This series of EV-related articles is brought to you by ClipperCreek powered by Enphase. ClipperCreek has been a pioneer in the EV charging market since 2006 with Level 2 AC charging stations. You can catch our first three articles here: Buying Your First BMW EV, BMW EV Ownership: Terminology, Charging, and Battery Health and How To Get Tax Rebates for Installing a Home EV Charger.
Planning a long trip as a BMW EV owner has its fair share of hurdles. Even though range anxiety isn’t quite as relevant today as in the past, nobody wants to run out of power, least of all in the middle of a road trip. These are some of our tips for ensuring you plan – and complete – your next road trip in your BMW EV.
Begin the Trip From Home and Precondition Often
No matter how far or long you plan to drive, starting the trip from home – fully charged up – is always a best practice. It may seem like common sense, but beginning the trip from home and preconditioning the battery will ensure maximum range and predictable consumption throughout the trip.
We covered preconditioning in the last article, but it’s so important that it can’t be overstated. Preconditioning your battery not only guarantees you’ll get the maximum range but also extends the life of your battery. If you’re planning overnight trips, do the extra bit of research and end up at a hotel with charging stations – not just to recharge but also to reap the benefits of preconditioning.
Know Your Charge and Think Ahead
The best way to plan any trip in an EV is to simply remain aware of how much juice the battery has at any given time. This can be easier said than done if you work from home or only drive occasionally. Incorporating a charging routine (if you don’t or can’t charge at home) isn’t a bad idea and ensures that your BMW EV remains in a predictable state of charge – so surprise trips, short or long, don’t become a headache.
Use Your On-Board Navigation
All modern BMW vehicles – including the BMW EV lineup – will adjust energy consumption and optimize your range based on the active destination entered into the navigation system. With map data like topography and traffic information, the vehicle will rely on the navigation system and “plan” for that course and use energy and regenerative braking accordingly. Even if you’re using a separate device for navigation, inputting your next destination – or entire trip – into the iDrive navigation is a useful tool that will optimize your driving range.
Use an App
BMW EVs benefit from the MyBMW app – which updates and tracks your battery level in real-time. That’s convenient, but there are better options out there if you’re looking to plan a long trip. Plugshare, ChargeHub, and others provide this service and include a Google Maps-powered trip planner function. BMW has one too, but it doesn’t quite work as well as the others – here’s hoping they get it operational sooner rather than later.