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.
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.