New in i3 software update 15-11-504

The software upgrade rolled out to all BMW i3 includes some new useful functionality. As reported in the post First service after two years the software in our i3 was recently upgraded to version 15-11-504. The main differences compared to version 1407 we previously had are:

  • New regeneration behaviour
  • Warning if charging socket flap is open
  • State of charge (SOC) displayed as percentage
  • Increased range

New regeneration behaviour

The i3 has strong regen when the accelerator is lifted. The first time you drive an i3 this will be regarded as strange and awkward, as reported by many testers and journalists. However it will not take long before you love the one pedal driving.

In the new software version something has been changed. The regen is still strong but there are occasions when there is no regen at, like the car is put in neutral, and the surprise when this happens is very unpleasant. You would expect the regen to behave the same way all the time.

Warning if charging socket flap is open 

It does not happen often but I have actually used the car a few time without properly closing the flap over the charging socket. No big deal, but if it is raining outside I may leave you with some problems. The new software version puts a big warning on the display inside the car when the flap is open. BMW obviously had a sensor there all the time and I am glad they now use it.

State of charge (SOC) displayed as percentage

The i3 has always showed the state of charge as blue bars at the bottom of the instrument panel. With the new software version it is also possible to see the same information as a percentage on the instrument display. Press the button on the lever and you can iterate between kilometers, average and current consumption, average speed, outside temperature, time and now also SOC%. This is great and I now also eagerly wait for the battery charge expressed as kWh.


Increased range

When the car was updated in the workshop I was told that the range would increase. This may very well be true, but it is difficult to test. The Guessometer (forecasted range) is not a good way to measure it and the occasions I actually use the full battery capacity for driving is very, very rare. Even when I do there are so many other parameters that impact range that it would be difficult to draw any conclusions. Bottom line is that this is difficult to confirm.

It has been suggested that BMW has increased the usable share of the 22 kWh battery. It has previously been limited to 18.8 kWh to avoid deep discharge and overcharge of the li-ion battery. If this is true it would be interesting to understand how much they have made available for use.

Do I have the latest version?

If you want to know whether you have the latest software version or not the easiest way is to leave the charging socket flap open and start the car. You should then see the warning on the display in the car. You may also download the user profile to a USB stick and open the file in a text editor as reported in the post Accessing the hidden information in your i3.

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13 thoughts on “New in i3 software update 15-11-504

  1. Thanks for your post, out of all the blogs infos I read about i3, this one has by far the best “length to usefulness ratio”, every minute you spend reading it is a minute well spent.

    Now I’m the one writing off topic, sorry about that.

    to your “there are occasions when there is no regen at”, I find the regen a crucial feature of driving pleasure of this car. Is there no way to get further info from BMW on this topic? Maybe the have some reasoning behind this change, although I doubt they will share it with us.

    I purchased the car about year an a half ago, and since then it was never in service shop (as it is 350 km away :-() so I still have the initial software version…and all works quite well, so after reading this, I wander if I want to upgrade it at all. In half a year I will have to take it for the first service, it will be interesting to find out if I can “refuse” to upgrade the soft…

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Zsolt!

      We know that BMW have had problems with the engine spinning over speed bumps and slippery surface and that this has caused stress on the engine mounting screws. These screws are being replaced and the engine software updated.

      Can regen be “bad” in some conditions? As the Nordic driver I am I certainly understand that regen has to be reduced on icy roads. BMW has done this brilliantly and it feels very safe on the winter roads in Stockholm.

      In some other forums I have seen people suggest that it will not regen as hard when the battery is fully charged. Personally I doubt this.

      The loss of regen I have occasionally noticed recently is awkward and I do not see a pattern. Sometimes it is not regenerating as it usually does and it takes me by surprise.

      Since BMW has good reasons to update the software because of engine mounting etc I doubt that you will be able to refuse the update and still claim a valid warranty. Let’s hope they have fixed the small problem I have experienced. I should underline that it is not a big problem, but still.

      1. Yes, the “bumps” thing is well known to me, I’m in Croatia, so bumps are a daily matter :-), but you can learn that and be ready as you know the cause, but now, if there is more, and we do not know the cause, then it will happen unexpectedly and that is bad. Pity

  2. There is currently no proof for increased range. What is proven however is a reduction in usable capqcity shown in the diagnose menu wirh the new software. Also seeing the SOC in % as an exclusive value instead of putting into the display constantly (e.g. Into the energy bar) is no good idea of BMW. The SOC in % and kWh as well as other interesting information should be presented simultaneously in the board computer (center display).

    Unless you have an aggressive driving style (with a chance to break the motor bolts on bumpy roads) i would not recommend to apply this update now.

  3. I had the s/w update in early December and bolts were replaced as a precaution so ‘Thanks BMW!” because it certainly behaved erratically when driven over speed bumps that are ridiculous which is often in the UK…other drivers on the forum have had to have them replaced after the engine has sheared them and it took nearly 2 weeks to sort out apparently.

    The car is much better behaved over bumps now, and yes I miss the aggressive ReGen that has clearly been sacrificed as a consequence, and it probably offsets any ‘alleged’ range increase intended in the s/w, as to be honest it’s not very noticeable, at least in these moderate winter conditions.

    My advice Zsolt, is to get it done and stay up to spec with BMW as we are all to some extent being treated as ‘pioneers/guinea pigs’ (take your pick !) for them with this product, and so far I’ve really truly enjoyed the experience. As a BMW driver for over 28 years it’s made driving so much more fun again…

  4. Hi.
    About the discussion if regen is reduced at some instances i would like to put in a few words.

    I drive 200km everyday to work and home again and have so far done 3500km in 10months and i can say with certainty that if the car is at 100% and i let go of gaspedal i regen at about 10kw/h and the deceleration is much reduced. But i know this and anticapate it. Also when atmosphere/battery is below zero this happens if i havent preconditioned battery beforehand. The maximm regeneration i get is about 75kw/h when battery is below 80-85% and temp of battery is atleast 5 degrees positive.

    On top of that if the car noticeses any instability, like skidding, slippery or spin of wheel it instantly reduce any regen effect fo you to remain in control of vehicle.

    I love this car, and i intend to keep it long after i changed to my second battery… or third….

  5. I got the new software version recently. Two things that I noticed immediately:

    1. A fan under the front of the car runs like crazy during preheating. The first morning after the software upgrade was a bit of a shock. But it is like this every morning, so I suppose they reprogrammed it.

    2. When turning off/stand-by of cruise-control, there is now a few seconds delay before regen kicks in; the car just coasts. This is really nice since one gets enough time to press the accelerator to the wanted position, and the whole procedure is smooth. Previously, one had to guess the right position on the accelerator before turning off cruise control, and when the accelerator was not depressed sufficiently regen started, which resulted in a bit of a stop-and-go experience.

    As Henrik mentioned, the car basically stops regen in case of any instability, but this behaviour existed in the previous software in my car. I would hope that it would only reduced regen a little bit, but it really feels like the regen stops. Perhaps they do not have a good enough feedback from the ABS sensors to modulate the regen instead of turning it off.

    A note on the range: the guess-o-meter behaves slightly differently in the new software. It shows more expected range during my ordinary commute, but I rarely get below 50% SoC. But I took a longer trip on a highway a few days ago, and the range was more-or-less the same as with the old software. Though, it is a bit hard to compare since it was about 5 degrees Celsius colder compared to the same trip I did in December. It was -5°C outside, and I did around 90km distance at 110km/h in EcoPro mode with A/C set to 19°C. I can do 140 km on the same highway when it is around 20°C. The car is great, I only wish I could do 150km irrespective of weather (-10°C – 30°C).

    There are a number of small improvement BMW could do. I tried to send my feedback via e-mail but I have a feeling it never got anywhere. Does anyone here know what is the best way to give them feedback on the car and the remote-app?

  6. Är det så att det alltid bara går att ladda 3,7 kW AC vid publika stolpar även om stolpen har 22 kW effekt? När jag laddar vid DC stolpar och 50 kW fungerar det perfekt med 50kW.

    1. Hi Anders,
      A car with “4U8 Fast charge preparation – AC” will probably always charge at the highest rate possible (I believe 7.4 kW if only using AC). To be honest I have little experience with these chargers as I merely use slow charging at home and occasional rapid chargers (50kW) when in need of a top up.

  7. I have imported my profile from my BMW F11, and now I have a strange “issue”. I can see the SOC in % when using a a different profile than the one loaded from my F11. I’ve been through many settings but can’t really see how the information in the BC can differ?

  8. Have you noticed that regen adjusts to approaching intersections and turnoffs? If you let go of the accelerator pedal when approaching an intersection it will not fully regenerate but increasingly so to put you at a stop exactly where you need to be. Fancy!

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