Must Stop Using Google - 2014 BMW i3 Long-Term Road Test

2014 BMW i3: Must Stop Using Google

July 28, 2015

2014 BMW i3

I like driving our long-term 2014 BMW i3 and I can't really explain why. I think it's a combination of the size, the driving position, the aggressive regenerative braking as you let off the accelerator pedal and the knowledge of its carbon-fiber-intensive structure. Whatever it is, I find myself looking for ways to fit it into my life.

I live 20 miles from our office, so over the course of a long weekend, I was looking for an opportunity to top up the battery pack. There's free charging near me at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, but I have a toddler so I don't have the luxury of going somewhere to sit and wait unless there's a playground. Instead, I wanted to charge the i3 while shopping for produce at the South Pasadena Farmers Market.

So I poked around on Google Maps and found a charging location at an upscale grocery store (Bristol Farms). I figured I'd I plug in there, and then my daughter and I would take the stroller to the farmers market.

Of course, I figured wrong.

2014 BMW i3

Sure enough, there was a nice spot set aside for charging an EV in the Bristol Farms parking garage. At least I'm sure it was nice on September 8, 1997, when "N.G." last inspected it.

2014 BMW i3

This is an old inductive charger from the first wave of electric cars in California. If I had an original Toyota RAV4 EV, I could use it. Or, I could if the charging unit was actually turned on. It appears not to be.

We still went to the farmers market. But after this disappointment, I got serious and downloaded the Plugshare app. Turns out there's pretty much no place to charge in South Pasadena. But there are many locations in Pasadena.

Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 6,803 miles

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2014 BMW i3 Research