Having recently undergone a realisation that I was not contributing enough towards sustainability, Mother Nature sent the new BMW i3 my way. This was my first electric car, and I have to say; everyone should experience the thrill of a premium electric car, right away!
By KEVIN DU PLESSIS
Starting the engine and not hearing a sound is an alien experience, and I naïvely didn’t expect it to have a lot of punch. I was wrong. Having such wonderfully instantaneous power puts you at the top of the food chain when it comes to urban driving as it overtakes faster and smoother than, dare I say, some of the most powerful cars I’ve driven. And all of that with ZERO local emissions. It uses a lithium-ion high-voltage battery (providing a range of up to 200km for everyday urban use) that feeds a driving experience which has impeccable handling, confident braking and the feeling that you might just zap into another space-time dimension at any second. You can recharge from home and the BMW i Wallbox can charge your i3 for a range of 180km in under three hours, which is five times faster than with the standard cable. Intelligent route planning can even incorporate stop-offs at public charging stations, only one of the many impressive intelligent technological features of this car which also includes options such as Parking Assistance which will do all your parallel parking for you. Don’t get it without the range extender, however, which will add 150km to your range via a backup petrol engine.
The interior is surprisingly spacious, and beautifully minimalistic with 80 percent of the materials you see made from recycled and renewable sources. The sporty and iconic BMW i exterior design is eye-catching with cool lighting effects and suicide doors that all add to the futuristic character.
I think the display should’ve been touchscreen, and it doesn’t have a lot of loading space or legroom in the back, but it is an everyday urban vehicle and should be viewed as such.