It was the BMW i4 M50's turn for the InsideEVs 70 MPH range test this week. As we do with all of our 70 mph range tests, we fully charged a 2022 BMW i4 M50, hopped out onto the highway, and drove it at a steady 70 mph until the battery was just about fully exhausted.
There are two versions of the BMW i4; the rear-wheel-drive i4 eDrive40 and the all-wheel-drive i4 M50. We had the high-performance AWD i4 M50, fitted with the 20" wheel option. It's important to mention the specific tire and wheel combination on the vehicles we range test because the range can be affected greatly by the wheel size and the tires used.
The vehicle we had was fitted with the largest, most aggressive wheels & tires that BMW offers, and thus, has the lowest EPA range rating of any i4. With the 20" wheel option, the i4 M50 has a combined EPA range rating of 227 miles per charge.
Unfortunately, the EPA stopped listing the highway and city range ratings, so we only have the combined rating to compare with our results. We suspect the highway rating would have been 5-8% less than the combined rating, placing it around 210-215 miles.
We ended the range test with the i4 in turtle mode and the pedal response was sluggish so we believe we were very close to fully draining the usable capacity. We were able to drive 239 miles; 237 at 70 mph, and the final 2 miles at lower speeds after exiting the highway to navigate to the Electrify America charging station.
All versions of the i4 have an 83.9 kWh battery, of which 81.5 kWh is usable. We finished up the range test with a consumption rating of 2.9 mi/kWh (21.38 kWh/100km). However, BMW only displays one number beyond the decimal point, and 2.9 x 81.5 equals 236 miles, three less than what we traveled. Therefore, we suspect the final consumption rate was most likely about 2.95 mi/kWh, which would take us to 240 miles.
We've reached out to BMW and requested a loan of an i4 eDrive40 with the 18" wheels. That version has the highest EPA range rating of 301 miles. We're hoping to repeat the range test with one of those sometime soon.
|Segment Of The Test||Average Efficiency||Miles driven||Total Miles|
|100% to 75%||2.8 mi/kWh||56||56|
|75% to 50%||2.9 mi/kWh||60||116|
|50% to 25%||2.9 mi/kWh||57||173|
|25% to 0%||2.9 mi/kWh||66||239|
About our range tests
We want to make it clear our range tests aren't perfect. There are variables simply out of our control like wind, traffic, and weather. However, we do our best to control what we can.
We always set the tires to the manufacturer's recommended pressure, crosscheck the speedometer with a GPS for accuracy and place the vehicle in eco-driving mode (in the case of the i4 that's called "Eco Pro Mode". We DC fast charge the vehicle up to 100 percent, reset the trip meter, and enter the highway either immediately or within a couple of miles. We then drive at a constant 70 mph and in long loops so we end up either where we started, or very close by.
Driving conditions, temperature, and topography will affect an EVs driving range and our 70-mph range tests serve only as a guideline of approximately what you should expect if you drive the same EV under similar conditions.