BMW i8 with temporary tags
The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid is very rare on the roads. It’s expensive and therefore sells in small quantities. Prices start at $147,000, with a typical selling price of $175,000 once options are added. As of August 2019 only 6,448 BMW i8’s have been sold in the US since deliveries began five years ago in August 2014. Given its high price the i8 doesn’t perform particularly well. With a 0-60 of 4.5 seconds I can do better in my Tesla Model 3 AWD. The electric range is just 15 miles as rated by the EPA.
I spotted one at Whole Foods in Franklin TN with temporary tags. It was sold by Gravity Auto an upscale second hand car dealer that sells Lamborghini’s and Rolls Royce’s.
BMW i8 Side profile.
CHAdeMO adapter connected to Model 3
The Model 3 has just gained the ability to use a Tesla to CHAdeMO adapter through a recent firmware update. I have yet to receive firmware version 2019.24.4 that enables the adapter, however a work colleague got the update on his Performance Model 3 and we drove over the Nissan HQ in Franklin TN to test it out.
107A @ 354V
The adapter is rated for a 50 kW charge rate. At Nissan HQ the charge rate was limited to 31 kW due to the 107 amp limit on the CHAdeMO station. The CHAdeMO station reported 107 amps at 354 Volts, which equates to almost 38 kW. Either the car is under reporting the charge rate or there is a 7 kW loss. A 20% loss sounds high, maybe the car under reports the charge rate. 10% SOC was added in 15 minutes of charging, which is about the 30 kW charge rate the car reported.
It will be interesting to see if the full 50 kW charge rate can be achieved at Electrify America charging locations which have modern charging equipment capable of much higher charge rates. Some Model 3 owners have reported that Electrify America stations do not work with the Model 3, whereas EVgo stations do.
The good news is that the CHAdeMO adapter is identical to those used on Model S and X vehicles, the interchangeability is very welcome.
What everyone is really waiting for is the CCS adapter for North America, which should be capable of speeds up to 120 kW and be priced more affordably than the huge CHAdeMO adapter.
Back on April 3rd Sheryl Crow tweeted Elon Musk to complain she was stuck in a parking lot with a black screen. It turned out the screen brightness at night was turned down too low to see.
Sheryl Crow tweet to Elon Musk
Elon promised a software fix for this issue.
Elon”s response to Sheryl Crow
Last night I got the 2019.20.2.1 (Sheryl Crow) update. When I got into my car this evening I could barely make out what was on the screen and reversing was guesswork; the rear-view monitor was so dark. I couldn’t make out street names. I took the screen setting off automatic and set the brightness myself. The car worked just fine on automatic before the Sheryl Crow update. Automatic now turns the screen down to 12% which is way too dark, 40% is more like it. Now I need to tweek my screen brightness as it gets light or dark outside, the automatic feature is no longer of use to me.
Hey Elon can we have a Sheryl Crow button. I’d like to turn that off so my car works as it used to when I bought it back in October 2018. I don’t mind Sheryl having a special little snowflake button just for her, just give me the same screen automatic brightness feature I bought back in October 2018.
PiP charging at Whole Foods.
Toyota’s Prius is a popular Hybrid vehicle. In March 2012 Toyota started selling the Plug-in Prius, affectionately called the PiP. After April 2014, (much to the frustration of potential buyers) Toyota began restricting manufacturing volume of the vehicle and the last PiP was sold in September 2016. In total 42,344 PiP’s were sold in the US.
This is the first time I have seen the PiP in the wild. Here it is charging at the Whole Foods Market in Franklin TN.
PiP from the rear
Toyota now make another plug-in Prius they call the Prius Prime. Sales began in November 2016 and in just over two years the sales have eclipsed the original PiP and currently stand at 56,500 as of April 2019. The PiP must have been a limited pilot program and the Prime is being sold at an average rate of 2,000 units per month.
The all electric range of the PiP and Prime are very meager. The PiP can only manage about 11 miles on a full charge. The Prime can travel about 25 miles on a charge, which is not quite enough to cover the average commute distance of 32 miles return in the US.
The Prime also charges at the rear passenger side of the vehicle just like the PiP. I have never been comfortable with a rear charging port. This is one of things that I dislike about my Model 3, straight parking spaces are easy enough to back into, but space that are at a slanted angle are setup for pull in not reverse in and its very awkward reversing into a slanted space.
Prius Prime rear charge port is awkward.
Whole Foods Gift Card issued in compensation for parking lot ding
I am pleased that Whole Foods have decided to compensate me for the parking lot ding I received a several weeks ago. Sentry Mode on my Tesla recorded how my car was hit by a rogue shopping cart. I reached out to Whole Foods via their website to report the incident and provide them with the video evidence of the shopping cart hitting my car.
It was a Hail-Mary attempt at compensation. In truth I expected a “Cars are left at owners risk” response. I received a phone call within two hours of reporting the incident by a manager at the store and was promised follow-up by Gallagher Bassett a 3rd party administrator who handle Whole Foods damage claims. I was contacted on Monday, the first business day following my report by a “Resolution Associate” at Gallagher Bassett and the process took a few weeks of emailing back and forth. The outcome was to my satisfaction, I was offered $100 in Whole Foods gift cards to cover the cost of the $55 Tesla Paint Repair Kit I purchased to repair the ding. Not once did I feel that Whole Foods were trying to dodge their responsibility and the whole process was virtually friction free. I get free lunch for the next few weeks 🙂
I frequent Whole Foods at lunchtime to get lunch and utilize their free EV charging and free WiFi while I eat and shop. I wish more merchants would offer free EV charging, its the main reason I choose Whole Foods as the place to get lunch. We both win thanks to this arrangement and I am especially pleased they take good care of their customers should an incident occur. I will continue to eat at Whole Foods at lunch and recommend to others Whole Foods as a great place to get lunch and groceries. As an Amazon Prime customer I frequently get discounts on sandwiches I buy there.
Over the winter the efficiency of the Model 3 was nothing to write home about. The resistance heater while effective uses a lot of electricity. Now the weather has warmed up the more efficient air conditioner is being used and the efficiency of the Model 3 is way better than I ever got from our LEAF.
Incredible efficiency on commute home
The best summer efficiency in the LEAF I achieved was about 4.5 miles/kWh or 222 Wh/mile. By comparison today the Model 3 achieved 5.8 miles/kWh or 173 Wh/mile. What makes this more remarkable is that I drive the Model 3 about 5-10 miles per hour faster than the LEAF, speed reduces efficiency. The Model 3 is rated for 245 Wh/Mile so I should be able to exceed the rated range of 310 miles per charge by a wide margin, it works out to be about 440 miles.
The cars lifetime efficiency is 281 Wh/mile or 3.6 miles/kWh. I think this will improve as the year goes on. I imagine efficiency will drop slightly in mid summer as the amount of air conditioning required will increase.
Damage to passenger door due to shopping cart impact.
Following a ding in a parking lot I purchased Tesla’s paint repair kit to touch up rather than go through a body repair for what was a small ding. I am pleased with the results, the ding is much less noticeable and the metal is no longer exposed and subject to corrosion.
The kit provides a simple two step process to restore your paint finish. I ended up putting two coats of paint on the damaged area, after the first coat their were lighter shades of blue visible due to the paint being too thinly applied.
Final paint repair
The process is simple. First you clean the car normally and then clean the damaged area with alcohol to be sure it is really clean and any wax or coatings are removed. Then you apply the paint using the brush provided. After the paint gets tacky you use a blending solution provided to remove excess paint. Due to the nature of the damage I ended up with almost no excess paint so skipped the second step altogether. The final step is to rub the repair with the supplied microfiber cloth and you are finished.
If you look carefully the surface of the paint is not smooth, this is due to the metal being rough due to the damage. This is a paint repair kit, not a body repair kit. A smooth finish can only be achieved by sanding the area perfectly smooth which would result in a body repair process. The ding is markedly less noticeable and the metal is now protected against the elements.
It wasn’t clear how to clean the brush, so I used the blending solution to clean the brush.
Everything laid out. It is advisable to have something on the ground to put the paint repair components on
I have a small chip on the hood, so will tackle that next time I wash the car. The kit is overpriced at $55, however the paint match was very good.
Tesla Paint Repair Kit.