Video: BMW i3 Reviewed By Nissan LEAF Owner


It seems that nearly every day now there are new short video clips of i3 reviews posted on YouTube. When we come across one that we feel is done very well, we pass it along.

Grant Reviews the BMW i3

Grant Reviews the BMW i3

Such is the case with the above video made by Grant Thomas from the UK. Grant maintains a blog called “The Grant Thomas Blog: Sustainability, Electric Cars & Technology News and Comment” where he posted this i3 video review.

*Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Tom’s “The Electric BMW i3” Blog.  Check it out by clicking here.

Grant owns a Nissan LEAF, so he is an experienced electric vehicle owner and in my opinion that gives his review a little more credibility than some others done by journalists with very little real-life electric vehicle experience.

The video is about a half hour long and he does manage to cover a lot, so pour yourself a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine), and kick back and enjoy!

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22 Comments on "Video: BMW i3 Reviewed By Nissan LEAF Owner"

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TL;DW please.

usable range will be similar to the Leaf for many in the USA, (read high speed long commute)

more fun ….

Tom, can you give the bottom line or some “Money Quotes” for those who don’t have a half-hour to watch it?

I am very curious to hear what this dude has to say, b/c so far – as you point out – in those i3 videos I’ve only seen people with no prior exposure to EVs say the usual things people say in their first EV drive.


Very nice review and comparisons to the Leaf. His best point is that the Rex is a stop-gap to higher range EVs at similar pricing that will hit the market in 3-4 years. ie Model E

I haven’t yet watched the video, but the point Mark cites is exactly why I’m not high on HEVs, PHEVs, EREVs, and HFCVs in the mid- to long-term: As batteries continue their plunge in costs (50% over the last 4 years?), they get closer to letting EVs push those other technologies right out of the picture for a majority of drivers.

As I keep saying, put a $20k, 200 mile/charge EV on the market that offers the same general size, comfort, etc. as a Civic, and the entire automotive market will tilt dramatically in favor of EV adoption. If the Leaf S 2.0 really does double usable mileage and throws in a minor price drop, then post-US tax break it will be very close to my $20k/200 mile metric.

The future will be a lot of things, but “dull” ain’t on the list.

Battery costs have historically dropped about 5-6 percent a year as compared to similar range. Batteries aren’t computers and don’t fit that theorem regarding cost reduction or increased efficiency.

Holding out for the next big breakthrough because you want to wait for cost to level off simply means you (and the environment) are missing out on the benefits of driving an EV now. For instance, if you purchased a Leaf when it was first introduced around 1/11, you aren’t going to be paying even 20 percent less today, but you will have received all the benefits while you waited for the next big breakthrough.

Now if you said you were waiting for more range because you need that for your commute, I would be more understanding.

All EVs are a “stop gap” until the next generation comes along.

He looks like a leaf owner

Wow. I bet you “look” like a Model S owner, also.

The drone of the tires made the video irritating to listen to. I did like his commentary and it was obvious he knew his EVs.

In Southern California, the vaunted adaptive cruise control is all but worthless on heavily trafficked roads. With the gap between the car in front, in SoCal, you might end up further from your destination with all the cars jumping in front of you.

If it ever shows up on dealer lots; I think it will sell really well.

Cars in the video driving on the “wrong” side of the street made me crazy each time I saw it out of the drivers angle. Wonder if the brits have the same feeling when seeing that in movies from other countries…

“Noticeble faster than the LEAF”


Most cars are faster than the LEAF….

Obviously, as a Nissan LEAF owner, he didn’t care or mentioned about the performance difference when he talked about which one to buy based on equipments and “specfication”…

“Self bias selection” at work here…

Also, heat pumps don’t work well in extreme cold. The heat pump system shared with A/C system won’t be able to defrog properly either unless you have a “dual” heating system…

Sorry, this is not true. The heat pump offers an advantage over a resistive heater all the way down to about 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, such systems don’t typically ship as a hybrid system, and contain resistive heating elements to offer more versatility and guarantee reliable operation in all conditions.

“The heat pump offers an advantage over a resistive heater all the way down to about 14 degrees Fahrenheit.”

As anyone with some thermodynamic knowledge would know that resistive heating is about 100% efficient and heat pump can go up to a factor of 1.2 to 1.3. But when it is cold below 5 deg C, the efficiency drops down to 1.1 or lower. Sure, it is still better than 100%, but the amount of heat generated at that point is almost directly to the power of the heat pump.

So, the colder it is, the less heat it generates for the cabin. That is directly against the demand of the cabin.

Also, when the defog is on, both the A/C and heat are on to dry the air. So, if the system is in heat pump mode, it has to switch to A/C mode and heater will have to powered by resistive heat….

Yes, thank you. Understood. Nissan has measured this and provided a plot of range or energy savings over a range of temperatures. The heatpump is a hybrid unit, and it does contain resistive elements, and it will work at low temperatures, it will just be less effective, as the graphics shows as well.