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BMW i3 and Tesla

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by ZTrekus, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. ZTrekus

    ZTrekus Member

    Feb 8, 2015
    Sydney, NSW
    Howdy folks,

    Last year we bought a BMW i3.

    It is an absolutely wonderful car, incredibly smooth, incredibly fast (apparently nothing like a Tesla but can burn off any other car at lights).

    It has an artificial noise maker, but can be toggled on and off.

    Mine has a petrol range extender. On one battery charge, it claims to go 150km (more like 100 when you thrash it around). Petrol is around 100km extra but I have never actually had occasion to use it - ever. In fact every now and then a message pops up to the effect that it has been ages since the petrol engine has been started so it needs to run it for 10 mins for maintenance. The engine is only a generator, it does not directly drive the wheels.

    The car is made completely of plastic reinforced with carbon fibre.

    It pulls tons of looks - everyone asks questions about it - people point at it from the street. I wonder if the Tesla draws attention also.

    Anyway, the BMW i3 is really the poor cousin of the Tesla. I loved the car so much, I just had to give it to the wife and get myself a Tesla - which I have now done. I am currently listed as being in the Production Queue and is expected around July - the wait is going to kill me.

    The BMW i3 is an excellent city car though it can easily get you from Sydney to Parramatta and back on a single battery charge without going to the range extender - even driving it like a maniac.

    There are three driving modes. Comfort (which it defaults to when you turn it on). Eco Pro (which cuts down the AC, the accel and limits the top speed - but not if you floor it). Eco Pro Plus which completely shuts off the AC altogether and limits the top speed to 90km/h (though not if you floor it). Actually I have never really had occasion to use Eco Pro Plus but I have occasionally used Eco Pro (I guess it is like Range mode for Tesla) and it is really just as comfortable and does make a big difference to the battery consumption.

    We also got the sunroof, dynamic cruise control (Like the Tesla, there is a radar in it and it can follow the car in front even coming to a complete stop - sort of like "Tractor Beam Mode").

    The headlights were LEDs (What is it with Tesla that it doesn't yet have LEDs? - Are the Tesla lights better??)

    It had real time traffic and some 3D drawings of icons as you pass them (hospitals, war memorials etc...) but otherwise nothing like Google Maps.

    It has a 3G sim and you can run an APP similar to the Tesla seeing its state of charge, and you can unlock, lock the doors and flash the high beams. You cannot honk the horn or open or close the sunroof. But it does tell you if the sunroof is open or not. It really annoys me that half the time the BMW server is down and so it doesn't update your current state of charge - only what it was. I wonder how well the Tesla App works??

    After test driving the Tesla at the St Leonard's show room, the salesman then got in the BMW i3 and we went for a spin around the block. Of course it is nothing like the Tesla - but it certainly does hold its own. Loving the Tesla doesn't cause me to love the BMW i3 any less!
  2. moezilla

    moezilla Member

    Jul 30, 2015
    Mill Valley, CA
    Love the i3. You can do more nav from your couch than the model s. It seems less pretentious. It drives more like an old Porcshe, and less like a "sponge car" - real world range is 65-75 miles. Newer models have a longer range. The range extender is cheating :)
    • Like x 1
  3. doublebo7

    doublebo7 Member

    Aug 15, 2016
    Sherwood forest
    I just sold my i3 range extender to make way for my model X 90D.
    I liked the weird shape and carbon fibre tub structure but with a range of 65 miles on the freeway before activating the generator was disappointing.
    My car was fully loaded which increased the price to $50000

    In the end the fact that I was unable to replace the batteries with the latest 94Ah (range of 125m) made me sell the car.

    btw the adaptive cruise was a one camera based system and not radar. Therefore it did have it's frailties
  4. Takumi

    Takumi Member

    Aug 25, 2006
    Tesla has LEDs, but they're currently terrible!

    MS Headlights
  5. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

    Apr 1, 2014
    Southern New Jersey
    I have an i3 (without the range extender). The range extender costs $4,200US, adds 300lbs of weight, reduces the battery-only range from 83 miles to 71 miles and reduces the 0-60 acceleration by 1 second. I heard that the REX out-sells the BEV and supposedly (like the OP) that they rarely (if ever) use the REX. No thanks! I'd rather stop at a charge if running low every few months than lug that ICE around with me.

    I agree the i3 is no Tesla, but I do enjoy driving the i3 and throwing it around. It's light, nimble, and very quick (at least the BEV is). I never drove a REX, but I would have to assume that the performance difference is quite noticeable.

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