Finally BMW is launching their first all-electric volume-production Car! They will start the delivery of the in Leipzig, Germany, built Car up from November. The first i3 will be handed over to german customers, then other countries and after those customers are happy customers and i3 owners some Cars will be added to the worldwide DriveNow Carsharing-fleets (Munich, San Francisco, …)
Last Friday I was able to jump behind the steering-wheel of a BMW i3 during the international press-launch in Amsterdam among other Journalists and Bloggers. You might have already seen my snapshots on Facebook or Instagram, or already the huge Galleries of the orange and silver ones my co-driver from bmwblog.com and I shared.
But now let's go over to the important thing: the Car!
What's so Special?
Okay, what's special about the BMW i3 .. well, it's electric! An all-electric BMW, could you belive it when you first heard it, bimmer-fans? It's been quite an surprise but through the birth of the BMW Groups official daughter BMW i they continue to built their path to electric mobility.
Some of you will definitely miss the appearance of BMW in international motorsport series, but forming and developing a complete new product, as the whole BMW i baby is, they were forcing their power and stopped investing especially time, knowledge and know-how into regular motorsports and let all their energy flow to the BMW i3 and i8 (known internally as BMW i1 and i12)
What's to Like?
One of the biggest Points on my Like-List is that the stock BMW i3 is faster than a BMW M3!!
Well, not from 0 to 100 kmh (0 to 60 mph), but on the short sprint from 0 to 20 kmh (0 to 12 mph) the BMW i3 has it's nose ahead - so you'll be always the queen or king when it comes to acceleration matches at traffic lights in the city.
The Top Speed is electronically limited to 150 km/h (93 mph), in ECO PRO+ mode even to 90 km/h (55 mph). In my opinion that's more than sufficient - you can easily drive on the Motorway or Autobahn (sure, in Germany you won't be able to drive on the left lane for a long time..) or save your range and drive curvy country roads ;)
What's to Dislike?
A little Dislike would be that the public network of charging stations is not huge (enough) yet. Of course you can have a BMW i Wallbox at your home but in case you really need to drive a few kilometers more it might be that there is no public charging station close, especially when living not in Megacities - for which the BMW i3 is mainly planned.
Nice Fact: In the netherlands it's even possible to tell your city council to set up a charging station at your home, close to your work, where you shop, etc. All over the Netherlands there are around 4000 public stations, alone in Amsterdam there are more than 700 and counting.
For who is it?
First of all, you really don't need to be an super "eco" person, wandering the world with Birkenstock's and self-knitted sweaters, to fit the target group of the i3. As the average daily distance is lower than 50 km per Person the i3 COULD fit anyone.
The base price starts at 34.950,00 € for the regular i3, the i3 with REX (Range-Extender) starts at 39.450,00 €. Optionally you get a rear-view Camera, in total there are 4 interior lines available, you can get the fantastic Harman Kardon Hi-Fi Sound System, instead of the 19" you can get 20" wheels and and and. As always, the sky is the limit.
In another Post I'll show you how I'd configure "my" i3, based on my impressions I got during driving two different i3's. Another Post with "things you need to know about the BMW i3" will hopefully go online soon!