|Yes, you're reading that correctly. I'm getting anywhere from 150 to 200 miles per charge now!|
|Back for re-programming|
Some of you may remember the news articles about DBM's Kolibri battery. It powered a converted Audi A2 a record setting 282 miles on a single charge. Yes, the battery was almost double the size of the ActiveE's (63kWh compared to 32kWh), but it basically tripled the ActiveE's 90-100 mile range. Well you know BMW isn't going to be one-upped by Audi! BMW and SB-LiMotive have been quietly developing their own "extreme" battery made with the same type of Alpha Polymer that the Kolibri is composed of.
|Hours of reprogramming was necessary|
Many of you already know I have a very good relationship with BMW. As one of the more vocal MINI-E Pioneers and advocate for all plug in cars, I developed a close relationship with the EV program managers. BMW even choose me to be the very first ActiveE customer. So it wasn't surprising when they told me about this new battery test (many months ago) and said when the time came they wanted my car to have the battery transplant if I would agree to it. I would have to agree to have the car remotely monitored 24/7 and bring it in to BMW headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, NJ once a week for visual inspections. In return for my participation and cooperation, my monthly lease payment would be waived from now on. How could I say no?
|Battery tunnel w/o batteries|
|I got 160 miles this charge|
|Fully charged, the needle now goes way passed 100%|
My range has been exceptional so far. I have had to bring it back to BMW a couple of times to try to recalculate the consumption rate and the state of charge meter. They are both way off now because they were calculated for the ActiveE's battery and while BMW had worked to adjust them, they aren't perfect yet. Even my SOC analog gauge is no longer properly calibrated. When I'm fully charged, the needle goes way passed 100%! By the time it goes down to 100%, I've already driven about 50 miles! The best range I've seen so far was 203 estimated miles as seen in the photo at the top of the post. Although I'm typically seeing about 170 miles per charge if I drive normally.
|147 miles and finished with 26% SOC|
Another interesting thing is that this battery charges quicker than the stock ActiveE's. I don't know the actual size in kWhs of this new pack, and even if I did, I probably couldn't say, but I can say the car now fully charges in about three hours from my level 2 EVSEs which is much quicker than it did with the original batteries.
I'll continue to report here on my new "Extreme-ActiveE"(should I rename this blog?) so keep an eye out for the latest updates!
|After 71 miles the state of charge was still at 50%. Depending on temperature and how efficiently I'm driving, I can get up to 200 miles per charge with my new Alpha Polymer batteries. I can't imagine why BMW wouldn't use these in the i3.|
UPDATE- 4/2/12: This post isn't real! It was an April fools post. I hope everyone had some fun with it, sorry to disappoint those that believed it was real. Unfortunately we'll have to wait a bit longer for battery performance of this magnitude, but rest assured it's coming. I've been doing April Fools posts for the past three years now dating back to my time with the MINI-E. If you'd like to see the past April Fools posts you can read them HERE.