If Apple made a car, the i3 would be that car.

The future of automotive travel is all-electric. And BMW has a hit with the mid-priced i3. So much so that they can’t keep them in stock. If you want one today from my local dealership you’ve got about a 2 – 3 month wait. And forget about base pricing. The only i3’s BMW is shipping are fully loaded. So you’re looking at $50,000 – $55,000 to get started.

I lucked into mine. It has 13k miles and was only $27,000. Nice if you can find’m. One of the problems is the people who work at BMW keep buying them. If this is not a good enough endorsement, 10 BMW salespeople own i3s. That’s more than any other type of car.

The first time I drove it I was hooked. The first time I saw it I was underwhelmed. I think if Apple had designed the car we’d have either a more normal car (looks like a tricked out Mini) or a futuristic space bubble. But instead what we got was a large-Mini-sized car with suicide doors and a gorgeous interior. You might not make it past the exterior, though, to even try the i3. It took me two years to drive one. (Last week.) But once I drove it I was hooked. I had to have it. That’s BMW’s plan.


My first experience however was underwhelming. I ran out of fuel (battery power) exactly ONE MILE from the BMW dealership. I was trying to take the car in to get them to FIX it. I still loved and wanted it. But there was some charging/battery problem that the used car salesman assured me was the crappy charger they had given me while my BMW charger was on its way from Germany. See, they don’t keep the parts on hand because it’s still a rare car.


Today my charging still doesn’t work, even though I got the new BMW charger. After a full night of being plugged in, my i3 is at 65% of full. It should be 100%. So again, the car goes back to BMW for a fix. And the other good news, I included not only the warranty (until 2020) but the full maintenance package (2+ years) and the full tire hazard package (4 years). That brought my grand total up to $33,000. But the car is nearly brand new. Well, except for the battery or charging problem.

So back to the dealership I go today, to give them this flawed jewel back until they fix it 100% to BMW “like-new” spec. And until that time I’ll be driving a brand new BMW loaner. They can keep the damn car until they get it right. I inquired about buying a new one instead. But I was then told I could be waiting 2 – 3 months and paying upwards of $53,000. I like my price. I like my car. But I’ll like it a lot better when they work out the power problem.

Onward to zero gas and zero emissions. According to my used car salesman, the i3 takes about $25 per month of electricity when charging every night. “About the same as your deep freezer in the garage,” he said. I’ll have to check that claim with my Kilowatt energy consumption monitor. But not until they get my car working flawlessly again.

If Apple made a car, the i3 would be that car.

Onward and Upward,

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

Here is my complete review of the BMW i3

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