It has done a few road trips in its time.
As the world realizes the damage global warming is doing to mother earth, legislators are scurrying to try and fix the damage done to the environment. Electric vehicles are part of the rescue plan. Most manufacturers are making the switch over to EVs, and BMW plans to double its EV sales in 2022. Its current EV lineup includes the i4, the iX, and until recently, the baby of the bunch, the BMW i3, which was discontinued in the US after a fairly long run in the market. The i3 is BMW's first mass-produced zero-emissions vehicle, and elsewhere in the world is still going strong is proving that humans can form long-term relationships with EVs. A South African i3 owner has just crossed the 187,000-mile mark (301,998 km), proving if it can be done in SA, EVs can work just about anywhere.
Shaun Maidment bought his BMW i3 in 2016, and has since then covered an impressive amount of ground, and it is believed that his i3 is the highest mileage version in Africa. Shaun's i3 has been on some serious road trips, and he even managed to complete a trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town (about 870 miles) before the idea of a fast-charging network even existed in South Africa. There's a slight caveat in that his i3 is fitted with a small gas-powered range extender, but with an EPA range of only 150 miles, been in this form, Shaun had to stop at a ton of roadside shops to beg and plead for some electric juice, and finally managed to complete the trip in five days.
After 300,000 km, you'd think that the battery pack in this little BMW would be toast, but contrary to popular belief, modern electric vehicles have some pretty good thermal management, and the 60 Ah, 21.6 kWh battery in Shaun's i3 has proven to be extremely hardy. With a usable capacity of 18.8 kWh, his battery still has an impressive 85 percent of its original capacity left. BMW has since upgraded the i3's battery to a 42.2 kWh unit, extending its range to 126 miles on electricity and 200 with the range extender.
What makes Shaun's feat even more impressive is that South Africa doesn't have a strong EV recharging infrastructure. Shaun is aiming to change that, and currently heads up Breev Africa, a company dedicated to charging infrastructure across the continent, starting in Southern Africa.
An EV might not be perfect for all situations, but Shaun has proven that it is possible to run one for long periods of time.