BMW i3: A Genre-Defining Statement From BMW – Video

DEC 6 2015 BY MARK KANE 16

BMW i3

BMW i3

Rac Breakdown in the UK released a short 3-minute presentation of the BMW i3. Rac is unable to stop talking about how good the i3 is.

According to Andrew Frankel, the i3 is so great that it could be the first plug-in car that one buys for reasons other than it’s electric.

Well, we think that Tesla and maybe some other EVs also attract consumers not only because they are electric, but because they are great products in other ways.

Anyways, it’s good to see that the i3 is appreciated and is helping to spread the positive word about EVs.

BMW i3: best all-electric car?
A genre-defining statement of intent from BMW, says expert car reviewer Andrew Frankel”

Editor’s Note:  At one point the host states that the BMW i3 (BEV) can go up to 180 miles, but we believe he meant to say 180 km, and just mis-spoke;  as 180 km would be ~110 miles, which is right around the European NEDC rating (where the drive takes place).  The real wolrd/EPA rating of the BMW i3 (BEV) is 130 km/ 81 miles

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16 Comments on "BMW i3: A Genre-Defining Statement From BMW – Video"

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David Murray

I love the i3.. But I’m sorry, I can’t agree with this guy that it will go 180 miles in all electric mode. That’s seriously wrong, by any metric I know of, even the European and Japanese test cycles.

Viktor Uneus

He probably thought of the 180 km range according to the European test cycle.

Jay Cole


Yes our impression was that he misquoted miles to KMs as well, there is no where it is even close to that kind of rating (and says it very matter-of-factly). We’ll add a note into the story to address the slip-up, just so no one comes away confused about what the BMW i3 can actually do.

Forever green

+1 David Murray.

Micke Larsson

It might have been tested in one majestic very long downward slope 😉


Touting the benefits of the i3 while ignoring the elephant in the room, Tesla, the premier ev in the world seems to comply with Bmw party line that they are the leaders in the ev revolution.

Off handed snubbing of all evs up to the i3, with statements such as Bmw is revolutionary and learned from all the mistakes of previous efforts at evs makes him seem like myopic dilettante at best. Other comments about the efficiency and benefits of lightness I think are more accurate. A bit too ‘corporate coached’ as to what to say and how to say it for me.


An earlier review in which he makes many of the same statements. Also displaying the glaring omission, of not mentioning Tesla, is that a pattern, or just policy?
I would term it suspect. As in, I expect what I suspect to be correct.


On the other hand, personally I don’t feel too bad about this man’s sin of Tesla omission.
After all, many of us here, when discussing the relative merits of EVs, will also not refer to Tesla since they are so far above the mainstream they don’t even belong in the category under discussion.
A bit like talking private planes while not mentioning the latest Gulf Stream.
This dynamic will change for sure with the introduction of the Model III.


Well…I get the analogy but I find it unconvincing. Here is his take on the Tesla, where he concludes that it does just not have enough range for his needs. Few sc chargers near him, long charging times, poor weather and need for heating, hills, reduced his predicted range from 100 to 40 miles.
Somewhat reminiscent of the New York times reviewer’s ‘troubling’ experience.
There are only two or three on Tesla at that website, how many on Bmw? I suspect bias.

So one the one hand the Bmw i3 with range extender is just fine for his needs, but the much longer range Tesla is not.
What I am pointing at is that though he could not entirely ignore Tesla and be considered a true car reviewer, but he understates the case for Tesla, and overstates the case for the Bmwi3.


Encouraging to see an enthusiastic review of an EV from a motoring organisation. A pity about the electric range gaffe; RAC should have edited that before publishing.

Recently an i3 Rex owner posted a video describing his view of the advantages & disadvantages of the i3 after a year’s driving:

That owner has found that the public charging network cannot be relied on, so he ended up using the range extender many times to get out of trouble.

It was interesting to hear about his practical problem with the doors.
BMW ought to have realized that the coach doors would be impractical in city car parks with narrow parking bays. The Ford B-Max sliding doors seem much more sensible.


Of course all these Brits aren’t hobbled by the crippling restrictions to which BMW has subjected the i3 in order to meet CARB state restrictions.


After one year of ownership I can say I purchased my i3 BEV in order to maximize the benefits and value of my installed solar panel and I got much more.

I find too much discussion on how BEVs compare typical ICE autos. What I have come to appreciate is that the drive train and the energy source makes a BEV a separate and new class of transportation.

I think that BMW stands alone in the i3’s commitment to efficiency and design principles unique to BEVs; and have implemented those features better and in a more affordable package than any other EV manufacturer to date.


Mice will play when cat’s away. BMW i3 is a great car if price is not considered. With pricing, it’s not all that good.

I drive SparkEV because it’s the best car for the money, EV or gas or anything else, not because it’s EV.


Yeah, I advocate for EVs at work and I just can’t find a good story for anyone to buy it. Tech, space, cargo, price, coolness, etc are all beaten by other EVs.

The only time I advocate the i3 is when my audience are rich city yuppies that want something cool looking but are put off by the size of a Tesla and don’t care about practicality (e.g. cargo, supercharging, no kids).


What about advocating the i3 when the choice is only Leaf, Tesla and i3.

I would have gladly considered other EV manufacturers but they were only committed to playing the compliance when the decision came to performance and efficiency the Leaf just didn’t cut it for me, and I didn’t need the expense or range of the Model S.

In the end it wasn’t about that “yuppie” thing, but about quality, efficiency, innovative design, and affordability the i3 won hands down..I just had to go through the haggling game to get the car at the price I was willing to pay.


The i3 REX is definitely well suited for the UK. Having the European ECU programming with the larger available fuel tank, available battery hold feature, no real mountains, and 240V outlets would be a very good combination.