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Is anyone considering the i3 at £28k for extender version, thoughts please.....
 

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Yes, very interested in ev cars, couple of options for me, gen 1 Leaf or bmwi3 with extender which is £28.8, to expensive, my work is 122 miles round trip and there is nothing near my work to charge car, and work not interested, so have a bit of a problem at moment, any suggestions
 

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It's a tricky one if there's nothing near or at your office to charge with. We have a Gen 2 Leaf (so longer range) and the longest single distance we achieved was just shy of 90 miles, and that was a bit hairy at the end to be honest.
I have no proof, but a hunch that (as will all quoted ranges) the BMW i3 with range extender is probably going to get about 140 miles, so is really your only EV option outside a Tesla or a hybrid type vehicle at the moment.

Have you checked the ecotricity website to see if there is anything planned in your area for your commute? Have you suggested to your bosses (depending on the place you work) looking at Zero Carbon World's "zero net" scheme, or any other subsidised options?
 

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Yes, very interested in ev cars, couple of options for me, gen 1 Leaf or bmwi3 with extender which is £28.8, to expensive, my work is 122 miles round trip and there is nothing near my work to charge car, and work not interested, so have a bit of a problem at moment, any suggestions
The actual range of the i3 will vary depending on your driving style, topography, weather and traffic. If you drive the car in eco pro + you can actually increase your range by 25%. So it really pays to drive economically. We are currently publishing range figures between 80-110 miles. With your daily commute being slightly over this range, I would suggest opting for the Range Extender model which is a 2 gallon petrol generator that can maintain the battery charge for a further 100 miles in a single trip. So in theory you can drive the car all day, just keep topping up your 2 gallon tank. Obviously this does defeat the objective if you are relying on the petrol generator, but in your case it would safe you heaps on fuel and 90% of your commute would be on electric.

Hope that helps...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Love the BMWi3 with extender but at £28.8 it's well out of my price range, unfortunately..

Billybok
 

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I had a good poke around the i3 yesterday. I was really sold on the promo stuff, but seeing it yesterday I'm not so sure I'd want one.

The feel of the interior is nowhere near the level I was expecting. The plastic on the dash and doors looks unfinished.
 

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See I quite like the looks, but then I liked the Smart cars, Audi A2 (the little one) and a number of the freaky French cars. Not that I'd own one, but I like their quirkiness. I also like BMW's habit of putting convex curves and other such nonsense on their vehicles, even though it's "odd". :D
 

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The BMW is quite a stunning car - the first radical EV in terms of construction. I understand that some of what appears unfinished is in fact the reverse side of the carbon-fibre chassis - though why you can see it in the cabin is a mystery! The price is quite ludicrous for a super-mini and if you want a highish spec (Lodge/Loft/Suite) and some accessories the price will soar! BMWs pricing structure has always been very clever by pricing heavily on the extras. I suspect it works nicely in the company car situation where an employee has a budget and he can chose from large and spartan - or small and lush!
The big catch is the monthly charges of up to £80 per month and even there you may be hostage to further charges - for example the car loan scheme 'Access' - you have to earn points and surprise you can also buy points! It won't be at Avis prices!
EV are so easy and cheap to maintain - car manufacturers are looking for way to keep you dependent!
Drive ON
 
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EV are so easy and cheap to maintain - car manufacturers are looking for way to keep you dependent!
Drive ON
I think that's very true, and one way they COULD have approached this was infrastructure and subscriptions and/or PAYG for those services. But they view themselves as auto manufacturers, not infrastructure people, so missed that potential. Aside from Tesla, who are doing that very thing, but for free!
 

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I agree there is a disconnect and a vacuum in terms of government policy - OLEV favour a more organic network development! Hence the large number of underused chargers in some cities!
As for infrastructure, well Tesla chargers will always be Tesla specific. As for others - surely the Nissan Rapid Charger network(?) is UK's premier network! Nearly all the Welcome Breaks have Nissan/Ecotricity and the dealerships seem very open and available - during garage hours! What we need is more rapid chargers on the A-roads. Ecotricity say they have big plans - but for commercial reasons will say nothing in advance!
Drive ON!
 

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Other than the Tesla with their great range I think the range extender BMW is a very interesting option. It would currently be top of my list to consider at this time.
 

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Has anyone been and had a look around or even a test drive over this launch weekend, anyone taken delivery of their brand spanking new BMW i3? Be great to hear any impressions if so.
I've been on several test drives with friends and colleagues and remain very impressed by the car and BMW's staff training. Only issue has been the misinformation provided by one dealer who was convinced the i3 could charge on the CHAdeMO rapid charging network.

We are planning to lease three of the range extended cars while we wait for the next generation Tesla. IMO the REX provides the perfect solution to those people who simply don't trust today's UK 'rapid' charging networks and want a car not a science project.

I have two friends who are buying the REX and another considering it.

If you have any questions then Cara Naden from ZCW has a i3 on loan for the day (Wednesday 18th December) and would be happy to answer your questions on twitter :)
 

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Yes its very high on my list for my next EV, had a test drive in the REX and it was fabulous, the REX makes total sense for those not willing to compromise or wait or get stuck at charging facilities this is the next best option, owning a pure EV will always mean some sort of compromise, speed, range, stopping etc, the rex means you dont have that and for 90% of your journeys you wont ever burn fuel.

The dealers are a little shaky on the info, for instance my dealer told me that the cars were expensive but were being sold at a loss and were loss leaders, I quizzed him on how they intended to make them pay if they were loss leading? he didnt answer that one.

Folks should really drive one to see what its all about, sure its a bit more than a Leaf but its a lot more of a car.
 

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Hi - I've been holding off buying an Ampera until I had a shot in an I3 or preferably the I3 REX. I had a test drive in both back to back a couple of weeks ago, and had previously had an Ampera on their 3 day test drive program, but it was the I3 REX that I was most keen to consider.

My impressions of both cars is that they're both pushing back the boundaries of electric motoring, but whilst the Ampera seems a competent, stylish, electrically driven version of an existing car, the I3 is something else entirely: more radical, even more electronic wizardry and a great drive, but I couldn't shift the impression that I was driving a greenhouse down the road...

Couple of other observations:
- Specifications: the I3 I drove (in Milton Keynes), was specced to the hilt: Business pack, glass sunroof, self park etc... taking it to something like £38K - but was not a REX model. By comparison, this makes the Ampera something of a bargain (albeit residual values will be abysmal as per the the Vauxhall norm)

- Availability: I'm looking to buy through my company to take advantage of the 100% write down and whilst there are plenty of Amperas around, the I3 is in short supply. The MK dealer informed me that if I ordered a REX today, I'd be lucky to take delivery before June....

So - still planning my purchase, the Ampera's come down £3500 since I started looking. Perhaps if I wait a bit longer.....? Hope this helps
Tim
 

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I had a half day at the BMWi showroom in Park Lane, London last week.

We talked about the BMW strategy behind the i concept with Peter Adams, BMWi Sales Manager then we had about 30 min drive around London.

It was a great opportunity to get a bit more than just a test drive from a local dealer.

I am going to do a blog but for now all I can say is that I am very impressed with the BMW i3. It is technically a step above the Leaf and Ampera and I loved the modern, minimalist interior and the quirky exterior. On the minus side is the small boot.

A couple of other comments...

A fair percentage of the car is built from carbon reinforced plastic which is great for weight-saving but in the event of a crash there is just one location in the UK that can do repairs. More centres will come online eventually but I suspect that this is a rather specialist area so that may take a while.

Don't make the mistake of thinking this is a direct alternative to a Vauxhall Ampera. Whilst they do look very similar on first consideration a close look reveals a few interesting points. The Ampera has a 1400cc petrol engine designed to be a 100% alternative to using electricity. The BMW i3 with REX has a 645cc engine. It can provide adequate power, especially if engaged well before the battery runs flat, but being so much smaller it is not designed or intended to be used all the time. Of course, there is nothing stopping you from doing so and I suspect that many i3 owners will do just that. However, IMO, the i3 should be compared more directly with a Nissan Leaf as it has similar range. The REX then is designed to be used mainly when there is now charging and to help prevent range anxiety, rather than as a replacement for charging altogether.

The difference is subtle but important as it dictates the mindset the owner of each might have... the Ampera might be someone wanting a petrol car that has a 30-40 EV range whereas the i3 is more suited to someone wanting a 100% battery car, like the Leaf, but doesn't want the hassle of seeking out charging or hanging around when it is not convenient. I see them with different target markets but with a fair amount of crossover between them.

Could this car be used as your only car? IMO probably yes. Could it replace a petrol car that does high mileage? Possibly, especially if the owner intended to charge whenever possible, but the Ampera is a true replacement for any petrol/diesel car as it can be used with a 300+ range between fills and no performance considerations to consider.

Which is more suitable is very much down to your own driving profile, your attitude to using petrol and budget... the i3 is much more expensive especially after adding all those extras. But then again... it is a BMW and that badge says a lot about quality, drivability and style... something many consider worth paying for.

I love my Leaf. I love my Ampera... would I swap either for a BMW i3 YES! But I haven't got the cash so probably will wait for the Gen3 Tesla before changing.
 
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