BMW i3, Chevy Spark EV and Fiat 500e Were the Electric Stars of the 2013 LA Auto Show


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LA Auto Show Header

With the 2013 LA Auto Show now officially behind us, we can definitively say that there was one electric star of the show and two other notable plug-ins that created some buzz.

In terms of overall Internet buzz, the BMW i3 was the electric star of the show.  The i3 grabbed more LA Auto Show headlines and was searched for more than any other electric on the stage in LA.

Rounding out the top 3 electrics at the LA Auto Show was the Fiat 500e and Chevy Spark EV.

Oddly, both the 500e and Spark EV have been on the market for some time now, so we’re not exactly sure why they generated so much buzz.  Furthermore, both vehicles are offered in limited markets and sales are low volume for both the electric Fiat and the plug-in Chevy.

The Internet is an unpredictable place where you never know what will be the next big buzz generator, but in terms of electrics at the LA Auto Show, it was the BMW i3 that buzzed.

BMW i3 Outdoor Test Drives - Pure EV Only

BMW i3 Outdoor Test Drives – Pure EV Only

Categories: BMW, Chevrolet, Fiat

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10 Comments on "BMW i3, Chevy Spark EV and Fiat 500e Were the Electric Stars of the 2013 LA Auto Show"

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But will the buzz for the i3 be sustainable?


I see what you did there!

The Spark and e500 are a much wanted, reasonable cost EVs. The only thing stopping these cars making a big impact in the market is their manufacturers resistance to national sales.

Spark is the ugliest EV on the market no one wants that ugly thing there was 1 at the auto show and no one gave it any attention so dont see how it was the star of the auto show?

Umm….. smart fortwo is is way worse, and what are you comparing it with?
The i3 is uglier than the spark As well and the BMW badge does not fix ugly.

i will say that traction while accelerating is far superior in the i3 than the Spark EV, LEAF, or the Rav4e. In the Spark and Rav4 test drives, I could spin the tires without hardly sustaining any acceleration. Almost to the point of being annoying. I mean, its one thing if the Spark had acceleration to match this demeanor, but it really didn’t feel much faster than the LEAF 0-30mph. The i3 on the other hand has very good acceleration, and I couldn’t get it to spin its wheels no matter what, even on a sub 7 second 0-60 run. Phenomenal grip, and the car can make some awesome U-turns…almost like a go kart!

what were the traction control settings?

The LA Auto Show did not have Rav4EV’s to test drive and the 2013 Rav4 is a completely different vehicle so I don’t think a comparison would be accurate. I drove the i3 at the auto show and own a 2012 Rav4EV. In normal mode the Rav4EV accelerates well and without drama. In sport mode there is some torque steer which shows the lack of chassis refinement, but there is not a lot of tire spin, just a small chirp then a good amount of acceleration. I agree that the BMW accelerates better in comparison to the Rav4EV in sport mode. BMW put together a real nice event at the show with a nice informational area as well as free snacks and drinks and it was pretty cool seeing all 50 i3’s in one place. On my drive I even had another driver ask me what vehicle I was driving.

The I3 is a rear drive car. That does a lot, as weight shifts to the back under take-off.

I leased a Spark EV (was the first owner in SF). I love it, the car is beautifully functional and four large adults fit in it. Put it in sport mode for a kick. Perfect for city car and occasional trips down the penninsula since it will go at least 80miles round trip.

The looks have character so I like them and I’m just fine with – every time I drive this car I get happier with it. Practical is beautiful. Try it. Leasing is so cheap it’s insane not to get one, and the car gets cuter every time you don’t have to pay for gas or step on the pedal in sport mode.