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Tesla Owner and EV enthusiast tries out BMW i3 for 4 days

DITB

Charged.hk co-founder
Nov 13, 2012
1,581
36
Hong Kong
In the Hong Kong Drive Electric week 2015 final event at Tamarind, I won third prize. This gave me the possibility to choose the prize of testing a BMW i3 for a weekend.

Since it turned out to be Thursday to Monday, it was 4 days of testing, just over 300 km. Two adults and two kids under 2 years old - in an i3? Challenge accepted!

Read the full review here:

Tesla owner driving a BMW i3 for 4 days | Charged Hong Kong

Direct link to 55 pictures (with comments): BMW i3 - for a family of 4 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Time lapse video of tandem stroller, two kids and two child safety seats going into an i3:


 
Last edited by a moderator:
In the Hong Kong Drive Electric week 2015 final event at Tamarind, I won third prize. This gave me the possibility to choose the prize of testing a BMW i3 for a weekend.

Since it turned out to be Thursday to Monday, it was 4 days of testing, just over 300 km. Two adults and two kids under 2 years old - in an i3? Challenge accepted!

Read the full review here:

Tesla owner driving a BMW i3 for 4 days | Charged Hong Kong

Direct link to 55 pictures (with comments): BMW i3 - for a family of 4 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Time lapse video of tandem stroller, two kids and two child safety seats going into an i3:



Cool stuff, that should definitely help people browsing here to see different options compared to the Model S. People forget after the decision to go ICE or EV there is the final decision to choose which EV. Have you driven a Leaf before? I think a fairer comparison would be between the Leaf and the i3
 
Last edited by a moderator:

DITB

Charged.hk co-founder
Nov 13, 2012
1,581
36
Hong Kong
Cool stuff, that should definitely help people browsing here to see different options compared to the Model S. People forget after the decision to go ICE or EV there is the final decision to choose which EV. Have you driven a Leaf before? I think a fairer comparison would be between the Leaf and the i3

I never tried the Leaf. Actually, I don't remember trying any other electric cars. The price of the Leaf in Hong Kong was more than twice than in the UK - despite HK being much closer to Japan, and Hong Kong have zero registration tax for EVs (since 1994). Nissan made a greedy exploiting of the FRT exemption, whereas Tesla sell their cars at the same prices (plus shipping plus taxes), on any market. They don't adjust the price upwards towards "what the market can sustain". Now with other EVs in the market in HK, Nissan has had to slash the price of the Leaf.

I would love to try more EVs, though I must admit I am mainly interested in EVs with a reasonable range - or at least, with a good value for money.
 
I never tried the Leaf. Actually, I don't remember trying any other electric cars. The price of the Leaf in Hong Kong was more than twice than in the UK - despite HK being much closer to Japan, and Hong Kong have zero registration tax for EVs (since 1994). Nissan made a greedy exploiting of the FRT exemption, whereas Tesla sell their cars at the same prices (plus shipping plus taxes), on any market. They don't adjust the price upwards towards "what the market can sustain". Now with other EVs in the market in HK, Nissan has had to slash the price of the Leaf.

I would love to try more EVs, though I must admit I am mainly interested in EVs with a reasonable range - or at least, with a good value for money.

Interesting, I didn't know about the pricing issue with Nissan
 

DITB

Charged.hk co-founder
Nov 13, 2012
1,581
36
Hong Kong
Interesting, I didn't know about the pricing issue with Nissan

One of the early movers here brought a car in from Japan I think. Half price. Despite being exactly the same, our beloved Transport Department kept saying it wasn't able to put it on the road, due to - various issues. After several years, he finally got it on the road and has it as a second car, besides his Signature Model S P85 ...

I would hope some other users know of the more exact details of prices. I would really like to see what the price of a Nissan Leaf has been from it was introduced, and until today.
 
I never tried the Leaf. Actually, I don't remember trying any other electric cars. The price of the Leaf in Hong Kong was more than twice than in the UK - despite HK being much closer to Japan, and Hong Kong have zero registration tax for EVs (since 1994). Nissan made a greedy exploiting of the FRT exemption, whereas Tesla sell their cars at the same prices (plus shipping plus taxes), on any market. They don't adjust the price upwards towards "what the market can sustain". Now with other EVs in the market in HK, Nissan has had to slash the price of the Leaf.

I would love to try more EVs, though I must admit I am mainly interested in EVs with a reasonable range - or at least, with a good value for money.


Same deal as the Renault Zoe here in HK, pure price gouging, just because they can!

The exact same car is way cheaper in the UK (including the battery).
 

markwj

Asia Pacific
Moderator
Apr 10, 2011
4,650
1,327
Hong Kong
I had a great discussion with a Nissan salesman about the Leaf pricing, back in the day.

Me: Why is the price so high? About double the USA price?
Salesman: Oh, because we have very high tax here in Hong Kong.

Me: But, Electric Cars are tax free in Hong Kong. FRT exempted 100%. Also, no import taxes.
Salesman: Really?

Me: Yes, really.
Salesman: Then must be because quantity is very low.

Me: Perhaps if you didn't sell it for double the price, you might sell some more.
Salesman: We have lots of fixed costs to cover, to make car suitable for Hong Kong, but only very small number of cars sold.

Me: But you don't have navigation, you don't have charging location list, you don't have telemetry, you don't have smartphone app. None of this has been localised for Hong Kong market.
Salesman: I talk to my manager, maybe can get discount for you. ok?

(3 days later, got an SMS offering HK$20,000 discount)

Good grief.
 
Because it's a dealer ("Honest" motor, dealer since 1964) not Nissan the company! Introducing a model which wasn't their bread and butter was a hard decision for them. To consider the pricing model first assumption would be quantity ... it turned out that they were correct i.e. 4 years ago EV wasn't ready. How much $ they had to spend on marketing to push it, how many homes can build charger, was government ready putting charger at public parking, what about HKE/CLP's commitment to charging infrastructure .... these questions can't be answered then.

Now answers are obvious thanks to Tesla's success, with a 60kWh model coming (... 2017 perhaps) local dealer will need to rethink the price model.
 

markwj

Asia Pacific
Moderator
Apr 10, 2011
4,650
1,327
Hong Kong
Because it's a dealer ("Honest" motor, dealer since 1964) not Nissan the company! Introducing a model which wasn't their bread and butter was a hard decision for them. To consider the pricing model first assumption would be quantity ... it turned out that they were correct i.e. 4 years ago EV wasn't ready. How much $ they had to spend on marketing to push it, how many homes can build charger, was government ready putting charger at public parking, what about HKE/CLP's commitment to charging infrastructure .... these questions can't be answered then.

Now answers are obvious thanks to Tesla's success, with a 60kWh model coming (... 2017 perhaps) local dealer will need to rethink the price model.

OK, firstly Honest Motors is not just another dealer. Go to 日產香港 and see:

Honest Motors Limited has been Nissan’s sole distributor in Hong Kong since 1964.

Honest Motors is effectively Nissan in Hong Kong.

Secondly, on quantity they already publicly committed to that at the time - 200 units in the first year. The pricing was simply set to meet that quantity. At HK$418,000 they estimated that they could sell 200 units (mostly to government, and businesses under EV incentive schemes). It would have been interesting to see how many they could have sold at HK$220,000 (which would be 'fair' pricing). Looking at what is happening now with BMW i3 (400k+) and Tesla Model S (600k+), it is clear that under a fair pricing scheme, Nissan could have quite simply owned the EV market here.

And, thirdly, Tesla Motors sold the roadster into the same market at the same time. They had exactly the same issues of charging infrastructure. The difference is that Tesla didn't double the price in order to profit off the FRT exemption as Nissan/HonestMotors did.

Even today, I find it striking that you can go to nissan.com.hk and see all the models available. Prices are clearly shown. You can download the price list for all their private and commercial vehicles, except for the Nissan Leaf. Why do they still need to hide the pricing?
 

markwj

Asia Pacific
Moderator
Apr 10, 2011
4,650
1,327
Hong Kong
Because it's a dealer ("Honest" motor, dealer since 1964) not Nissan the company! Introducing a model which wasn't their bread and butter was a hard decision for them. To consider the pricing model first assumption would be quantity ... it turned out that they were correct i.e. 4 years ago EV wasn't ready. How much $ they had to spend on marketing to push it, how many homes can build charger, was government ready putting charger at public parking, what about HKE/CLP's commitment to charging infrastructure .... these questions can't be answered then.

Now answers are obvious thanks to Tesla's success, with a 60kWh model coming (... 2017 perhaps) local dealer will need to rethink the price model.

OK, firstly Honest Motors is not just another dealer. Go to www.nissan.com.hk and see:

Honest Motors Limited has been Nissan’s sole distributor in Hong Kong since 1964.

Honest Motors is effectively Nissan in Hong Kong.

Secondly, on quantity they already publicly committed to that at the time - 200 units in the first year. The pricing was simply set to meet that quantity. At HK$418,000 they estimated that they could sell 200 units (mostly to government, and businesses under EV incentive schemes). It would have been interesting to see how many they could have sold at HK$220,000 (which would be 'fair' pricing). Looking at what is happening now with BMW i3 (400k+) and Tesla Model S (600k+), it is clear that under a fair pricing scheme, Nissan could have quite simply owned the EV market here.

And, thirdly, Tesla Motors sold the roadster into the same market at the same time. They had exactly the same issues of charging infrastructure. The difference is that Tesla didn't double the price in order to profit off the FRT exemption as Nissan/HonestMotors did.

Even today, I find it striking that you can go to nissan.com.hk and see all the models available. Prices are clearly shown. You can download the price list for all their private and commercial vehicles, except for the Nissan Leaf. Why do they still need to hide the pricing?
 
OK, firstly Honest Motors is not just another dealer. Go to www.nissan.com.hk and see:



Honest Motors is effectively Nissan in Hong Kong.

Secondly, on quantity they already publicly committed to that at the time - 200 units in the first year. The pricing was simply set to meet that quantity. At HK$418,000 they estimated that they could sell 200 units (mostly to government, and businesses under EV incentive schemes). It would have been interesting to see how many they could have sold at HK$220,000 (which would be 'fair' pricing). Looking at what is happening now with BMW i3 (400k+) and Tesla Model S (600k+), it is clear that under a fair pricing scheme, Nissan could have quite simply owned the EV market here.

And, thirdly, Tesla Motors sold the roadster into the same market at the same time. They had exactly the same issues of charging infrastructure. The difference is that Tesla didn't double the price in order to profit off the FRT exemption as Nissan/HonestMotors did.

Even today, I find it striking that you can go to nissan.com.hk and see all the models available. Prices are clearly shown. You can download the price list for all their private and commercial vehicles, except for the Nissan Leaf. Why do they still need to hide the pricing?

I wonder if this opens the door up to a more competitive parallel "grey" importer? With the relatively easier maintenence schedule, it would be possible for an existing garage to just buy from Japan market and offer some sort of warranty package and still at discount if the current dealer is intent on making a close to 100% profit margin?
 

markwj

Asia Pacific
Moderator
Apr 10, 2011
4,650
1,327
Hong Kong
I wonder if this opens the door up to a more competitive parallel "grey" importer? With the relatively easier maintenence schedule, it would be possible for an existing garage to just buy from Japan market and offer some sort of warranty package and still at discount if the current dealer is intent on making a close to 100% profit margin?

As one owner found out, it is not that easy to import an EV into HK without manufacturer support. He tried to bring a Leaf in, and spent more than a year getting it approved. The main issue was getting the documentation required.
 
As one owner found out, it is not that easy to import an EV into HK without manufacturer support. He tried to bring a Leaf in, and spent more than a year getting it approved. The main issue was getting the documentation required.

Wow, in some places one might see that as collusion between government and business.....
Assuming those info and documentation are something that the dealer can get much easier and free...
 

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