BMW i3 REx 2015, Alan Darrah – Living with an EV: Bangor, Northern Ireland to Middlesbrough Road trip report

BMW i3 REx 2015, Alan Darrah - Living with an EV: Bangor, Northern Ireland to Middlesbrough Road trip report

What name would you like to appear in your article? 
Alan Darrah

 

What is the make, model and year of your EV?
BMW i3 REx 2015

 

Introduction
Bangor, Northern Ireland to South Shields, mainland U.K. via Middlesbrough.

 

Planning & preparation 
None, booked a return ferry trip, charged the car to 100% and filled the Rex on the way to the boat.

 

Charging 
Charged to 100%, prior to leaving, cost was free due to using solar and charging below its maximum output. Charged once whilst there on my girlfriend’s father’s normal 3 pin mains.

 

 

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The EV itself
Previously, I have done this trip in my BMW Z4, a BMW M3 and last year in my girlfriend’s SEAT Cupra. This year we have both moved to i3s. All had sporty bucket seats except the i3. I’m recovering from long Covid, part of which caused the loss of use in my legs due to covid atrophy. I would experience severe back pain daily, however none of this was related to the i3, which with its heated seats made the journey an absolute breeze.

 

When the sun finally came out we were using the air-con and this only reduced the range by 3 miles. We fitted 4 small cases across the boot with a granny charger (and gifts) in the frunk. I even brought a 3D printer home and half a bakery’s worth of stotties. We were stopped at security returning home on the boat for a spot check and the security guards jaw dropped at the load capacity of the i3 when I opened it. He didn’t know where to start, laughed and said, “On you go sir”.

 

In terms of safety features, some reprobate in a CHR pulled out into a roundabout in front of us with virtually no time to spare. The collision assistance anticipated it and stopped the car some milliseconds ahead of my own reactions, phenomenal. My main criticism would be other drivers taking the space of my two second gap I like to keep. I’d do the trip again in a heartbeat.

 

BMW i3 REx 2015, Alan Darrah - Living with an EV: Bangor, Northern Ireland to Middlesbrough Road trip report

 

Road trip conclusion
I thoroughly enjoyed it and noted a lot of vacant chargers whilst on the east coast, even though we didn’t avail of them. We even got gutsy on the way back and just steamed on through, arriving home with 2 miles range without anxiety. I had more anxiety driving my 4L V8 M3, which at best did 21 MPG. The cost savings were huge, nearly £200 in fuel savings vs my girlfriends SEAT Cupra.

 

See other road trip reports here

 

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