Mode 3 Type 2 charging and cable

Mode 3 type 2 charging is semifast and ranges between 3.7kW (16A single phase) to 22kW (32A three phases). The current i3 can charge single phase 32A (7.4 kW) and will fill a flat battery in about 3 hours. The new 2017 version will be able to charge three phases at 11 kW but since the battery is bigger it will still be about three hours to a full battery.

Until recently I have never used mode 3 charging. I have not even owned a cable. The reason is that I still find the standard charger to be sufficient for overnight charging and when I occasionally need to top the car up during long drives I do not find mode 3 fast enough and use CCS rapid charger at 50kW instead.

So why buy the EUR 250 mode 3 cable? Well there could be some reasons. In my case I need to drive in an area where there are no CCS chargers. I also see that some commuters with 100km or more one way may need to charge at a faster pace at work.

Also, there are many mode 3 charging stations still for free and if you have the time this could sometimes be preferred. Finally, there are many more type 2 outlets than CCS and they are often placed in parking garages and outside shopping malls. If you need to charge and shop a mode 3 top up may actually be more time efficient than first running your shopping errands and then do a separate CCS charge at an awkward location.

An advice for cable buyers is to buy a high quality cable but not better than you need since it will only be clumsy. The current i3 can only charge single phase so do not buy a cable for three phases. Some very brief research showed that the cable BMW is selling is reasonably priced. Still it is the most expensive cable I have ever purchased.

Mode 3 type 2 cable

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18 thoughts on “Mode 3 Type 2 charging and cable

  1. Vi bor i Hedemora och åkte för att hämta vår i3 REX i Solna, januari 2016, kalkylerade att ladda i Enköping på hemvägen. Väl på plats upptäckte via att laddstolpen inte hade kopplad kabel och kollade lite snabbt med säljaren som DÅ upplyste oss om att kabel köps separat. Lite surt att upptäcka det då. Laddade på MAX och körde sista biten hem på “bensin”. Nu idag finns Clever i Enköping med snabbladdare.

    1. Hi Tommy,

      You live in an area that I know has had few rapid chargers in the past. Finally, there is one in Enköping. As there are now also CCS rapid chargers in Sala, Fagersta, Ludvika, Borlänge, Falun, Sandviken, Tierp I think you will have little use of your Type 2 cable, but there can of course be a situation when it becomes very valuable. I had such a moment when I drove our BEV to Västerås and the (then) only rapid charger was out of order (despite green status on I was lucky to get some help from ABB with a long, proud past in Västerås and a known manufacturer of excellent CCS chargers 🙂

  2. Vilka kablar leverades en BMW i3’a med om man har köpt den med snabbladdning i 2014? Har precis köpt en från 2014 med 4U7 FAST CHARGING DC / 4U8 FAST CHARGING AC.

    Tack 🙂

    1. Hi Simon,

      Congrats to the i3!

      The i3 is only delivered with the standard charger. No Type 2 or othet charging cables. As I wrote in the post the need for other cables is very limited and I never used nor owned one the first two years. All CCS chargers obviously have fixed cables.

      Ther has been a lot of speculation about second hand value of the i3. May I ask what you paid for your 2014? BEV/REX? Milage?

  3. Off topic – a litle: is there a way to measure how much Mains electricity is used to replenish the battery when using the standard charger?
    I would like to track how much AC energy I am using each night. I did not know if the car measured this, and if it kept history.
    I just purchased my used 2014 i3 and I am curious how much kW and $ I am spending. I plan to charge for free at work, and maybe use home AC for the weekend. (I am lucky). I
    want to measure per week/month, so I can calculate $ spent on car charging.

    1. Hi Walter,
      the battery is 18 kWh and there are probably some losses in the charging, but i recall seeing somewhere that it is not much.

  4. Hej!
    Har precis beställt en i3 (94ah) utan räckviddsförlängare. Beräknar inte att vi kommer att behöva förläggaren eftersom vi har två bilar i familjen. Funderar bara på om någon testat att ladda sin i3 med hjälp av ett litet portabelt elverk? Kan det användas som nödlösning om man skulle vilja ge sig ut och testa räckvidden?
    /Anders J.

    1. skaffar du ett elverk på
      10a så får du ju in ca 2,5kw/h vilket ju då vorde betyda att du kommer ca 1,5 mil per timme med elverket. Så är man orolig för att bli stående någon km så funkar det kanske, men det är ju ingen lösning för större avstånd än 1-2 mil…

      1. Fick bilen i förrgår o igår var vi ute på en 18-milatur. Fanns gott om marginal efter 9 mil (61%), så något elverk blir det nog inte 🙂
        /Anders J.

        1. Congrats!
          Wise to skip the ideas of a separate power generator. Any power outlet along the road would be better and if you need to charge more quickly, then the network of rapid chargers is now decent enough in Southern Sweden that it would be a far better option.

  5. Hej! Nu har jag köpt en begagnad i3 Rex 2015.
    Nu befarar jag att det inte går att snabbladda den. Är det så illa att det är ett tillval att kunna snabbladda den? Det finns nämligen bara “standardkabel” när jag ska välja på menyn.

    1. Hi Anders,

      Yes, fast charging is an option called 4U7 and 4U8. The option comes at around 15 000 SEK but I do not believe it can be retrofitted.

      1. Tråkigt! Eller mycket tråkigt kanske man ska säga. Så går det när man köper bilen av en Peugeot handlare. De visste ingenting om den.
        Det går alltså inte att uppdatera detta? Mycket konstigt kan jag tycka.
        Med så mycket teknik i bilen borde det väl gå.
        Jag som köpt en sladd för 2500kr
        Hur löser man detta då? Köpa en ny i 3 kanske.

        1. Hi

          First make sure if you have 4U7/4U8 or not. I am sure BMW will be able to tell you. If you do not have then your cable is not purchased in vain since you need it to charge at many mode 3 type 2 stations. However I believe the charging will then be limited to 3.7kW/16A.

          With the REX I would say the need for rapid charging is lower then with the BEV. Before you take any drastic actions think (or test) how often you take longer trips that are outside the battery range. Most charging is done at slow pace over night and it is only the occasional longer trips that require extra power. You have that in the REX.

          1. Tack för ett snabbt och utförligt svar.
            Jag åker sällan långt men om jag skulle åka till tex Stockholm (28 mil) så hjälper ju bensinmotorn mig att komma fram och sen får jag ladda över natten. Men hur nyttigt är det att åka för långt på ett batteri med låg laddning som endast hålls upp av bensinmotorn? Låt oss säga att jag åker 100 mil i ett sträck som jag gjorde förra sommaren med en bensinare.

          2. Hi,

            The REX is designed to run on battery and then gas when there is no power left in the batteries, so that should not be a problem.

  6. Hi,
    Not exactly subject of this post, but You guys seem to have experience and knowledge, so I ask anyway.
    Considering buying EVSE for my work and home and wondering that is there a point to buy right away 3phase EVSE, despite the fact that i3 (2014mod.) is capable of only 1phase charging. I assume future EVs will benefit from 3phase charging, or am I wrong?

  7. I bought the fast-charge cable, along with my 1-year old i3 REX, as quite a number of UK public charging stations don’t have fixed cables. In just 10 days ownership, I’ve needed to use the cable twice.

    I’m delighted with the car, and am using enough of its sprightly performance to be getting just 4miles/kWh…


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