Why I’m Buying A BMW i8
Before I attempt to rationalize the decision, let me say there is no rational reason. It’s purely emotional, sentimental, and a dream.
As a young car loving boy, I sword fought with sections of Hot Wheels track, my Matchbox cars had gull wing doors, I built cars out of Lego bricks that had gull wing doors and big rear wings, slot cars were great…especially if they had gull wing doors.
The BMW i8 is expensive absolutely, but what price is worth living a priceless dream?
There is an interesting story here, one that I think is worthy of telling, of why there is such a strong attachment and compulsion for myself and for others who drive EVs and PHEVs. Why our love for these cars is so strong.
We’re called Electronauts, Fan Boys, Leafers, Voltheads, Teslamaniacs and worse. We are fiercely loyal to our cars, brands and electric mobility. We EVangelize (obsessively) and appreciate all supporters of electric mobility, their various reasons and brands. Why so much passion and devotion?
I won’t do this justice but let me try…
One of the greatest needs that we have as humans is diverse meaningful human relationships. It’s why our penal system is based around various and increasing degrees of removal from our relationships, from warnings, to citations, to incarceration, all the way down to solitary confinement and in some countries, death, the ultimate removal of any relationships. Money pales in comparison to the value of meaningful relationships.
*Editor’s Note: This post appears on Peder’s blog. Check it out here.
The opposite of that penal system is freedom.
No greater tool has existed for us to connect and have relations to each other and to explore that freedom, than the automobile. Pictures, texting, social networking are great, but seeing a distant dear friend in person or sharing a trip to the Grand Canyon with family are experiences, that can never be replicated by a photo, text or phone call. It’s such a strong connection, and so important to us, that in many cities we are willing to turn over 50% of our land mass to a mechanical device that allows us to connect face to face.
But there is a huge downside; pollution, congestion, climate change, world conflict over the scarce resource needed to fuel the car, and so forth. Car companies heretofore have been suppliers of both freedom and increasingly, suppliers of problems.
I profoundly believe that today, car companies like BMW, driven by citizens and regulators as well as by innovation, are now transitioning and becoming suppliers of freedom and suppliers of answers that will lead us to a cleaner, healthier, more just and more equitable world.
A world where the car has zero emissions, the fuel for the car is zero carbon and made on the rooftop, where family and civic budgets are strengthened with lower cost of fuel and utilities. Where the air and water are clean. Where resources are plentiful and equitable. Where multiple modes of transit are possible and where more land is set aside for people and human relationships, not devices.
This is what I desire and what I work for. This is why I have such passion and value alignment for BMW and their efforts.
Of course, BMW needs to manage this transition from a few million gasoline cars annually to electric cars, and that does not happen with a flip of the switch, but the transition is unmistakably happening and BMW is seriously investing and planning for the electric future. The go-pedal is firmly planted on the CFRP firewall of electric mobility.
I love the two diverse approaches from the first BMW i 2014 vintage.
1. The BMW i3
Make the most efficient car on the planet, then double down the bet and make it a slot car for adults imbuing the car with the DNA, performance, technology and amenities of a BMW.
BMW has forever broken the nexus of efficiency and lethargy. The BMW i3 is the car of the future.
2. The BMW i8
Make a plug in hybrid supercar and use the electric drive to augment torque lags, provide all wheel drive, all at the efficiency of a Toyota Prius. Take a 3 piston car and make it perform like a 8, 10 or 12 piston car, then double down and give it a stealth mode with electric only driving as well.
Yes, it uses gasoline and I’ll lose my “EV purity card,” but a dream is soon to be realized. The BMW i8 is the car of my dreams and the dreams of future generations.
I remember my first test drive of the crazy fun but rudimentary BMW Mini-E in early 2009. From that moment on, it’s been a very thrilling and personal “journey to the future” riding shotgun with BMW, a road-trip that I would encourage all to undertake.
Having a “First Vintage” of both the BMW i3 and the BMW i8, is a scrapbook of that personal journey for Julie and I, and just might be a solid investment.
That’s rational thinking. Right?