5 Clever Lifehacks for BMW i3 Drivers

By Mia Yamauchi

BMW i3 drivers enjoy plenty of perks. The convenience of charging at home, instant electric torque, and the intangible benefits of knowing they own one of the most efficient, innovative EVs ever produced. Check out 5 more lifehacks to get extra utility and enjoyment out of owning a BMW i3.

Drive in the Carpool Lane In These 12 States

HOV Lane freeway
This is an easy one that hopefully everyone knows already. BMW i3 owners in the 12 states below have programs allowing many EV drivers to ride solo in high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, also known as carpool lanes. It feels great to silently fly past sluggish commuter traffic when you’re riding clean in the HOV lane. States that provide opportunities for EV owners to ride in the carpool lane include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah & Virginia.

Use Your i3 As Emergency Home Backup Power

alternative home energy backup system

There are better ways to power home appliances during a blackout.

Breeze through scheduled or unexpected power outages by using your BMW i3 battery as a backup power source for a spare light, your laptop, and other devices. A 12v to 120V inverter gives you two regular home outlets powered by your car. The 2017 i3 battery can keep your laptop and a lamp running for months. It will easily get you through a typical blackout without having to stumble around by candlelight. All without any toxic fumes in your garage.

Get Free DC Fast Charging

BMW i3 Free DC Fast Chargers ChargeNow Network Map Locations

Charging at home is already cheaper than driving on gas in all 50 states. Now i3 owners can save even more on public fast charging. BMW has partnered with charging network EVgo to provide i3 owners with a “plug and play” fast-charging network. And you can charge for free for the first two years of ownership. ChargeNow DC Fast is available in nearly every major US market. Owners or lessees of the i3 can add the free membership to a new or existing ChargeNow account. DC Fast Combo charge stations in the EVgo network can charge a 2017 BMW i3 BEV from 0-80% full in under 30 minutes. Battery charging slows after the 80% point to avoid overcharging and protect battery health.

To find absolutely all fast-chargers (both paid and free) in one place, the crowd-sourced Plugshare app is an EV owner favorite.

Reduce Commute Stress with 1-Pedal Driving


This tip might be more for BMW i3 shoppers than owners because anyone who drives an i3 likely already uses and loves this feature. BMW i3 uses regenerative braking to recoup power that would otherwise be wasted and store it back in the battery. In addition to braking, i3 drivers can also brake slightly and recoup power by simply lifting their foot off the accelerator pedal. In slow-and-go commute situations, i3 drivers can often drive without swapping between brake and acceleration pedals. It’s a small way to smooth out the daily friction that can be part of commuting.

Turn Your i3 Into a Self-Charging Car

Charging at home is easy…but also easy to forget. Just one missed charge can mean having to drive on gas or spend hours of extra time at a public charging station. Plugless introduced the autonomous charging system for BMW i3 so that i3 owners never have to worry about forgetting to plug in at home ever again. Simply park in your usual space and go. The wireless home i3 charger from Plugless fully replenishes an empty BMW i3 battery in as little as 4.5 hours. 

Plugless for BMW i3 reservations opened early 2017 and shipments begin Q3 2017.