BMW i8 – Review After 8 Months Of Ownership


Eight Months With The BMW i8

First a disclaimer, I realize that having two BMW BEV i3’s as daily drivers and a BMW i8 as an evening, weekend and trip car is a very fortunate position to be in life, I am extremely grateful.

The BMW i8 is our road tripping car

The BMW i8 is our road tripping car

Our BMW i8 is now 8 months old and has 7200 miles on the odometer. 4200 of those miles involved three long road trips, one of the trips was 1900 miles in total distance, driving the i8 through four states in five days. On each of these trips we had no chance to charge and the trips were made entirely on gasoline. We averaged 32 mpg on these trips.

As I’ve said many times before, when we were a two EV family with no range extender or gas car for the prior three years, we would borrow or rent a BMW 3 series car for our long road trips, those cars averaged around 28 mpg. The overall point is that even when I possessed the EV Purity card, I still used gasoline occasionally.

We have put about 3200 local miles on the BMW i8 during the past 8 months. I suspect this amount will go down a bit in the coming years as we try to keep the miles on this beautiful car low. My guess is that between road tripping and local miles we will average about 7000 miles a year over the first four or five years.

*Editor’s Note: This post also appears on Peder’s blog. Check it out here.

My driving style is sporting, loving the twisties, with each trip in the car involving at least one or two leftward ticks of the stick over to sport mode for a 0-60 sprint, an onramp dash or fun on the twisties, that’s all it takes to put a huge smile on my face.

The BMW i8 remains a 3300lb rare earth magnet, pulling attention from anyone who sees the car. A typical 20 mile trip in the car involves a few dozen i-phone shots from surrounding cars, a conversation with folks as we get out of the car or into the car, and occasionally if the mood is right and I have the time, a “Can I sit in your car” moment where I become the photographer of an unknown person sitting in my car. Occasionally a BMW enthusiast will see the car walk over to us very excitedly and proceed to tell me everything about my car, these events can easily interrupt a dinner and take 30 minutes or so. We’ve had folks go up to the restaurant host and ask who owns the car, then walk right down to our table and ask for the keys so they can look inside. Julie and I take turns when this happens escorting the persons to the car and opening the doors for them.

Doors Open

Doors Open

I’m hoping this attention dies down a little bit, and I suspect it will, but at least for this first year it has been pretty intense for my wife and I. It can both be fun and a drawback depending on the situation, but we try to be good ambassadors realizing how fortunate we are.

Our trips in the i8 seem to break down into four distinct categories:

  • Long road trips in the BMW i8, 32 mpg.
  • Local trips under 18 miles, to dinner and sights around our city, all electric.
  • Regional trips under 40 miles to sights around the area, 70mpg.
  • Longer regional trips around So-Cal, 50mpg.

We have a dual head charger in our garage, so after each trip we plug the BMW i8 into the level 2 charger.

Combined we are averaging 56 mpg with this almost 500 mile screen grab showing 58mpg. Most cars in this competitive class driven in the same manor that I drive the BMW i8 would return well below 20 mpg representing an astonishing tripling of efficiency.

The BMW i8 provides a forward looking glimpse into the future of all the BMW lines as BMW transitions to variants of this drivetrain throughout its entire product offerings. I’m sure the results in those cars will be even better than in my BMW i8.

We are averaging 56mpg overall

We are averaging 56mpg overall

I’ve never experienced anything like driving the BMW i8 in my 35 years of driving life before. It’s an intoxicating combination of power, lightness, refinement, art, driving dynamics, AWD, efficiency, comfort and stealth. It’s the total package with each element making the other elements even stronger.

Silent running up to a destination like a restaurant or a hotel, and then the opening of the doors, causes the world to pause, jaws to drop, and exasperations of “what on earth is that!” Stealth is king and a remarkably stark juxtaposition to the expectations of the very loud rumbling and high pitched revs that is the norm for such a car. Folks just can’t quite make it all work in their minds when they view the car in its silence.

It’s a real privilege and an event to look forward to, geting in the car for each trip and each trip is an adventure, as opposed to a mundane outing.

I have yet to have a single glitch with our BMW i8 nor a service call, my service reminder stands now at 3900 miles with 7200 miles on the odometer. I was concerned about this as I’m wanting to treat the i8 the right way, and brought the i8 into the dealership so they could double check on the service interval, they confirmed that I was 3900 miles from a service, however if I wanted to I could bring it in after 2000 more miles.

Our BMW i8 gets a hand wash every three to four weeks courtesy of Mossy BMW of Vista and I really enjoy my 30 minutes at the dealership talking to the staff and checking out the new products.

I’m impressed and happy that after a year on the market and a quick check over at that the asking price of used BMW i8’s is holding at the same price as new i8s with an average asking price of $152,680

i8 Price Range

i8 Price Range

As a standard bearer for the new BMWi lineup of cars and as a platform that will spawn drivetrains for many future BMW’s, I’m hopeful that my 2014 first model year, Electronaut Edition BMW i8 will retain a good value and hopefully become a valuable collectible in the coming decades. I’m planning on keeping it forever if my financial situation allows, as it represents a personal journey for both Julie and I, beginning with the BMW Mini-E in 2009.

Our amazing journey to the future continues.

BMW i8 & Solar Panels

BMW i8 & Solar Panels

Categories: BMW


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23 Comments on "BMW i8 – Review After 8 Months Of Ownership"

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Car wash every 3 – 4 weeks in SoCal? Cmon man! We’re in a drought!

While I agree that is a bit excessive, car washes usually recycle their water (or so I’m told).

No hose, just a bucket, soap and sponge. All you need.

He said it was done at the dealership which is probably worse since they probably have a crew with a hose. Not trying to rip the guy, I get it, people want to wash their cars. I’ve tried to cut back though, and have only washed my cars a couple times all year.

“…I realize that having two BMW BEV i3’s as daily drivers and a BMW i8 as an evening, weekend and trip car is a very fortunate position to be in life, I am extremely grateful.”

I appreciate your gratitude and humility. It is a quality that is sorely lacking these days.

Honestly I don’t get the i8. A halo car that ultimately when we look back 5 years was a mistake. The coolest thing about all the i concept is the thought of rethinking cities, manufacturing process , and cfrp in mass scale. But look at the volumes in gross dollars. Oh I have an i3 btw and a Prius and the i8 is interesting , but just get a Porsche and keep the bev, better balance.

Hi Marcus – well, first I would hafta’ be remotely interested in what porsche has on offer, but second, there is no remotely comparable porsche in this case.

Thanks Peder for the update, appreciate hearing experiences regarding the ‘new’ M1, as it is not an easy car to see and interact with.
Glad that comfort, performance and frugality (I am pleasantly surprised on that front) have met the promise for you.

i was saying it kind of rhetorical, but thx for the reply. enjoy the car it’s you’re money.

Interesting update. Thx for the write up. Trick car.

Just personally, if it were me I think I would have gotten a Model S. I also think Peder being into “net zero” would want that also.

My guess is that Peder will finally just give in and get a Model S just from the sheer guilt associated with putting so much carbon into the earths atmosphere. 🙂

Or better yet, do without car altogether. How about that eh? Or is that too green for you?

Maybe if Elon Musk sold shoes, the world would be a better place.

Peder, I read your blog, and I’m glad to see you are a Republican. As a liberal, I’ve hated seeing electric cars painted as a left-wing conspiracy. Being surrounded by Republicans in Arizona, I’ve tried to reach out to my conservative friends and colleagues and show them it’s as much about American self-sufficiency as it is about the environment, and it has the bonus of being way more fun to drive. Love the i8 and thanks for being an ambassador for electric driving.

As a Republican, my Republican friends and family nearly disowned me when I got a Leaf 3 years ago.

They still don’t understand, and bizarrely they seem relieved that it goes off lease next month.

Just as funny, my liberal friends and family give me points for the Leaf.

I think they’re all listening uncritically to their favorite media chirping in their ears. 🙂 Agreed with Peder: it really bothers me that the Repubs feel compelled to fight EVs.

I have a Ford C-Max which is similar engine performance. About 0 to 20 miles it’s electrical, and it’s hybrid. The kicker is The


I was wondering where you bought the weekender bags? They are really cute.