BMW i3 (Electric car)

BMW i3 Mtability carThe BMW i3 is a battery electric car (BEV).  Released in November 2018 BMW refer to it as the 120ah, up from 94ah, in comparable terms this equates to a battery capacity of 42.2 kWh, think of this figure as the size of the petrol tank and from this you can compare range figures, due to the lightness of the car, constructed from carbon fibre, the BMW i3 out performs rivals of a similar battery capacity and can travel 193 miles from full to empty (WLTP), reality is closer to 150 miles. Other Electric cars on the market compare as follows:

Renault Zoe  – 44.1kWh  – WLTP range 186 miles

Nissan Leaf – 40kWh – WLTP range 168 miles (optional 62kWh version being released shortly with a WLTP range of 239 miles)

Volkswagen e Golf – 35.8kWh – WLTP range 143 miles

Kia Niro / Hyundai Kona 67.1kWh – WLTP range 235/245 miles (both cars have a waiting list and delivery times of over 12 months)

 

Electric cars power output is measured in kW but can be converted to give a brake horse power figure that is more familiar, the i3 delivers 125kW which is equatable to 168bhp, given the fact that the weight is below the car (batteries) and the drive train attached to the rear wheels it is understandable why the i3 has gained the reputation as an engaging drive. As is the way with electric cars, there is no gearbox, just a single speed and as such all the power is available instantly, so the first thing you notice when pressing the accelerator is just how fast the i3 is from a standing start, the 0-62 mph time is 7.3 seconds but 0-40 mph the i3 is a match for a BMW M3, the top speed of the i3 is limited to 93 miles per hour.  Also on the Scheme is the i3s which sits on firmer springs, dampers and 20 inch wheels which offers 135kW (181bhp) of power resulting in a 0-62 mph time of 6.9 seconds, at a cost of reducing the WLTP range to 177 miles.

 

Motability insist that a home charging point is installed prior to the order of an i3, 80% of electric car drivers only use home charging, this obviously rules out a large swathe of customers as off road parking is therefore required.  The great news is that a BMW i Wallbox Connect (usually £825) is free of charge, as is the AC fast charge cable for charging the car at public charging points (usually £165) Click here for BMW Statement confirming this information. When you order the car your details will be passed onto BMW’s partner Chargemaster who will arrange the installation of the home charger, once complete the order for the car will be confirmed with Motabilty, present built times are around 12 weeks we understand. Charging times for the i3 from the home charger are 5 hours from empty to 80% full, you can control the times the car draws power to take advantage of cheaper overnight rates of electricity. Rapid charging at points that offer 50kw or above the i3 can go from 20% to 80% in 40 minutes. Far more information is avaialble on this website:  https://livingwithi.bmwlaunchpad.co.uk/charging

 

The i3 is not a large car, 3 cm shorter than a ford fiesta, but the use of space is excellent, the cabin is roomy and the dual rear seats are easily accessed via the suicide doors, the handles for the rear doors are only accessable when the front doors are open and the front seat belts are attached to the rear doors so you need to take these off before the rear doors can be opened. The boot is small, 260 litres, 32 litres less than a 3 door Ford fiesta, but it is high up and as such it’s highly unlikely that any wheelchair will fit in without dropping one or both of the rear seats. There is storage space for the charging cables under the front bonnet. Inside the cabin there is no centre console between the front seats and a flat floor giving lots of legroom and the driving position is commanding. Equipment levels are excellent, the standard car has LED headlights, 19 inch Alloy wheels, heated front seats, 10.2-inch infotainment screen with DAB digital radio and satellite navigation, cruise control, rear parking sensors and rain-sensing wipers. The i3s adds lowered sports suspension, an extra Sport driving mode and larger 20 inch alloy wheels. Apple Carplay is a £235 option on both cars.

 

There are four options of interior, the standard, Atelier, has cloth seats and blue piping. The Loft version has faux leather upholstery, which is much lighter in colour and does make the car feel a little more airy. Lodge interior adds partial leather and wool trimmed seats, silver steering wheel inserts and a eucalyptus wood dashboard. The top trim, Suite (not on the Scheme as an i3s) offers full leather seats, leather trim for the instrument cover and a dark oak-coloured dashboard along with extended mood lighting and plush velour floor mats. The i3 Brochure is avaialble here.

Full Pricing i3

Autumn Best Buy –  BMW i3 ‘Atelier’ Automatic   –  £1999 Advance Payment (£897 wpms) or £2999 (£1897 wpms) as i3s

Autumn Best Buy –  BMW i3 ‘Loft’ Automatic   –  £2249 Advance Payment (£1147 wpms) or £3249 (£2147 wpms) as i3s

Autumn Best Buy –  BMW i3 ‘Lodge’ Automatic   –  £2499 Advance Payment (£1397 wpms) or £3499 (£2397 wpms) as i3s

Autumn Best Buy –  BMW i3 ‘Suite’ Automatic   –  £2749 Advance Payment (£1647 wpms) (not avaialble as i3s)