Wednesday, February 25, 2015

BMW i8 real world range testing (We''ll get back to the i3's soon)

As a BMW i3 owner thinking about buying the BMW i8, I had a lot of questions regarding range in this super plug-in hybrid EPA rated at 15 miles electric range.

Now, as an i8 owner, I want you to know that I sacrificed my morning on 2/25/15 just for you, driving next to the Pacific Ocean, to answer some of these range questions. I know, it's a tough gig, sort of like work, but that's what pioneers do :)

It's no problem to hit the 15 miles of EPA electric range providing you keep it out of sport mode!

Here's the test results, pics below as back up documentation:

City driving: Hwy 101 at 65 degrees, average speeds were 30mph to 50mph. Speeds shown are due to lots of stop signs and streetlights. Eco pro mode fan on.

@21 miles electric range, 4.1 miles per kWh, 25.2 mph. (gas engine starts)

Highway driving, Hwy 5 to San Clemente and back, cruise control set to 70mph, 65 degrees, traffic very light, eco pro mode, fan on. You will see the speed increase as the first four miles are city roads to Hwy 5.

@22 miles electric range, 4.2 miles per kWh, 57.5 mph. (gas engine starts)
@30 miles, 98.8mpg, 57.5 mph (first dip below 100mpg)
@40 miles, 71.7mpg, 59.8 mph
@50 miles, 61.2mpg, 61.6 mph

If you drive it like a beast in sport mode, no EV range and 25 mpg. (I know this from experience and it will put more miles back on your EV range)


I'll start off every day with a full charge, and my personal driving habits are:

55% of my trips are below 20 miles RT and will be done on all electric.
15% of my trips are below 30 miles RT and will be at 100 mpg.
10% of my trips are below 40 miles RT and will be at 70mpg.
10% of my trips are below 50 miles RT and will be at 60mpg.
10% of my trips are longer and may be as low as 28mpg.

(minus 10% of the above because I like to flick it over to sport mode every now and then :) )

Incredible efficiency and incredible performance in this beautiful work of art and engineering.


city driving, gas engine starts at 21 miles

Hwy driving, gas engine starts at 22 miles

30 miles, dips below 100 mpg.

at 40 miles 

at 50 miles.

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