2014 BMW i3 Hatchback: Five Great Things about EVs
June 23, 2015
I drove to a party recently in our 2014 BMW i3 and it sparked an interesting conversation. Instead of exploring the pros and cons of EVs, it morphed into one of those "I'd never drive one because..." conversations. One guy said, "The problem with electric cars is that if everyone had one, the grid couldn't provide enough electricity."
It left me speechless. He was right, of course. But it is also true that not everyone is going to suddenly begin driving EVs. In fact, after four years on the market, a recent report said the number of EVs, hybrids and plug-in hybrids combined is around 3 percent.
Another guy at the party, who knows I lease a 2014 RAV4 EV turned to me and said, "Aren't you going to stand up for electric cars?" I felt like a kid on the playground being baited into a fight.
I don't believe that arguing with people will change their minds. I don't tell people that their opinion is wrong. I just state my own opinion. So, here are five things that I think make EVs great:
1: Great driving experience: Quick, quiet, great handling, instant response, no shift shock.
2: Great fuel savings. About $1.65 worth of electricity gives me 50 miles of driving (at my overnight rate of 0.11 cent/kilowatt hour). An estimated 7 million EVs could be added to the grid without needing to change it in any way.
3: Great carpool lane access. Hey, they subsidize oil companies, so why not commuters?
4: Great traffic car. One foot'll do it.
5: Great convenience. Never visit gas stations. Instead, connect in 30 seconds and charge overnight.
So, that's what I think and that's why I drive an EV most of the time (I have a second car for longer distances). But then again, I'm clearly in the minority - a 3 percent minority, so what do I know?
Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 6,320 miles