Rock down to Electric BMW i3.
Today when most of the automobile manufacturers have filled almost every niche of the market, the BMW i3 still knows where it belongs. This i3 is the only electric vehicle which can be driven for more than 100 miles and isn’t a Tesla. Along with the i3 the well known i8 which is a hybrid sports from BMW sits under the eco friendly i sub brand which stands out as an elevated car design. BMW claims that the i3’s range is not competitive in the overall EV landscape. There’s an option of a gasoline based range extender which can boost the total range upto 180 miles which is certified by EPA. To be honest the Chevrolet Bolt EV makes more sense as it goes much farther on a charge and even costs far less.
HIGHS : Gorgeous interior, funky personality, eco luxe image in society.
LOWS : Limited range, awkward exterior, discouraging handling.
Back in 2014 when the i3 was launched in U.S., there were 2 engine options ever since; electric and the electric with the range extender. The output from the extender model is 38hp from the 647cc inline two engine, this extender have a built in generator which helps to switch the car on gas when the battery reaches 5 percent. California Air Resources Board (CARB) requirements have limit the i3’s gas tank capacity to just 2.4 gallons, this is because for a vehicle to be considered an EV by the CARB it should travel less miles on the gas compared to that with the electric motor. This limits the i3 for just an additional 80 miles on gasoline after the battery before the refuel. Which thus translates the car is not suitable for long road trips.
Now in 2017, BMW is offering the i3 a range boost with the addition of a 33.2 kWh battery which increases the price by $2050. The good thing is the size of the battery remains the same but with the increased EPA rating of 114 miles from one electric charge. This is a welcome jump from the entry level which offers just 81 miles. Although range extender can only be added to the optional larger battery pack, providing three total powertrain choices for the 2017 i3.
The BMW i3 is a city focused car, keeping that in mind the freedom that the range extender provides is nice but not particularly relevant or necessary for the intended use of the car. We’d suggest you to go with the pure electric model and add the 33.2 kWh battery pack, which starts at $45,445. If you will be using your i3 in city driving, the $1000 Parking Assistance package should also be in your cart which includes parking sensors and park assist and is very handy. To fully experience how special the interior of the i3 can be, we’d also suggest to opt for the $1800 Giga World package with its beautiful wood trim and stylish leather and wool upholstery. We should also mention that vegan buyers might want to check out the faux leather and cloth of the $1400 Mega World package or the plain cloth of the base Deka World.
Features included in the Giga World model are as follows:
• Light eucalyptus wooden trim.
• Giga Cassia natural leather and Carum Spice Grey wool upholstery.
• 19-inch turbine-style wheels with all-season tires.
With basic Capparis White paint ( the only color that does not cost extra ) the total price of our i3 lands around $47,250. As of this writing, all i3 models are still currently eligible for the $7500 EV tax credit. Still, that’s a high price when a Chevrolet Bolt EV offers double the electric range for almost $10,000 less.
VERDICT : A fancy package with unique features but average electric range.
Picture Source : BMW
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