An all-electric vehicle is somewhat of a new-fangled concept in our neck of the woods around Southeast Asia where gas is still plentiful and cheap but an intrepid couple from Thailand have proved that electric vehicles are a viable concept now as they’ve completed the first-ever BMW iX3 road trip starting from Thailand and then going all the way down south to Singapore via Malaysia and then back up again!
Is it possible to drive an electric vehicle like the BMW iX3 across 3 countries without using a single drop of fuel?
In a word, yes. Mr. Aticharn Cherngchavano who owns the BMW iX3 M Sport and his wife, Ms. Sueching Jitsupa Chin teamed up with BMW Thailand to attempt the first-ever emissions-free experience. Let that sink in for a bit folks. This duo have managed to take an all-electric BMW iX3 M Sport and have driven it over 4,100km in a 10-day trip from Thailand down to Malaysia to Singapore and then reverse the journey back again.
According to official stats, the BMW iX3 M Sport used 847kWh of juice and topped it up with 18 recharging stops along the way. It’s quite a feat by any measure of the word and, to date, is the first official attempt for a round trip in an electric vehicle from Thailand-Singapore-Thailand.
“This journey began because I wanted to spark the idea that driving over long distances on electric power is possible – and limitless across borders when well-planned. I saw the BMW iX3 as a perfect fit for this challenge considering its driving performance, technology, and size, which is suitable for carrying lots of luggage on a long trip. It definitely provides seamless travel in comfort,” said Aticharn.
Before he began the journey, he undertook extensive research on the electric charging networks for Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. According to BMW Group Thailand, Thailand has 600 charging outlets in 295 locations across the kingdom for owners of BMW and MINI electric vehicles with the BMW iX3, BMW iX, BMW i4 and MINI Cooper SE available in Thailand.
The regulations vary across borders but what made it a cinch for him was that the BMW iX3 has support for single-phase and three-phase charging at up to 11KW and plugging the vehicle into a direct current fast-charging (DC) station allows for up to 150kW output to charge it from dead zero to 80% in just 34 minutes.
The BMW iX3 M Sport is also equipped with adaptive recuperation tech to enhance efficiency and driving comfort while its Brake Energy Regeneration system allows for more efficient driving; critical across the long journey from Thailand to Singapore and back again. The best part? The journey was insanely cost efficient with the total cost of charging being approximately RM706 versus the cost of RM1,765 if using a conventional ICE vehicle. You can find out more about the BMW iX3 at their website here.
To check out their journey in more detail, they’ve shared a full video of their epic feat on YouTube. It’s in Thai but you can generally piece together the key highlights of their journey. You can check it out below: