Video: BMW Invites Skeptic to Test Out i3


What does a so-called “skeptical BMW UK fan” think of the BMW i3 after checking it out and driving it?

EV Skeptic Invited to Meet BMW i3

EV Skeptic Invited to Meet BMW i3

As BMW UK states:

“Watch what happened when we invited this skeptical BMW UK fan to meet the BMW i3. He never expected that…”

Was this skeptic transformed?  Not entirely, but he was surprised by several aspects of the i3 and, in the end, he says that “as a city car, it’s pretty fantastic”.

Category: BMW, Videos

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21 responses to "Video: BMW Invites Skeptic to Test Out i3"
  1. MDEV says:

    As a city car there you go!!

  2. Michael says:

    Looks like BMW has not such high demand as they say…

    1. Open-Mind says:

      On the contrary. Demand was too high, so they’re trying to destroy it with this negative marketing campaign.

      I haven’t seen marketing this bad since the last Volt commercial I watched. Time for BMW to change their motto:

      “BMW: The Adequate Driving Machine”


      1. Michael says:

        I count about 800 i3 in 2014. Ok in US they start later, but i think thats not as much as BMW says. They said, we have 11.000 orders in Europe, but where are the deliveries. Perhaps BMW wants to deliver slow “like” GM with EV1, or they have really production problems with carbon. I read they produce 70 i3 one day, but where they are??
        I hope VW and Kia could deliver from beginning because i want to see more EV’s on road. Don’t understand me wrong, nothing against i3, but for me deliveries are so slowly! Is that intention from BMW?

        1. Open-Mind says:

          Sorry, I was being sarcastic about production to emphasize their bad marketing.

          I suspect they’re gradually increasing the production rate as they find/resolve new problems. Makes for less cars to recall if it comes to that.

    2. James M says:

      This is of course a BMW commercial and it only reveals what it wants to us, but I respect that they gave us two subtle clues about this skeptic in his final flash card: he is David Cane @ DavidCane and he says “should you buy one? No”. I was curious about this contradiction to his enthusiasm, so I found David’s invite by BMW:
      And his blog which provides a more comprehensive answer:

      In short “No” is because of range anxiety – if you live like most Londoners in a rented apartment; it’s a no go without charging infrastructure. To that I suggest an alternative argument – “Yes” if you live like most North American city dwellers in an owned home with average two cars; you have all the infrastructure you need: 240 volts in your garage for over night charging and a second car for longer trips. And I think David would agree because in the end he repeats that the i3 is a fantastic city car. In fact, I’ve invited him here to comment himself.

      David does present one critical conundrum that irks me though, which most cities don’t get yet. Why aren’t they making bolder moves to encourage home charging and other EV opportunities? Even in Vancouver where I live, with electricity at 6 cents a kWh and 85% hydro, I am disappointed. It has a green mayor who wants it to be the greenest city in the world. Even then, all that has been achieved is city code for new houses to require piping for high voltage circuits (but not the wiring), and outlets for 20% of new condo parking spots (but not 240 volt). With no retrofitting incentives for existing homes and half of housing starts being condos, this code effectively offers very little. Nor does Vancouver, it’s province of BC, nor Canada for that matter, offer low cost incentives to EV shoppers such as free car registration, HOV access, free metered parking, etc. BC also recently expired its two year EV purchase incentive program, and the federal government offers none. Definitely disappointing to live in the “greenest city in the world”.

      1. James M says:

        But in the end one fact that makes the i3 so compelling, is once one you have charging sorted out, it saves about $10K every 3 years in fuel & maintenance. After a dozen years of ownership, it is essentially a free luxury car! And to those design minded skeptics, I say the only better looking EV is the Tesla (of course).

        1. James M says:

          How can that math be right you ask? A BMW 3 series gets about 10l/100km. A liter of premium gas in Vancouver is $1.50. So if you drive 20,000km/year that’s 2000 liters or $3000 for gas saved per year. The savings on maintenance & repairs will pretty much cancel the cost of electricity. And add 50% savings at London gas prices…

  3. James says:

    I’m a skeptic on i3 as you all know. I better quick set up a Twitter account so they can give me a day with i3 also! So they buy this guy lunch and let him run around the city with a good looking blonde, and what they get is – “-for a city car, it’s quite fantastic!

    I have to hand it to the guy for not completely caving, but he could’ve at least said, “for $55,000 a city car should do more!”, or something to that effect. Listen, folks, that is one friggin’ expensive city car, OK?

    1. Aaron says:

      Especially if you need only a city car. O’Brien Mitsubishi is selling new i-MiEVs for $9000.

      1. Johnny GT says:

        To be fair though, that $9k price tag includes the $7500 federal rebate, and a few other discounts that they don’t mention that you may or may not qualify for…

    2. MTN Ranger says:

      Like a broken record. We get it, BMWs are expensive.

      1. James says:

        @MTN Ranger.

        Yes, they are. Yet it seems the fairly obvious fact is lost with most BEV fans who comment on this site. Expensive doesn’t mean better. It would be different if i3 posed some kind of advancement in the price range between LEAF/Volt and entry-level Model S, but it doesn’t. Listen to BEVrs on this site though, and it sounds as if this car deserves the investment in dollars just because it is a BMW.

    3. James M says:

      A small but important correction, in the US it’s base price is under $35K, so after half a dozen years it’s like you bought it for $15K…

      1. James says:

        From one James M ( Vancouver ) to another ( Seattle ) – I have to question that correction.

        First, we have to establish some facts: BMW has stated a 6 month wait for U.S. i3 purchasers, and for the first 3 months, only two models will be available- one for $50,000 and change, the other ( with ReX ) for $54,000 and change. Given the federal $7500 tax credit* ( * refund for those who pay at least $7500 in income taxes ), how does that equate to, “under $35K”?

        BMWs are expensive to own, service and parts are extraordinarily high-priced. So, it’s an EV you say? Well, try getting your Carbon fiber reinforced plastic body damage repaired. It’s a BMW = It’s gonna cost ya!

        1. James M says:

          The launch edition is only available to former ActiveE drivers, so is not relevant and all the early European reviews were ReXless. In the very article you reference it lists no ReX in the launch edition. Where did you read it will only come with ReX initially? Again this article also states “Base: 141A(BEV): $41,350.00”. So subtract $7,500 federal incentives and add back a $925 handling fee, totalling $34,775. Including more incentives in many states, it becomes comfortably below $35K:

          1. James M says:

            My mistake on my first statement, but never the less soon enough it can be purchased for under $35K…

  4. MrEnergyCzar says:

    Having the blonde sales model lady helps too…


  5. Ev fan says:

    A city car

    Why do u need i3

    Leaf is enough

    1. James says:

      Precisely my point. +1

  6. ffbj says:

    Yes, well. Since most people live in cities and most driving is done in cities then most cars are city cars, and yet people buy expensive bmw ice’s. Following the logic of Leaf over i3 why would anyone buy something that was over 20k or so, if they were getting an ice? Yet they do. Are you getting what you paid for, arguable, but simply implying price is the only criterion for making a purchase is over generalization.
    I think we need to refine that city car business to a more precise only city car instead. People assume it is implied, when, then, the argument as to why this car gets a no from the blogger makes more sense.
    In other words when he says city car he means not for long trips cross country, since all cars mainly drive in the city.
    Trivially important.