necessarily mean it will still be free for your 2014 BMW i3 when you arrive.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • So, just hang out at the beach and relax? Sorry boss, I needed to charge the car.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    This points out an issue that's going to get worse if you need to recharge away from your home station. As the number of EVs increases, competition for free plugs will grow. And that's assuming the public chargers are functional and haven't been vandalized.

    The charger plugs also need to be adaptable to all EVs, but what's really needed is a charge that's comparable to refilling at a service station. Five minutes, tops.
  • schen72schen72 Posts: 433
    stever said:

    This points out an issue that's going to get worse if you need to recharge away from your home station. As the number of EVs increases, competition for free plugs will grow. And that's assuming the public chargers are functional and haven't been vandalized.

    The charger plugs also need to be adaptable to all EVs, but what's really needed is a charge that's comparable to refilling at a service station. Five minutes, tops.

    That's the breakthrough that needs to happen for EVs to become mass market. But I have no doubt that will happen eventually. As demand grows, so will public charging stations. I'm sure not all will be free, but it will still certainly be cheaper than gas. Having a home charger is just so convenient. But the biggest issue will be for apartment/condo dwellers. How will they charge their car at home?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    A quickie battery swap like forklifts have would be better, but the battery/storage tech seems stuck in the last century.
  • stever said:

    A quickie battery swap like forklifts have would be better, but the battery/storage tech seems stuck in the last century.

    The real problem that I see with what Tesla has proposed is that basically you'll be swapping out older batteries for newer ones (or vice versa in which case you're getting screwed). It's ideal for the owner. Put 100,000 on the battery and once you see mileage dropping, get your battery swapped for a brand new one and save $25k-$50k. Unless there are REALLY cheap battery cell refurbishment technologies, it'll cost the manufacturers massive amounts of money.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited October 2015
    I'm thinking more like the quickie propane tank swaps. You don't care how old the battery is, just so long as it holds the minimum charge you are paying for. The battery always belongs to the car company.

    Yeah, you get a better deal if you take your own tank to the propane company, but that's the price of convenience.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 8,887
    stever said:

    I'm thinking more like the quickie propane tank swaps.

    I thought the same thing a while back. A standard battery module that can be swapped out sort of like I keep a battery charged for my Nikon camera. Of course, then we'll get into how we work it into the styling, and cost. I'm still in the camp that we, the car driving public are willing to pay a cost per mile to drive our vehicles. That cost for EV's is lower right now, but I'd wager it will start to rise if demand for EV's ever becomes mainstream. Until the range problem is solved though...

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  • yellowbalyellowbal Posts: 234
    Having a car automatically drive up to a charger and charge could resolve some of these issues. Go to work and park and the car schedules itself to charge while you don't need it.
  • craigo7craigo7 Posts: 51
    PF_Flyer said:

    stever said:

    I'm thinking more like the quickie propane tank swaps.

    I thought the same thing a while back. A standard battery module that can be swapped out sort of like I keep a battery charged for my Nikon camera. Of course, then we'll get into how we work it into the styling, and cost. I'm still in the camp that we, the car driving public are willing to pay a cost per mile to drive our vehicles. That cost for EV's is lower right now, but I'd wager it will start to rise if demand for EV's ever becomes mainstream. Until the range problem is solved though...
    This idea has been around for a little bit and may be the way to go as it will eliminate the charge wait time also. I think the challenge here is that it needs to be automated and universal among all makes - so movement on the front is slow as the technology and market landscape is still so much in flux. Perhaps a working group will emerge, decide on a design and from there industry will develop automatic swap technology that your local convenience store will install. Something you park on top of and it handles the exchange.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Some of the fork lift "stations" work pretty much that way. You drive up, hit a safety switch or two and the battery swap is automated.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 8,887
    edited October 2015
    The trick/drawback would be that you'd really want to have a standard battery pack (think D cells LOL) that every manufacturer would use. Then, you'd want fast and easy swaps, meaning quick, external access to the battery. Let's mix in trying to not hurt the look of the cars with the access panel.

    Will Lexus owners want "premium" batteries?? And how big of a warehouse are we gonna need?

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  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited October 2015
    The real solution for the non-commuting crowd would be a ~500 mile range but the tech just isn't there.

    Commuters seem to manage okay with the ~70 mile range of a Leaf (an EV that is pretty affordable).
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