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The BMW i3 went on sale on 16 November 2013 and so far it has already enjoyed success over its rivals.
During the first month, more than 500 UK orders were taken for the revolutionary BMW i3 and sales were predicted to reach 2,000 by the end of 2013. To put this success into perspective, its rivals the Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid models only achieved sales of 141 and 26 respectively in the same month.
With more than 10,000 people worldwide placing orders for the i3 during the same time period and 100,000 people across the globe registering to test drive it (Auto Express), it could be true to say that this new EV has just set new boundaries for electric cars as we currently know them.
Priced from £25,680 (including the £5,000 grant from the Government), the BMW i3 comes in two versions, as a pure electric car and a petrol-electric hybrid. Both cars offer incredibly cheap running costs, with the petrol version capable of achieving a whopping 470mpg! Both versions are free from road tax.
But for us, the one thing that BMW has really done to make the i3 stand out over its rivals is its overwhelming sense of style and finesse. Like other electric cars, it maintains a futuristic look, but somehow we’re far more drawn to its uniqueness, because unlike other electric cars, the i3 still manages to look cool and inviting.
The cabin offers luxury like nothing else in its class – couple this with the silence of its electric motor and you’ll be able to enjoy a very comfortable ride. The car also features BMW’s unique ‘one-pedal driving’ system that slows the car (and recharges its batteries) when you take your foot off the accelerator.
The BMW i3 is great fun to drive and sports a turning speed other family cars could only dream of a few years ago. Admittedly the range is limited to 80-100 miles, but it can be charged in just 3 hours on a fast charge socket or in 8 hours from a normal household plug, and its CO2 emissions are as low as 13g/km.
Once you’ve got past the higher price tag, other downsides to the BMW i3 include restricted space in the back and a tight boot coupled with the fact that the rear doors cannot be opened without the front door being opened first which could cause unnecessary complications if out on the school run.
But all in all, we’re very excited by the BMW i3 and we think that it is indeed the first car to make the EV sector look cool – admittedly buying an i3 is a very individual choice, but assuming you are able to take on board its charging requirements, there is no doubt this car is the quickest and most sophisticated EV on the market.