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BMW i4 Range Test : 600km on one charge in Singapore

Derryn Wong
11/04/2022
2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 - CarBuyer Singapore - front night shot at Gardens by the Bay

BMW’s i4 EV sedan delivered seriously impressive range figures in Singapore without the need for extreme measures, even outgunning the Tesla Model 3 


SINGAPORE –

Here’s a question we’ve been wanting answered for some time: How far can a BMW i4 really go? 

It’s an important one because in our testing, we’ve found that BMW’s fifth-generation electric drive technology is very impressive when it comes to efficiency. But BMW also does claim that the i4 can do ‘up to 590km’ on a single charge – and in our experience when it comes to e-range, manufacturer’s claims are a little out of reach for normal people driving normally. 
That’s why we put it to the test, and came away shocked pleasantly surprised.



What can i(4) really do? 

2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 - CarBuyer Singapore - side exterior shot, daytime

We first got to grips with BMW’s new-gen electric drive tech in the BMW iX3, the electric version of the X3 SUV. Recall that BMW took an early lead in the electric race with the i3, back in 2014, then promptly released nothing for seven years until the iX3 in 2021. 

However it’s made up time in a big way. As mentioned in our first impressions, and subsequently confirmed in our full review, the iX3 went straight to the head of the pack thanks to its keen pricing and long range. 

That we certainly didn’t expect, but even in the flagship iX, an EV one size larger than the iX3, BMW’s tech didn’t disappoint with the car able to deliver 400km of range per charge easily, in addition to all its fancy features. 



Charge rule 

2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 - CarBuyer Singapore - rear elevated shot

It all set the stage for high expectations from the BMW i4. It met those expectations in terms of driving dynamics, as our test drive showed, and we expected even more from it in efficiency. After all, there’s a reason that the i4, the Tesla Model 3, and Polestar 2 all share the fastback bodystyle – it’s the more aerodynamic shape, especially compared to an SUV. 

Ju-Len was able to squeeze 17.6kWh/100km from 200km of driving, and we thought we could easily beat that. But the key thing was not to surpass him – easy, given his driving style – but to see how far an i4 driver could expect to go in Singapore. 

With that in mind, and a weekend with the i4, we set the conditions: Having got (most) of our hooning, I mean proper road testing out of the way in our first go with the car, I would try to concentrate on going further rather than faster. 

2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 - CarBuyer Singapore - aerodynamic wheels
  1. All driving was done in Eco Pro mode – power delivery is blunted slightly, air conditioning is turned down.
  2. No gratuitous acceleration 
  3. Air-conditioning on manual, temperature 21 to 23 degrees, fan speed two
  4. Route: No focus only on highways, but real life usage. The final mix of roads was approximately 70/30 highway/A-roads to urban slow stuff. 
  5. Driving around 5 to 10 percent below the speed limit, in the second lane on highways 

In other words, I didn’t want to torture myself by hypermiling at painfully slow speeds while drafting big lorries with the air conditioning off – I wanted to test what an efficiency-minded, regular driver would get from the i4 under relatively realistic Singaporean conditions. 

All the roadrunning

2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 - CarBuyer Singapore - on the road rolling shot

The i4 is very easy to drive, and it’s extremely quiet. The only noise/comfort niggles are that the ride does get jiggly over bad road surfaces, though in this respect it’s not as bad as the 3 Series sedan was in 330i M Sport trim. 

Our first half of the whole journey saw the i4 coming out very strong on frugality. Most of the journeys were on off-peak highways which are the best for efficiency – in 210km the i4 showed a consumption of just 13.3kWh/100km. Good news for owners who have a simple highway commute and live relatively near an entry/exit – with the car’s 80.7kWh usable battery capacity, that translates to 606.7km of theoretical range on one charge. 

2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 - CarBuyer Singapore - trip computer range

The impressive thing was that these weren’t solo, 70km/h on-the-highway journeys – some were done with three occupants, another with two adults and a hefty portable air-conditioner. Early April 2022’s weather has been, to put it simply, shite and with my home AC on the fritz, I even considered sleeping in the car. That would have been a real possibility in the iX3, less so the i4 with its smaller rear space. 

Countdown to from extinction

2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 - CarBuyer Singapore - trip computer

Up to the 210km mark we were doing exceptionally well, at least until I decided I really needed to experience the i4’s lovely handling once more on Sunday morning, with Sport mode and not holding back on the lashings of energy. That lasted less than 10km, but heavy-footedness put a huge dent in my hard-earned efficiency score, raising it to nearly 15.5kWh/100km. 

We took it easy the rest of the journey, and that eventually brought the score back down to 14.7kWh/100km over a total distance of 288km. Calculating once again, that would give us 546km on a single charge. 

i on and on

2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 - CarBuyer Singapore - cockpit

In the luxury segment, we haven’t seen an EV better 14kWh/100km consistently – this includes Mercedes-EQ EQC, the Jaguar I-Pace, and models of the Audi E-Tron range. Still, they’re all capable of 300km-ish per charge, which is plenty for any Singaporean driver.

We haven’t done similar test runs with similarly-shaped fastback sedans – namely the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2  – but our non-rigorous testing has shown these can average around 300km with normal, non-eco driving.

Counting our pre-blitz score of 13.3kWh/100km, that’s a theoretical range of 606km on one full charge, or more than enough for a return trip to Malacca.



Could they be as efficient as the i4 if driven frugally? Possibly, but we haven’t had the chance to do so in Singapore. Tesla’s official quote for the Model 3 is 448km for the Standard Range Plus and 547km for the Performance Dual Motor. A local Tesla Model 3 driver clocked 350km on local roads in the Standard Range using 95 percent of the battery, at 70/30 highway/urban roads. 

The record for a Model 3 in proper hypermiling (no AC, tinted windows, slow speed) is more than 900km – so reaching 70 percent of that distance in these circumstances is certainly no mean feat for the i4.

Do it yourself 

Eco Pro does some of the work of making extra range for you

Also keep in mind before we went all Ju-Len on things and did our sporty run with the car, it was averaging sub-14.0kWh/100km, which is consistently the most efficient we’ve seen from any luxury EV here in Singapore. Counting our pre-blitz score of 13.3kWh/100km, that’s a theoretical range of 606km on one full charge, or more than enough for a return trip to Malacca. 

Where we feel the BMW pulls ahead is in ‘doing it for you’ – what can you do if you’re hopeless at driving efficiently? Eco Pro mode helps things along, and there’s also an eco driving score to tell you if you’re on the right side of history with your right foot. 

2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 - CarBuyer Singapore - rear 3/4 shot

With fast chargers now available at many spots around the island, range anxiety has become an antiquated fear, unless you want to do weird stuff like drive to Penang – but some people have already done that. In any case, the thing to note is that i4 eDrive40 is a particularly efficient EV. If you’re looking for an electric car that can go the distance, we think it’s the current range champion here to date. 


Tags:

bmw BMW i edrive40 electric EV i4 range test sedan

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong

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