2014 BMW i3: One Week, One Charge
by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on November 27, 2015
I signed out our 2014 BMW i3 for a full week, and specifically during the week of the Los Angeles Auto Show when I knew I wouldn't be visiting HQ or the i3's charger. There also isn't anywhere to plug it into my condo's garage. Essentially, I was dealing with one week and one charge.
I drove nine-plus miles from the office to my house. I criss-crossed West Hollywood, Hollywood and Beverly Hills for multiple auto show-related events. I made the 6.5-mile drive to the LA Convention Center and back. Post-show, I drove to dinner, I went to the grocery store and on Monday morning, I returned those 9-plus miles to Edmunds HQ.
Lo and behold, the i3's gasoline engine only came on as I was exiting the highway for Edmunds HQ. I came ever so-close to spending an entire week using electricity only — and I would've made it if I'd been driving the EV-only version, with its extra miles of range. Of course, I also would've been biting my nails during that final commute, so I still think opting for the range-extending engine (REX) is a must. I bite my nails enough as it is.
Of course, if you own an i3, it's a virtual certainty that you also have a garage with a plug that can recharge it. Yet, my one-week, one-charge experience shows just how much you can drive an electric car (or quasi-electric car) before recharging it. It just proved once again how fantastic the i3 is as a city car. If your life consists of sitting in traffic and criss-crossing an urban landscape, do yourself a favor and consider the i3.
James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor