BMW i3 – What The Future Looks Like

by George Matsheke

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When someone says electric car, it’s very hard to imagine what the car would look like or do, how would it sound? How does it work? The people of BMW dropped of the i3 at the office and I had to discover for myself how it works and what makes this car special. As soon as you step into the car the first thing you notice is that the design is from the future – the i3 doesn’t carry the same characteristics as the rest of the BMW models including the i8. I struggled to locate the start button because it’s not where BMW usually puts them, eventually I found it and it was stuck behind the steering wheel. Then I discovered that the gear is located around the same place, which is similar to the Mercedes-Benz, behind the steering wheel too.

Even after a few days I would find myself looking for the gear on the bottom left hand side where there is an empty space in the i3. As soon as you figure out how this car works you realize that even when it’s on it doesn’t sound like it is, it’s very silent which is awkward. The sound system is amazing and the car is very spacious even though it doesn’t seem like it from the outside. I love the suicide doors part of the car, it reminds me of the Rolls Royce, which is part of the BMW family so it makes sense. After having figured out what works and what doesn’t you realize that the battery life of this car is terrible and it needs to be charged constantly. This car doesn’t make sense yet for black people living in South Africa because at most times we have to travel home to KZN, Limpopo, Eastern Cape and other parts of South Africa. This car will struggle to make it to Limpopo unless you charge it every other 100 KM which is annoying. If you are not one to travel around a lot this car is for you.

I needed to charge so I checked out on the navigation to see where the nearest charging ports were located. I live closer to Rivonia therefore it made sense for me to go to the BMW in Sandton. The service was not nice and I didn’t get the help I needed, I was quite disappointed by them. The next day I decided to charge at BMW Cedar and the service there was really good, I charged the car and I was offered some hot chocolate as it was charging and all this was free.

The one thing that they don’t tell you about this car is how fast it is, you forget that it’s a BMW when you are driving it until you switch it to comfort mode. There was a point where I demonstrated the abilities of this car on the road and I can imagine people didn’t see it as a fast car because it’s electric. With the upcoming release of the Tesla Roadsta that will be for sale in 2020, you realize that electric is the future. I believe that this was great start for BMW, despite one of two things I was not happy about; the price doesn’t make sense as this car will cost you around R700k and the battery life needs more work in order to last longer.

Price : R673 500
Engine : Electric + 0.6-litre petrol
Transmission : Automatic
Electric Power : 125kW
Driven wheels : Rear wheel drive
Electric Torque : 250Nm
0-100km/h : 8.1sec
Top Speed : 150km/h
Combined Range : 240-330km
Average fuel consumption : 0.6-litre/100km
Fuel tank capacity : 9L

 

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