The BMW i3 – Electric Car
You may remember that I was lucky enough to be invited by BMW to get to know their brand. Well one of the models I found really interesting was the BMW i3. A fully Electric car which also comes with a ranger extender, giving that extra peace of mind that you are not going to get stuck anywhere! With the introduction of new vehicles tax rates for cars registered after 1st April 2017, and inner city emissions it is now even more-so a vehicle to think about.
About the BMW i3
The Look and Environmentally friendliness of BMW i3
The BMW 13 is really compact, making it perfect for inner-city driving and parking. The whole car is made of carbon fibre (which is produced at the BMW SGL Moses Lake plant in Washington State, which is completely powered by hydro-generated electricity), apart from the outside which is composite plastic – making it a very light car. The interior materials used are a mix of naturally treated leather, wood and wool as well as other renewable raw resources. It is therefore not surprising that it was the winner of WhatCar? UK Car of the year 2014 and Green Car of the Year.
The colour is Protonic Blue with Frozen Grey metallic highlight and interior trims available as separate options including Loft, Lodge, Suite and Atelier world (which features Neutronic cloth in Aragats Grey with BMWi Blue highlights of the front seats and black leather steering wheel). Dark oak trim is a standard equipment in the Suite interior design. The luggage compartment is uncompromising at 260 litres, extended to 1,100 litres with the seats folded down. The rear doors open the opposite way because there’s no need for the pillar due to the structure being so stiff: This makes it easier to get in and out. Likewise in the front there’s no transmission tunnel – which means you can swing over from the driver’s side – meaning you can park closer to things.
How to start, reverse and stop the BMW i3
The BMW i3 does not need the key to start the car so you can just leave the key either in your pocket or put it in the cup holder. To start the car you need to put your foot on the brake then press the start/stop button. Then it will illuminate blue on the dash and it will say ready (it is very quiet). If it is orange it means that the ignition is on but the engine isn’t ready to go – probably because you haven’t put your foot on the brake when pressing the start/stop button. When it is blue push the lever with your thumb forwards and it will go from P to D. Then you just take your foot off the throttle and accelerate away. If you then lift your foot gradually off the accelerator it comes to a nice gentle stop. To reverse just slide it back to R (past N for neutral). Push the park button to stop and then press the start/stop button and the blue will go off. There is also an electronic hand brake.
The Drive of the BMW i3
Easy to charge – you can even use a normal plug socket! Just like any fuel you can see on the dashboard how much charge is left – as well as having the range extender (which kicks in when the charging level of the lithium-ion battery drops to a certain level and extends the range by 81 miles in everyday conditions) The car itself is really responsive and does 0-62mph in just 7.3 seconds. It is automatic and really you only have to use the accelerator button as it slows right down when you lift your foot up and comes to a complete stop without even having to use the brake – if you plan ahead. In fact as you slow down it charges the battery. I found this particularly good for going around blind bends.
- Reduced CO2 emissions
- Output of 170hp
- Top speed of 93 miles per hour
- DC Rapid charge available as standard
- Prices start from £27,830
- The most economical electrically powered car of its size and output class.
- Comes with an 8-year or 100,000 mile warranty on the battery.
- Every 6-8 weeks the BMW i3 will promote you to use the Range Extender.
- It is a very quiet drive.
- Battery range of 195 miles in everyday driving conditions – and shouldn’t need replacing.
Prices start from £27,830 which includes £4,500 OLEV Government grant – correct as of May 2016.
I was invited to learn more about the BMW Brand. All opinions are honest and my own.