We took a 2020 BMW i3s REx to a 150 kW Electrify America DC quick cost station to see how lengthy it takes to cost from 6%, when to vary extender activates, to 80% state of cost.

As we proceed to get new electrical autos to check, we determined we’d like extra unique and academic content material for present and future EV homeowners. Along with our 70-mph highway range tests, we’re additionally conducting DC fast charge tests on the entire new EVs that we get on media mortgage.

After we can’t get a media loaner, we frequently borrow a car from a dealership or a good friend, as was the case with the 2020 BMW i3s I just lately used for a 70-mph highway range test and this charging take a look at. My good friend and EV aficionado, Chris Neff was type sufficient to permit me to make use of his automobile for the vary and charging assessments. 

BMW i3s

Most individuals perceive that EV vary varies extensively from car to car. Nonetheless, many individuals, particularly these new to EVs do not know a complete lot about charging them. Not like ICE vehicles the refueling course of can differ enormously from EV to EV as a result of electrical autos cost at totally different speeds. Extra particularly, they’ve totally different charging curves, and there are a lot of components concerned in how briskly they cost.

We drove the i3s REx down to six% state of cost so the vary extender would activate. That approach we knew the battery is as little as we might get it for the take a look at. We’d have most popular utilizing a 2020 i3s BEV so we might drive it all the way down to zero, however we could not safe one for the take a look at. 

The BMW i3 is able to accepting as much as 50 kW of energy, and BMW claims a recharge time of 40 minutes when charging on a 50 kW or better DC quick charger. We used a 150 kW unit on the Electrify America community, so energy supply would not be a difficulty.

Instantly upon plugging in, the i3 accepted 42 kW, which was a great signal. In the course of the charging session, the i3 slowly elevated the charging fee all the best way as much as 48 kW. In actual fact, the i3 by no means slowed down the charging fee, it simply stored climbing all the time. 

Whereas the i3 by no means reached the 50 kW most cost fee marketed, it did cost to 80% in beneath 40 minutes (2 seconds much less!) than BMW claims it’s going to. I consider the rationale it did not begin out at a better charging fee was that the battery wasn’t heat sufficient.

BMW i3 charging chart

The Fastned charging chart for the BMW i3 exhibits how the 42.2 kWh battery will maintain its max cost fee till about 86% SOC

The car was parked exterior in a single day in 50-degree (10° to 12° C) temperatures, so though it got here shut, it wasn’t capable of settle for the total 50 kW. That is why the cost fee regularly elevated; as a result of the battery temperature was going up. 

Whereas the i3 can solely cost at 50 kW, the charging curve is nice, and the car would not even begin ramping down the ability it accepts till it reaches about 86% state of cost, based on Fastned.

Whereas the i3 is restricted to solely accepting solely 50 kW on a DC quick charger, future BMW EVs will cost at a lot increased charges. The 2021 BMW iX3 as an example, can settle for 150 kW and BMW has indicated up to now that they acknowledge the significance of quick charging, particularly with EVs which have massive batteries. Subsequently, we do not count on to see a 50 kW restrict in future fashions from Munich. We additionally hope they proceed to supply strong charging curves, however that turns into tougher as the utmost energy will increase.