Tesla Model 3 Compared To The BMW i3
The Model 3 won’t start initial deliveries until about ~15 months from now (even the production-intent prototype has yet to be shown), while the i3 has been available since 2014, as both an electric-only and as REx.
In the end, the Model 3 outmatched the i3 on most fronts, however, the car is of course not yet available and many specific details are yet to be revealed. It’s difficult to choose a true winner at this point for sure. The report broke the contest down into several categories.
Price: Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 is supposed to have a base price around $35,000. If achieved, this puts it at $7,400 less than the BMW i3. However, the current federal tax credit is $7,500 and many Model 3 buyers may not be able to get it.
This is a no brainer as the Model 3 is not available now, or for quite some time.
Exterior: Model 3
The Model 3 has been called “sexy” and “sleek” by many. It is a very sporty looking, four-door sedan with a full panoramic roof.
The i3 is not the most aerodynamic, sporty car in BMW’s arsenal. It is nothing quite like the i8.
Range: Model 3
The Model 3 is reported to have a range of over 215 miles. BMW’s i3 can go 81 miles on electric-only and 150 miles adding the ICE. The 2017 BMW increases to 114 miles on electric-only. Unless Tesla falls drastically short on projections, the i3 can’t compete.
Charging: Model 3
At this point, no company can compete with Tesla’s Supercharger network. A user can get about 170 miles of range in 30 minutes. This service is free for Tesla owners and may remain so for the Model 3 (certain trims anyway). The Model 3 can also be charged at Tesla’s destination charging stations, as well as anywhere else any EV can be charged. Outside of the home, BMW must rely on minimal access of slower, public chargers. In certain areas i3 buyers can get 2 years of free public fast charging.
Performance: Model 3
BMW i3 – 0-60 in about 7 seconds
Tesla Model 3 – 0-60 in less than 6 seconds (faster models expected)
The BMW interior was the winner at this point. Its interior is very attractive and high quality. Cargo space is flexible and holds 15.1 cubic feet (rear seats up), and 36.9 cubic feet (rears seats down).
Add to this that no one really knows what the Model 3 interior will look like in the finished product. At phase one of the unveiling, the interior was incomplete.
The report mentions reliability, however it is all projected at this point. We won’t and can’t know much about the Model 3 in this regard for awhile.
The Tesla Model 3 takes hold of most of the categories. But, you can get a BMW i3 now, and there are less “projections”, “assumptions”, and “unknowns”. Only the individual can decide what is best.