April 16, 2014

BMW i3 tops Sunday Times best Electric Cars list

The Sunday Times has declared the new BMW i3 EV the best electric or hybrid car in sale in the UK in 2013, despite it not yet being available.

Photo BMW i3 Sunday Times

The BMW i3 EV tops Sunday Times best Electric Cars list

Just as they did with the new Range Rover last year, the Sunday Times has declared the new BMW i3 EV the pick of the bunch of electric and hybrid cars on sale in the UK, despite the i3 not yet arriving on UK roads.

But there seems a good chance that the Sunday Times have got it right this time too, just as they did with the new Range Rover.

The Sunday Times praised BMW for biding its time with the launch of their first electric and range-extender car (the next, the BMW i8 supercar, will arrive in 2014) and said the i3′s big appeal lies not in its cutting edge electric motor or battery technology – because there isn’t any – but in its appeal as a car even without its EV powertrain.

And in many ways the Sunday Times are right.

The BMW i3 appears to be a BMW first and foremost, and looks like a car you could live with every day – especially with the small motorcycle range-extender engine – offering much of the BMW experience but in a car that costs peanuts to run.

The downside, as it is with any EV, is the price.

At £30k for the entry-level i3 (before you start on BMW’s options list) and another 10 per cent for the range extender version, the i3, despite its compact size, costs as much as an entry-level 5 Series.

Still, BMW i3 buyers will probably buy the majority of i3s as second cars – not their main car – and considerations like purchase price – within reason – may not be the most important point.

But it’s a big feather in the cap for BMW’s electric car adventure to top a major list of the best EVs, especially when the Nissan LEAF has had such a head start.

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