BMW has returned to the overheating problem of its BMW i4 M50 electric car. We take this opportunity to take stock of the competition: the Tesla Model 3 Performance and Porsche Taycan and their overheating problem in extreme use.
The offending BMW i4 M50 is presently being analyzed through BMW Norway. In any case, electric-powered BMWs, and particularly the i4, are designed to guard the battery withinside the occasion of excessive temperatures. However, it is more likely that the German company will provide a software update to improve cooling, if possible. Another solution would be to keep the battery temperature higher, which risks degrading the battery very quickly, or even too quickly. The final solution may undergo a hardware modification, but will not be deployable on already produced models.
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The German manufacturer also told us that an individual driving an i4 eDrive 40 would have suffered a similar inconvenience during the heat wave. Finally, journalists trying out the BMW i4 M50 on the circuit would also have had the right to a temporary drop in performance. The BMW i4 is not alone in this case. We remember our colleagues’ “extreme” test from the Argus with the Porsche Taycan on the Nürburgring circuit, during which the German sports car had suffered major performance losses due to a trip to drive there 500 km punctuated by quick charges. The Tesla Model 3 Performance did barely better on the same exercise, with less reduction in performance.
For these last two cars, it is an extreme use: a long journey followed by a session on a very demanding circuit. For BMW, it is a question of a “simple” road trip of 1,000 km without exceeding 130 km / h on the highway. Therefore, we hope this behavior is abnormal and will be fixed.
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The first electric-powered BMW M, the BMW i4 M50, was prone to erratic behavior over long distances. Indeed, its maximum capacity is halved, and the charging time on the fast terminal is extended.
Long journeys in electric cars aren’t always easy, and the experience varies greatly from model to model, as we recently analyzed on our Paris-Marseille trip. We studied long journeys with the 340hp BMW i4 eDrive 40, which theoretically performs quite well against the competition. But that is not counting the training, with the journey of 1,000 km across Norway, on the highway, by the famous Youtuber Bjørn. In his latest video, the Norwegian tested the BMW i4 in the 544hp M50 version, and not everything went as planned..
Indeed, two major problems emerged during the Norwegian road trip. During that time, the Youtuber made a number of quick charge stops: four in total. After the first stop, which allowed him to exceed 200 kW of charging capacity when leaving, the driver was pleasantly surprised by the extremely low engine power even though the battery was almost full. Therefore, when accelerating, BMW no longer offers 544 horsepower as originally, but only less than half. Too bad for a car bearing the M50 name in relation to the German manufacturer’s powerful Motorsport division.
A LOADING SPEED ALSO LOWER
The second problem, the cause of which seems to be similar to the first, is the recharge speed. If it did reach the maximum power of 200 kW, it quickly plummeted to reach 64 kW at 46% load instead of the 125 kW planned in theory—the reason: poor heat management within the battery, which prevents it from being recharged and discharged quickly. After 25 minutes of freeway driving, full power to the car returned. During the second charging stop, the car did not even exceed 200 kW of charging to stop at a maximum of 150 kW.
TOWARDS A RAPID GATE FOR THE BMW I4 M50?
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It would therefore seem that the BMW i4, particularly the M50 version, suffers from a problem managing the battery’s temperature. We hope the software can regulate this, but nothing is less certain. We have contacted BMW France to find out more and will update this news as soon as we have an answer.
Despite its degraded charging power, the BMW i4 M50 does quite well, completing the 1,000 km journey at 9:40 a.m. (taking into account charging stops) compared to 9:20 a.m. for its little sister, the BMW i4 eDrive 40, and 9:15 a.m. for the Tesla Model 3 Performance.