I tagged along with Bryan, his dad and Gary to check out the BMW i3, its first all-electric offering (a model with a small ‘range extender’ gas engine added in, is also available). We ended up going for a test drive and liked the smooth, snappy acceleration of the car. It is barely necessary to brake when one wants to slow down : taking one’s foot from the accelerator flashes the brake lights (for the cars behind) and engages the battery charger, which slows down the car automatically. It takes a little getting used to, but works well. The little car is not cheap, though .. better be prepared to pony up $42,000 for the all-electric car and some $4,000 more for the model with the gas engine.
As the salesman pointed out, though – if one buys this car, stick with the all-electric. Then you can drive around mean and clean, not worrying about ever putting gas or oil in. (Just keep an eye on the limited 70-110 mile range!). This is a city car, not really meant for road trips. The brake pads will last a very long time due to the engine-braking mechanism, and changing the tires every now and then is the only maintenance needed. BMW guarantees the battery for 8 years or 100,000 miles.