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Five Great Things about EVs - 2014 BMW i3 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,125
edited June 2015 in BMW
imageFive Great Things about EVs - 2014 BMW i3 Long-Term Road Test

I'm not here to defend electric vehicles like our 2014 BMW i3. I'll just tell you five reasons why I like them and why I drive one.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • throwbackthrowback Posts: 445
    You know what you like, and what works for you. As for EVs in general, I think they have a market, it's just a niche market. I assumed EVs would eventually supplant hybrids, but now I think it is the opposite. Hybrids require no change in peoples driving habits while EVs clearly require people to change how they live and drive. Most people are simply resistant to change, as such EVs will continue to remain a niche product, sort of like 2 door coupes, my personal favorite style of car.
  • I'd add another point: Minimal Routine Maintenance. With no oil, spark plugs or engine coolant, a pure EV requires very little upkeep. The first scheduled maintenance for the i3 BEV is a brake fluid change two years after manufacture.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    Two issues with EVs for their most practical application, which is with city dwellers:

    This demographic is most likely to encounter problems configuring an overnight charging arrangement. People who live in suburbia or out in the sticks are nowhere near as likely to have difficulty setting up a home charging station...however EVs are nowhere near as practical a choice of car for those folks.

    Cities and increasingly exurbs also, for congestion and parking reasons, would like their residents to move from having two or several cars to having one car and using public transportation. But having your one vehicle be an EV is problematic, for reasons everyone knows. You show me a happy EV owner or leasee (like Philip Reed), and I'll show you someone who also has an ICE vehicle. You show me a city or exurb dweller who is willing to use mass transit in addition to owning one vehicle, and I'll show you that his one vehicle is an ICE.
  • kirkhilles1kirkhilles1 Posts: 863
    Electric cars are clearly the future along with self-driving cars (and they fit well together). ICE have come a LONG way in terms of reliability, performance and durability, but when they are forced to shut off half their cylinders into "eco" modes or shut off completely at a traffic light, you have to know that they can't continue to be our future.

    People focus on the range issue and when you have less than 100 miles range and no backup generator, then yes, I agree that would be a stressful situation worrying about range. However, when you've got 150-200+ miles, then it's not for daily use. Worried about taking it on a trip? Personally, I'd be more worried about the cost of those tires on the P85D. One choice on Tire Rack. $500... each. 220 treadwear rating. Yeah, um, just rent a freaking sedan if you want to go on trips and use your electric vehicle for day-to-day use. I have co-workers that do that to save miles on their ICE vehicles.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    Not just for people who own EVs and need to do a road trip, but for people who own small cars because 95% of their driving doesn't require a larger vehicle but need a large vehicle temporarily, renting makes a lot of sense.

    The smart rental companies will start to take advantage of this, by making renting less cumbersome and time-consuming, making more use of frequent-renter programs and making changes to accommodate customers who drive in WITH a vehicle (their small car or their EV) that they want to be able to park securely while driving the rental vehicle...and maybe want to be able to charge the EV as well while it's sitting there - ? That's an incremental profit center for them, right there.
  • mercedesfanmercedesfan Posts: 365
    Honestly I don't think there is a problem with getting people into EVs. Tesla is one of the trendiest automakers in existence and a huge section of the population would gladly drive one if they could afford it. As batteries become cheaper and more EVs start offering >100 mile range AND as EVs get more mainstream looking I do believe more people will give them a try. The bigger problem is the atrocious customer loyalty with EVs. Overwhelmingly people who buy an EV don't replace it with another. It is really hard to grow market share if everyone is one-and-done with the whole concept.

    And I'm ashamed to admit it, but as a Model S owner I can understand why. I will keep an EV as a daily driver as long as they give me access to the carpool lane because spending just a bit more time with my family and less in traffic is a huge boon. However, there are things I really miss about IC cars. Let me first say that I think most of the "limitations" of an EV are in people's minds. Admittedly the Model S is a particularly good EV, but even so it has required almost no change in my behavior. Furthermore, I adore my Model S. It's instantaneous, effortless power, its shocking agility, its ride comfort, its quietness are all highly appealing. However, it will never have the sound or feel of a living, breathing thing. I truly enjoy driving my Tesla, but even after these years I don't love it in my gut like I have the best IC cars I have owned in the past. Despite its myriad abilities, it comes off a little clinical. If automakers can start making EVs feel more interesting people will get more strongly attached to them. That will make them want to buy another.
  • anotherdrunkanotherdrunk Posts: 30
    edited June 2015
    4: Great traffic car. One foot'll do it.


    The majority reading this won't know what your'e talking about.
  • texasestexases Posts: 9,326
    edited June 2015
    So tax breaks and special treatment make it great. No contribution to our deteriorating roads, and getting ahead in line in the traffic-go-round...

    Add $0.66/gallon taxes to that $1.65 and you're at about a gallon gas cost, a Prius would get 50 mpg for MUCH less $$, and a lot more versatility.
  • darthbimmerdarthbimmer Posts: 606
    Philip, you don't need to shrink from conversations like that. Sure, some people have their minds in the fully-upright-and-locked position, but many are willing to change their minds over time (even if they don't realize it) when you persuade them tactfully. You could have told that first guy at the party, "You're right. If everyone switched to an EV tomorrow the power grid would be overwhelmed. Fortunately changes like this happen gradually, so there's time for the infrastructure to adapt." That way you start by affirming the guy's opinion (you're literally agreeing with him!) and then offer something new for him to consider that leads him away from his I-don't-like-it opinion.
  • philip17philip17 Southern CaliforniaPosts: 25
    Thanks for the great comments. And here's a quick update. After the party, I went back and reread the study I linked to. Last night I saw the same friend and mentioned I had reviewed the article and quoted the numbers to him. Surprisingly, he said, "Great information. Thanks." Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor.

    Philip Reed, Edmunds.com Senior Consumer Advice Editor

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