BMW i3, The Little Electric Car That Can

    BMW’s new electric car, the i3, is catching quite a lot of buzz on the internet so we wanted to know what makes this one so dang special? We know it’s made by BMW, we know it’s electric, and we know it has really cool lighting, but what we didn’t know is that the reason this car is so “shocking” is because of how normal it is.

    First thing’s first, how far can this go on one charge? Well out of the box, and I do picture it coming in a box, on standard mode it will go about 80 – 100 miles on one “fill up”. However, you can put the i3 on Eco Pro mode and then Eco Pro Plus mode which will increase the range 12% and 25% respectively. If that’s not enough, for around $2500 you can even opt in to have a 650-cc BMW scooter engine with a 2.4 gallon gas tank which should up you to even another 160+ miles. So total, if my math is correct, in Eco Pro Plus mode with the optional scooter engine you can go 285 miles on one fill up. That will get you from Sioux Falls, SD (where I live) to Minneapolis, MN for $10.00* plus a little electricity!

    Well that’s all fine, but filling up a gas tank takes less that 5 minutes, how long does it take to charge the i3? True, it does take longer so once you deplete your range, you will want to make sure you’re home or somewhere you can be for a few hours. On a 240 volt plug, the i3 will charge in about 4 hours. On a 120 volt plug (standard in U.S. houses) it will take much longer. I’m an optimist, however, and I feel that as electric cars become more and more popular, we will see more and more “quick-charge” stations that can fill these cars in about an hour. That’s the same amount of time it takes to shop or eat dinner. Besides, if you are running low on electricity and need to get home, just fill up the scooter engine you opted in for, right?

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    And how does it work as a car? Well, we haven’t driven one yet but we expect good things. It’s actually 2 parts, a Drive Module and a Life Module. The Drive Module is one piece, consisting of the electric motor, chassis, suspension and wheels, and the Life Module is the other piece, consisting of the seats, dash, and body. By doing this, BMW has made the i3 about 1000 lbs lighter than the Chevrolet Volt. It will also make it easier to service since all BMW would have to do is lift off the Life Module and replace the Drive Module. Neat!

    On top of everything it also looks very spacious and comfortable inside and has 4 fully practical doors that open up so 4 adults can get in. The BMW i3 is estimated to start at around $40,000 but that seems like a bargain for how cheap it is to run. You can even connect it to your phone to get all the information from the car wherever you are! It seems to us that this might be the best electric car (so far) and we can’t wait to see them on the road.

    Oh yeah, the coolest part? The signature BMW grille is still there but instead of being vents, they’re filled in and outlined in blue!

    *$10.00 assuming gas prices are around $3.50 – $4.00

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    Chris Berke
    Chris Berke
    I am the founder and editor of Short Shift. My obsession with wanting to drive every car ever made me build a website so I could share my experiences with the world. I love cars, traveling, and my cats, Henry and Winston.


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