The BMW i4 M50 has been once again tested in Bjørn Nyland's 1,000 km challenge, but this time in summer weather conditions, revealing some overheating issues.
The BMW i4 M50 is a strong contender, which in February (at 5°C) was able to cover the distance in 10 hours and 10 minutes.
In the summer, results were expected to be better (especially after the range test) and the M50 does not disappoint. However, the results are not as good as in the case of the BMW i4 eDrive40 version (9 hours and 20 minutes).
According to the video, the BMW i4 M50 completed a distance of 1,000 km (over 621 miles), at an average temperature of 26°C, in 9 hours and 40 minutes (after some time deductions).
It's 30 minutes faster than in the winter and 20 minutes slower than the rear-wheel drive eDrive40 version, which is more energy efficient (and tested at 18°C).
During the challenge, the car was charged a total of four times along the way (5-6 is a typical number of stops for the challenge). After the initial 360 km (224 miles), the average distance between charging stops was 160 km (99 miles).
The 1,000 km challenge is a unique test (optimized for time rather than convenience), which expands our empirical knowledge about EVs and gives us glimpses of what is physically possible by an experienced driver in a country with dense DC fast charging infrastructure.
In terms of energy consumption, according to the video, the average consumption amounted to 229 Wh/km (368 Wh/mile). It appears to be the main reason why the M50 requires more time to complete the challenge than the slightly more efficient (by roughly 9%) eDrive40 version.
But it's not the only finding. One of the most striking things is reported overheating of the battery system during long-distance travel and frequent fast charging, which causes two things: the power output might be limited (by more than 50%) and the charging output might be limited.
Bjørn Nyland reported hampered power output and acceleration after the first charging stop. About 21 minutes later, the power recovered. Nonetheless, it was kind of disappointing, considering that the M50 is a performance version of the car.
As we can see at the second charging stop, the power output was significantly lower than normal (below 150 kW, instead of around 200 kW).
There is a theory that the main reason behind this is an insufficient cooling system, shared between the battery and the cabin. To minimize the issue, Bjørn Nyland tried to turn off the air conditioning when fast charging and simply opened the windows.
Limiting the use of the A/C in the cabin appears to help a bit, but the acceleration might be temporarily cut in half or more (peak output) even then.
In other words, it seems that BMW has some homework to do for further generations of its electric cars - at least if the company does not want to compromise the performance during extensive use.
Test conditions (according to Bjørn Nyland):
- Start: 100% State of Charge (SOC)
- Temperatures: 19-31°C (26°C on average)
- Total time: 9 hours and 40 minutes
- Average speed (total): 103.4 km/h (64 mph)
- Average energy consumption: 229 Wh/km (368 Wh/mile)
- Number of stops for charging: 4
- Average distance between charging stops:
Total: 200 km (124 miles)
Excluding the initial segment: 160 km (99 miles)
- Date / Notes: 13.08.2022
- after 360 km (224 miles)
- after 510 km (317 miles)
- after 660 km (410 miles)
- after 812 km (505 miles)