Our long-term 2022 BMW 330e’s phone app works great
Most new cars you buy these days have apps included as part of the ownership experience. Our long-term 2022 BMW 330e xDrive is no exception. Via the “My BMW” app you can do everything possible, and we have tested it.
Since we have the 330e PHEV, the app has even more features and menus to dive into than just a pure petrol BMW. In fact, it’s a playground for people who love to track charging habits, energy usage, costs and so on.
Starting with the basics, the My BMW app’s home screen is exactly what we like to see in a car app. Our Portimao Blue Metallic 330e welcomes us to the opening screen and it even has the correct optional wheels and optional red-painted M Sport brakes – in many cases car stickers have generic pictures of a model, not your specific car as fitted. Seeing our exact car as an in-app option just gives us the warm fuzzies you should feel when paying big bucks for a luxury vehicle.
Notifications or action points are clearly visible (but not annoying) at the top. Below this you get the main row of buttons that you usually find on a key fob. From anywhere in the world, you can lock, unlock, sound the horn, flash the lights or remotely start the 330e. It takes approximately 20-30 seconds between button presses on the app and a response from the car, which is a reasonable response time for over-the-air requirements.
A “car finder” can help you find the 330e if you’ve forgotten where it’s parked, but scroll further down and you’ll get to the juicy stuff. A “Charging” section is here that shows how many charging sessions you have done during a month and how many kWh of energy you have charged. Tap this section and a gold mine of data will appear. The app logs each and every charging session from the time it starts until you reach 100% or disconnect. You get the location where it was charged, how long it took to charge, how much energy it took in, mileage… the list goes on.
Even more exciting is a cost calculator. Provided you tell the BMW app how much electricity costs (per kWh) where you’ve connected, the app will automatically calculate how much money each charge costs you. When you’re trying to do the math to see how much money you’ll save driving around a PHEV, this can be an invaluable feature.
In our testing, a 0-100% charge costs about $2, give or take a few cents depending on the specific city’s energy costs. Driven reasonably, our range test showed the 330e has about 25 miles of electric range before the 2.0-liter turbocharged gas engine kicks in. After removing the battery, the 330e xDrive is rated at 25 mpg combined. That math is easy – a full charge equated to about a gallon of gas in our case. The average price of gas has been all over the place in the past year, but there has been a consistent theme expensive. Considering our 330e requires premium fuel, the savings of plugging in are even greater. Using today’s average of $4.52 a gallon premium, it costs us just under half as much money to run the 330e on electricity as fuel. If your driving doesn’t take you more than 20-25 miles per day, these savings will add up!
Without the app breaking this down, the benefits of a PHEV can sound a bit nebulous or difficult to calculate. It’s really great to see BMW making the information available to those who care to look, as it’s a definite plus for the ownership experience.
Beyond this geeky stuff, BMW has packed a ton of other features into the app like a charge scheduler (allows you to schedule when charging should start)/remote start scheduler, charging station locator (we still prefer third-party apps), a service scheduler, owner’s manual, a trip history, range reading for gas and electric range, and of course a way to buy other BMWs/add-ons to your current BMW. At least the last two items are in other tabs that you can ignore completely if you choose.
The last bit we want to note is how smooth and error-free the app has been over the months of use. It is clear that a lot of effort was put into making it pleasant and frustration-free to use. Not every manufacturer can say the same about their app, and it’s a part of the ownership experience that’s becoming more and more important as we move into the EV future.
To read our full coverage of our long-term 2022 BMW 330e xDrive, click here.