Sunday/ BMW i3 test drive

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Here’s the charging station at BMW Seattle’s dealership. Charging time is three hours from a 220-volt household plug.
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The animated screen on the charging station shows that a charging card is used to activate the charger.

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.

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There it is .. we’re done with the test drive!  It was fun .. the little stubby nosed car with its all-carbon fiber body and aluminum chassis accelerates well, and is very smooth and quiet.


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