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Practicality of M3 SR+ Without Home Charging

deluxe99

Member
Aug 8, 2021
20
8
UK
How practical is it to live with a M3 SR+ without access to home/work charging?

Unfortunately, the LR is not an option for me due to the ludicrous insurance cost (~£4K).

So, it’s a M3 SR+ or a BMW ICE for me. Here’s where I’ve been back and forth with the decision. At times, it seems doable to leave on public charging infrastructure for the SR+, but other times it just feels too much hassle.

I’m expecting to use the car mostly for weekend trips, sometimes short, sometimes long. I’m ok to stop at a SuC for long trips as I’d be stopping for a comfort break anyway, but the medium (200+ miles round trip) trips worry me more, especially if there are not SuC along my preferred route. No home charger means lots of planning, like ensuring the car is fully charged in advance (and if heading off early in the morning, it means dealing with phantom drain overnight).

I am also conscious that without home charger, I’d have to pop into a SuC to top up for my daily use (mostly running errands but not much) and to keep a useful SoC for any unplanned quick trips. I live in London and there are a couple of slow chargers on the roads nearby, but I suspect I’d have to be lucky to find one free when I need it!

Would love to hear experiences from those of you who managed to make this work, as well as any tips to make the whole experience more enjoyable!
 
Last edited:

Dave_G

Member
Aug 21, 2021
14
5
Manchester, UK
I’m hoping to get by without a home charger. we have 2 charge points at work and I’ve never seen both used at the same time so fingers crossed I can manage without. Your situation sounds more challenging than mine though

Can you use the 3 pin that comes with the car if needed or do you park too far from home? I plan on using the 3 pin only if I have a week off work
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
4,313
3,258
Scotland
How practical is it to live with a M3 SR+ without access to home/work charging?

Unfortunately, the LR is not an option for me due to the ludicrous insurance cost (~£4K).

So, it’s a M3 SR+ or a BMW ICE for me. Here’s where I’ve been back and forth with the decision. At times, it seems doable to leave on public charging infrastructure for the SR+, but other times it just feels too much hassle.

I’m expecting to use the car mostly for weekend trips, sometimes short, sometimes long. I’m ok to stop at a SuC for long trips as I’d be stopping for a comfort break anyway, but the medium (200+ miles round trip) trips worry me more, especially if there are not SuC along my preferred route. No home charger means lots of planning, like ensuring the car is fully charged in advance (and if heading off early in the morning, it means dealing with phantom drain overnight).

I am also conscious that without home charger, I’d have to pop into a SuC to top up for my daily use (mostly running errands but not much) and to keep a useful SoC for any unplanned quick trips. I live in London and there are a couple of slow chargers on the roads nearby, but I suspect I’d have to be lucky to find one free when I need it!

Would love to hear experiences from those of you who managed to make this work, as well as any tips to make the whole experience more enjoyable!

People do it ... but public charging is a pain. Much of the joy and ease of running an EV comes from having ready access to home charging in my opinion. The car always has enough battery percentage every day with less hassle than even a petrol car because you don't ever have to go to a garage. Frequent Supercharging is not the best approach for battery longevity. It's fine for the occasional longer trips but to use them as a standard part of your charging regime is likely to increase the speed of degradation. If you can charge at a workplace that can be an option for some people.
 

tsh2

Member
Aug 27, 2019
305
91
Cambridge, UK
The most obvious issue with relying on SuC for long trips is the top 20% charge will be slow, so you're really going to be looking for a first charge stop around 80 miles out (and also a local SuC to charge back up to 80%). If you have local 7kW chargers where you can leave the car all day it will be more practical - here the park and ride would tick that box.
 

Mrklaw

Member
Mar 5, 2020
449
241
Berkshire
how many miles do you think you’d do daily? if I’m not doing much (eg wfh, just driving to the station during the week) I often only need to charge once every 1-2 weeks. that is at home but its only overnight to 90%. If you can find a nearby-ish 7kw charger that lets you park overnight or for long enough, that could work. Or perhaps a supermarket/car park where you can get a couple of hours in a couple of times a week?

Long trips 200+ miles you’ll need to rapid charge anyway - summer temperature, 70mph on the motorway the SR+ will just about do 200 so assume a stop is needed. For these you can use something like A Better Route Planner app (or website) - try out some of the trips you usually do, or trips that would cover approximately the routes that you’d travel, and you can filter either by CCS or just Superchargers to see what the coverage is like. You’ll probably find its fine. You can top up 50% battery in like 20 mins even on a V2 supercharger - faster than I can go for a wee and grab a burger from the services.
 

GRiLLA

Member
Jul 5, 2020
901
868
UK
I would suggest modeling your trips using A Better Routeplanner. You can choose the SR+ and add waypoints to take you out and back, set the charge you want to get home with etc. I imagine you'll be surprised by how little you need to stop, and there are a lot of superchargers. ABRP is like Google Maps for EV owners.

For your day to day charging, what mileage do you do in a week? It's also perhaps less than you think if you measure it. zapmap.com will show you all the public chargers in your area. This is really the key thing, if you need to charge every day then I expect it would be a PITA, once a week less so.
 
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Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
3,073
3,078
Shropshire
No home charger means lots of planning, like ensuring the car is fully charged in advance (and if heading off early in the morning, it means dealing with phantom drain overnight).
I would not worry about phantom drain. So long as you don't have sentry on phantom drain over one night is negligible. Half a percent at most. It may appear more if you park up with a warm battery then get in the morning when its cold but that is just an illusion. Once the battery warms up you get those % back.
 

GeorgeSymonds

Active Member
Mar 16, 2018
1,382
1,005
UK
You situation is not ideal and in winter, short local trips when starting with a coldish battery every time can really hammer the range (doubling the consumption you expect isn't nrealistic for the first 5 miles when cold). It's a lot of money to commit to so personally if you can then trying one with a company like on.to for a couple of months to see if you can work out the practicalities (your high insurance on the LR might mean you're not eligible even for the SR+).
In practice you'd need to probably fill the car at the sart of the week, that should last you the week if you're just doing the odd trip and then find somewhere to fill it again before heading out. You might find the cost of rapid charging makes it pretty expensive to run and bnot far off comparable to an efficient smaller ICE like the BMW.

I guess the question is why do you want one? You can make pretty much anything work if you want it badly enough, but whether it makes actual sense rationally may however be a different answer.
 
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BlueM3SR

Member
Sep 2, 2021
23
10
London, UK
A lot of councils in London allows you to request for a lamp post charger to be installed near your house if you have or planning to buy an electric car. I have requested the same and still waiting for confirmation at the moment. This would be similar to a home charger albeit the price per KW.
I recommend you to check on your council's webpage
 

VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,478
6,014
Surrey, UK
We lived with no home charging during first 2-1/2 months of Model 3 LR ownership, not even 13A.

It was really nice to get home charging (even 10A), but being without still worked for us, although it was inconvenient having to make a special trip to supercharger every ~6 days. Our usage was around 20 miles 4 days commute, a weekly 50 mile round trip, a 20 mile round trip (shorter if we combined that with a work day) to the supercharger then ad-hoc trips. Whilst trips to Supercharger started off as a novelty (gave me time on my own to test FSD), it soon wore off with the 30-40 minutes and ubiquitous voucher subsidised McD at services.

Viability is obviously going to be based on personal usage patterns, but from personal experience, being able to benefit from home charging and not having to top up like an ICE was a huge step forward in usability.

I still have extended periods away from the ability to home charge but whilst that works (especially with increase of public charge points), several things are still a compromise (minimising additional energy use such as sentry) and journeys still end up being planned around charging (routing via supercharger, using different car park/supermarket, contingency if public charging not available), some being dedicated stops and a 25 minute or so wait.

tl;dr - it can work, but being able to reap a significant benefit of EV's and home charging is a (cannot be underestimated) huge step over having to think like a small tank ICE with limited access to petrol stations.
 
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Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
3,558
2,557
Bath, UK
I managed on public charging for a year with a BMW i3. It's do-able, but it does add complications. Other than the obvious ones about turning up to the charger(s) to find that they're either in use or out of order, you will have the very real prospect of having to amuse yourself, away from home and your creature comforts, while the car is charging.

When I used to rapid charge the i3 I'd wander off to the pub to grab something to eat (this was probably not perfect etiquette really, but I didn't know at the time), negating any cost benefit from driving an electric car in the first place - i.e. when was the last time you had time for a pub lunch when refuelling an ICE car?

The SR+ has enough range that if you were pottering around you could get away with public charging on a rapid once a week or something. So long as you accept the quirks of the public charging network, then I think it's workable. As said above, however, winter will probably knock 1/4 - 1/3 of your range off.
 
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Sparkeur

Member
Feb 23, 2020
473
661
Nouvelle Aquitaine
The last time I travelled to Spain, due to a property description error by, I was in an apartment without the ability to home-charge. I found the experience difficult. To get a Tesla supercharger was a 45km round trip and the local garage charger was broken so that meant a 5km round trip to the next one. Doesn't sound like much but when you have to sit there for 40 minutes, it eats into the day. It was the first time I'd had to think (worry) about charging - all for the sake of at least, a 13amp plug.
 

Alan J

Member
Jun 17, 2019
262
162
Glasgow
I've survived on only Public Charging for the last 2 years with only occasional use of SUC on trips and occasional 3 pin at home. It really does depend on local, route or destination availability of reliable Public Charging and how far you typically drive. Zap Map is a real asset for locating Chargers so if you spend a little time researching Public Charger availability on your regular routes that will really help you decide if it will work for you. In Scotland some 50% of Public Chargers are still free and there are still other free chargers in other parts of the Country so also worth some research.

Good luck !
 

davidmc

Active Member
May 20, 2019
1,602
1,748
Leicester
How practical is it to live with a M3 SR+ without access to home/work charging?

Would love to hear experiences from those of you who managed to make this work, as well as any tips to make the whole experience more enjoyable!
SR+ here and 2 years in an no home charging here too. I do however have work charging but that sometimes can go down for a few weeks ("Difficult" Office manager trying to prove a point, although I’m not sure what point he is trying to make!)

When you first start, the obsession with planning trips, keeping it topped up does happen. But over time you do get more relaxed about it.

You will get to know all your charging spots that you use locally (all the apps help to see what’s working or busy).

Some car parks (not sure on London costs) have cheap rates from 6-7pm to around 6am (I have one that’s £2 for night-time parking) and you get free charging with it so worth looking at those.

Supermarkets – Tesco, Lidl, Asda, Morrisons etc usually have some form of charging and sometimes its free (Although only 7 to 22kw speed). Park-up and charge and collect later. Be carful of parking time limits in some of these supermarkets.

If you can get a 13amp cable to your car from your house/apartment this can help (but please make sure it’s safe to do so and not to cause a trip hazard etc).

To minimise phantom drain, do the following if you can:
  1. Turn off sentry mode.
  2. Turn off cabin overheat protection. Park under a tree or similar, to keep the car cool in summer months.
  3. Stop looking at the app all the time and let the car sleep.
I don’t lose much overnight (maybe 1% or less) if I do the above.

I charge up to 90% on Friday night on the way home from work, and then drive around lots of short errands all weekend and still get back to work (40miles away) on the Monday with more than enough to probably get home again.

Long distances are not a problem, planning yes, but it does not take long to do. As above use ABRP or Zap maps and these can help a lot. The cars navigation also helps to plan your route.

It’s a different experience and a short learning curve, but once you start, the pains you think it will cause are actually the fun bits!

And it’s a pleasure to drive and you will meet some great people out and about at the chargers.
 

deluxe99

Member
Aug 8, 2021
20
8
UK
Thanks everyone! It’s really good to hear your experiences.

I’m really torn, to be honest. I want a Tesla mostly because of the tech and because buying an ICE now is not the most environmental friendly thing to do—plus there are some perks that come with EVs, like discounted parking, no congestion charge in Central London, no road tax.

I figured it was doable, but as some of you have pointed out, it’s really more about whether it’ll be enjoyable as well. So the main question is if I’ll want to put up with all the faff of public charging. I was already prepared to look past the quality control issues and software bugs/glitches, but when you add it all in, it really makes you think twice.
 

Rooster6655

Active Member
May 3, 2019
1,562
565
UK
I didn't have a proper charger for like 9 months, having a charger after using public chargers makes you realise how great the car is, it also makes you realise how you never want to be without access to a home/work charger. For a LR iIf I didn't have a home/work charger without any plans to get one then I would probably not bother with an EV, for a SR I most definitely wouldn't bother. The idea of going to a public charger and I will do x while its their quickly becomes a pain, even the super chargers journeys will just take a lot of your time up.
 

NewbieT

Active Member
Aug 16, 2019
1,199
836
North West
I personally wouldn’t have a EV if I couldn’t charge it either overnight at home (drive or lamppost) or at work. Anything else means you’re waiting for public chargers all of the time -and I would soon get fed up with that.
 

PITA

Model 3 Performance
Sep 2, 2021
303
313
West Midlands, UK
I personally wouldn’t have a EV if I couldn’t charge it either overnight at home (drive or lamppost) or at work. Anything else means you’re waiting for public chargers all of the time -and I would soon get fed up with that.
Unfortunately, I agree.

Even home charging can be a nuisance at times... so I really really would not want to be involved with Public Charging as my only option.

You get spoilt very quickly with home chargers, and the ultra low costs.
 

Llama.

Member
Jan 25, 2021
208
107
Leeds, UK
I think it really depends on your local charging network near to your home.

My council leisure centre which is one mile away has free 50 kW charging for one hour. It’s £10 after the first hour. But you get 150 miles of range for free there.

The Lidl and Starbucks 1.5 miles away has rapid charging too.

Mine is a M3 LR and I have a home charger, but I reckon you could make do pretty easy if you had and SR+ and somewhere reliable to charge near home.
 

PITA

Model 3 Performance
Sep 2, 2021
303
313
West Midlands, UK
I think it really depends on your local charging network near to your home.

My council leisure centre which is one mile away has free 50 kW charging for one hour. It’s £10 after the first hour. But you get 150 miles of range for free there.

The Lidl and Starbucks 1.5 miles away has rapid charging too.

Mine is a M3 LR and I have a home charger, but I reckon you could make do pretty easy if you had and SR+ and somewhere reliable to charge near home.
But I thought EV Batteries prefer to be charged at slow rates, whereby a 7kW home charger is ideal?

Another reason to avoid rapid public chargers?

Or is that a myth?
 

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