BMW i4 M50 2023 – Australian electric car owner real world experience

The following is a discussion with Aussie electric vehicle (EV) owner Adam about their purchase of a BMW i4 M50 2023 and experience driving, servicing, charging etc.

EDITOR: I’m publishing a regular series of articles with the views of Australian EV owners about their EV ownership experience.

This will help fill an information gap as the majority of electric car news articles are about new car launches and there’s relatively little published about the longer term Australian ownership experience after you’ve paid for your electric car. Hopefully this shared information helps other Aussies make their own EV purchase decision. 

If you’re an Australian electric vehicle owner and would like to participate in this interview series by sharing your experience please contact me directly or add a comment below and let me know.

Was your electric car bought or leased?

Leased not bought.

Please describe your purchasing / lease process experience … Easy, Mediocre, Frustrating..?

Novated lease – fairly straightforward.

What has the regular servicing / dealership experience been like?

Haven’t had a service yet.

Dealership experience has been flawless. Really impressed with Melbourne BMW.

How do you regularly charge your car for day to day usage?

  • plug in to standard PowerPoint at home (when there’s spare solar power)
  • plug into public AC charger upto 22Kw
  • plug into public DC charger faster than 22kW

What has your day to day normal charging experience been like?


BMW offer a free, five year Chargefox subscription for DC chargers, which means I have free fast charging – this has been more beneficial than I thought it would be.

Just for fun, for two months, I managed to charge my i4 only at Chargefox locations.

Fortunate that there are a few free 22kW AC charging stations within 5km of my home (local library and a Woolies), which means I can get a free charge when going about my errands.

How do you charge your car for longer road trips on the weekend or during holidays? Do you prefer any particular brand of public fast charger during road trips eg Evie, Tesla, Chargefox and why?

For road trips, I rely on DC fast charging, or if my accomodation has an external GPO, I plug in and charge overnight.

Can’t go past Chargefox.

As mentioned, my i4 M50 came with a free 5 year subscription so i enjoy free DC charging.

Fortunately, there are a decent amount of Chargefox stations in Melbourne (where I live).

What’s the farthest road trip you’ve done in your EV and what did you learn from this experience that would be useful for others to know?

Over summer I took my BMW i4 M50 on its first proper road trip from Melbourne > Canberra > Sydney > Jindabyne > Melbourne.

Over 12 days, we covered 2,418km at an average consumption of 20.3 kWh/100km. Unbelievably, we spent only $5 on charging for the whole trip thanks to the free Chargefox subscription that came with my i4.

TLDR The i4 didn’t miss a beat. We travelled comfortably and in style, and highly recommend the i4 for a family road trip.

I drove in Comfort mode most of the time and only did a few stints in Eco Pro where I was concerned about maximising range on some of the longer driving days.

1) If in doubt, always charge to 100%
When you have a long drive ahead of you, don’t be afraid to charge to 100%. For all the scare-mongering out there about charging >80%, it’s better to charge to 100% than be stranded on the side of the highway with 0%… or making an unscheduled detour to find a charger because you thought you had enough charge at 80% to get you there.

2) What goes up, must come down
As I was driving across the Snowy Mountains (Australia’s highest peak) with a 500m elevation gain, I was shocked to see my consumption skyrocket to 31kWh / 100km. But, then on the way down, it dropped back to ~8kWh / 100km. I managed to regenerate enough energy that my battery went up +3% on a 7km downhill stretch.

3) Pay more attention to your battery % than the estimated driving range
Driving range varies wildly on a road trip. Even with cruise control activated, driving up an incline will decimate your estimated range, but it will come good once you’re back on level ground.

4) You’ll get a lot of interest at charging stations
When you’re the only BMW amongst a swathe of Teslas, Hyundais and BYDs at a charging station, expect to have others come up to you and ask a million questions about the i4.

5) Charge when you can, not when you need to
When you’re covering long distances (particularly in regional areas with limited charging infrastructure, you’re far better to charge twice as often (e.g. every 200km) than half as much (e.g. every 400km). Stopping every two hours for a top up means you get to your destination more refreshed. Sure, it’s inconvenient to stop more often, but you’re minimising the chance of spending longer at a charging station because you’re 3rd in line.

6) It takes ~20 minutes to get a 50% (41kW) boost (at a 350kW charger)
Seeing your car charge at 210kW for the first time is amazing! And if you’re pressed for time (and assuming you don’t need a full charge), know that you can get a 50% boost in only 20 minutes.

Does your EV have any special features like V2L reverse charging from the car to your portable/home appliances? If yes please share your experience using this special feature

No special vehicle feature, but the My BMW app is pretty impressive.

The app allows me to:
1) activate climate control to cool/heat my cabin prior to driving
2) logs every single trip I take, showing stats like total distance, start/end location, total energy consumption, average speed, etc.
3) provides a monthly driving summary, and compares my driving stats to other M50 owners globally. Stats provided included total time & distance driven, average consumption, lowest consumption (for a single trip).

If you have roadside assist included with the car purchase/lease and have had to use it, which company provided the service and what was that experience like?


If you have had issues with your car and asked for these to be fixed under warranty, did the car brand do the right thing and fix it without causing you stress?

The only issues I’ve had is with the paintwork. When I washed my car (after about 2 weeks of ownership), I saw blemishes on the bonnet. I figured it was remnants of tree sap or bird poo. I tried about six different chemical treatments and none of them removed these marks. I’m the most careful person… never park under trees, so I was totally shocked to see these blemishes.

I called my dealer and they offered to buff the marks out free of charge. Within 30 minutes, I had my car back and the paintwork was looking good as new. I even got a free charge out of it!

About a month later, it happened again. I was devastated. I’ve been fortunate enough to own new premium European cars (Range Rover, Porsche) every 4-5 years, and I’ve never had any issues with paintwork. After doing some reading, I decided I’d better get my car ceramic coated to prevent future blemishes.

$1100 later, the detailer corrected my paintwork and applied ceramic coating. The car glistened better than on the day I collected it, and I am so happy that I invested in this treatment.

What are the 3 strongest aspects of your electric car compared to other similar price electric cars available in Australia?

  • It doesn’t look like an EV
  • The build quality is flawless
  • The interior cabin is the most divine interior in any car I’ve owned (including Range Rover and Porsche).

What are the 3 weakest aspects of your electric car compared to other similar price electric cars available in Australia?

  • High electricity consumption
  • Cramped head room for rear passengers – to be fair, it is a grand coupe with sporty styling
  • Long lead time – BMW quoted 12-18 months from order to delivery

What is your view on car software updates? Some people prefer it be done by dealers, some don’t want updates, others want them regularly over the air?

My i4 has over-the-air updates.

In 8 months of ownership, I’ve performed two updates. Each update took <20 minutes and was performed without any issue.

What questions would ask your car manufacturer HQ if you could?

Nothing comes to mind

Would you buy or lease this brand of electric car again and recommend it to others?

100%. I chose the i4 because I wanted a car that was relatively unique and would be a head turner. And I got what I wanted.

If you’re an Australian electric vehicle owner and would like to participate in this interview series by sharing your experience please contact me directly or add a comment below and let me know.


2 responses to “BMW i4 M50 2023 – Australian electric car owner real world experience”

  1. securityblanka

    Lovely car. It is quite expensive though IMO but hey if you have the money, you’ll be happy with it! Great tip about charging to 100 if you can. Just use the car and relax about the battery.

  2. Neerav Bhatt

    Yes, far too many people only charged to 80 or 90% during road trips because of untrue rumours that if you ever charge your car to 100%, the battery will deteriorate immediately

    It’s completely unnecessary and means they have to charge more often while on the road

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