2014 BMW i3: Battery Discharges While Stopped?
August 20, 2015
Hopping into our long-term 2014 BMW i3 after someone else has been driving it is always a bit of an adventure. Did they plug it in? When? Did they remember to tap the card so the charging actually works? Am I going to be able to make it home without that silly gas engine?
So while I was expecting something to happen, this wasn't even on my radar.
I hopped in, pressed the start button and got this warning: "Battery discharging while stopped: Start engine. If fault persists, consult service center." (There's also a funny little navigation/locator thing wondering if we're still in Los Angeles, but that's not the point)
At the time, the range indicator read normal. It was full and had 62 miles of range which quickly shot to 68 miles once I started driving. I drove home, parked and crossed my fingers that all of the electrons would stay in their cages overnight. Or that they wouldn't; that'd make a nifty blog post.
Unfortunately (fortunately?) the next morning came and the car had four miles more range than when I turned it off the night before. Go figure.
We'll keep an eye on this one, but for now the only real takeaway is that EV range estimations are still in their infancy while we've got some 100-plus years of getting it right with tanks full of liquid propellant. I'm very much looking for some consistency in 2115.
Mike Magrath, Features Editor