BMW i3 - Renault Z.E. Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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BMW i3

Quote:
Originally Posted by pauledg
Anyone fancy the BMS i3, launched yesterday? What a looker!
No. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

The reason I like the Fluence ZE is that it is a normal looking car. Why do EV's have to be weird like the Leaf or the i3? Why can't we get the Ford Focus EV like they get in America. Looks just like a normal car, no statement, no 'look at me', just a normal car that happens not to require a visit to a petrol station.

But that's just my view.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 03:53 PM
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RE: No timer, or %age limiter, charging. :(

Couldn't agree more.

BMW's used to be renowned for their understated elegance and simplicity - and their boring interiors. Heaven only knows what the interior of the i3 is like but I doubt boring is the right adjective for it. I know it's being marketed by a separate division so I'm surprised they've stuck with BMW as the brand rather than some new moniker to stop the purists howling.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 05:45 AM
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RE: No timer, or %age limiter, charging. :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by pauledg
Heaven only knows what the interior of the i3 is like but I doubt boring is the right adjective for it.
Yup.













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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 06:08 AM
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RE: No timer, or %age limiter, charging. :(

I hope there aren't too many of us who like the Fluence because it is 'just a car'.

I mean, the chances of me being able to afford the full-on price is slim-to-zero, so my ownership has come about due to crashing residuals.

If folks buy a car like this i3, as far as I can tell they are buying it because it says 'hey, look at me'! (same for MiEV, which appears to have pathetic aerodynamics, space, and range. I'd say the Leaf is more 'novel' than 'bling', I'd be happy with a Leaf too, I reckon, but the rear end looks very odd to me.)

I just checked out the BMW promo video of the i3, and there are 3 shots of folks coming up to the car and looking it over. I mean, what sort of people is that advertising aiming at, if it makes the effort to show that this car will get looked at?

I bought the Fluence because it was a good looking high spec car that drove nice - the fact that it was electric really was a secondary factor, (but obviously it'd not have driven like it does if it wasn't an EV).

I prize highly a smooth power delivery and gear-change free, or at least imperceptible, transmission, so EV is a logical choice. I have had a couple of CVTs and they are great, but refinement always suffers slightly when pulling away because they still need a clutch action from stationary.

A few visitors have commented on the nice new car outside our house, but it simply didn't dawn on them that it was an all-electric car. That's what I like - 'it's a car!', and a very smart, elegant one at that with very refined driving characteristics. Simple. [hr]
[hr]
..So the i3 looks like it is only a 4 seater, too.

Another electric Noddy car....
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 06:39 AM
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RE: No timer, or %age limiter, charging. :(

Just been looking for aerodynamics for the i3. Can't find it.

But have found that it has a consumption rating of 4.8M/kWh (funny, my Fluence does that too!).

(4.6 M/kWh for the range extender version)

And that it uses 155/70 R19 tyres. I doubt you'll find any of those in your nearest tyre shop!! (But I do commend BMW for using narrow, large tyres, this makes good sense for minimising tyre losses.)

Good accel, though - 8 s from its 125 kW motor.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 06:42 AM
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RE: No timer, or %age limiter, charging. :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by donald

..So the i3 looks like it is only a 4 seater, too.
Yes.

Quote:
Another electric Noddy car....
It should drive circles around any of the Renaults and the Leaf. But any sane EV customer isn't buying one to drive like an idiot. You won't get very far before the battery goes flat.


BMW are taking a big risk with the i3. The best thing I can say about the exterior styling is that it is too forward looking. The truth is it would be very hard for us to trade the best looking car BMW currently builds for something as ugly as an i3.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 07:50 AM
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RE: No timer, or %age limiter, charging. :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie
Quote:
Another electric Noddy car....
It should drive circles around any of the Renaults and the Leaf.
I'm just kidding with you. Seem to be lots of cars coming out at the moment with just 4 seats.

It's just that a car is pretty narrow to only have space for two in the back. I was bumping shoulders with passengers in my Fabia which made it feel a bit of a Noddy car, and that had space for three [small] folks in the back!

The Fluence is so wide that I can't rest my right elbow on the little 'elbow-shelf' they put on the door! (which is, actually, a bit annoying!) I'm thinking I'll actually have to find a bit of high density foam or something to wedge in just to the right of the seat, for that purpose.

With what particular defining features do you think it will drive circles around the other kids already on the block?





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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 08:39 AM
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RE: No timer, or %age limiter, charging. :(

i3 Noddy Car - yet another with over-sized front seats (like the Zoe) obliterating the rear view. I hate to have to rely on wing mirrors to see what's going on and folk in the back must feel entombed.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 09:41 AM
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RE: No timer, or %age limiter, charging. :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by donald

With what particular defining features do you think it will drive circles around the other kids already on the block?
Weight. The i3 is about 650 lbs. lighter than a Leaf or Fluence. A light car is a fast car. Not just off the line, but also when turning and stopping.

i3 Power to weight is 9.6kg/kw.

Turning circle is 9.86M so it really does drive circles around the others, even Tesla

Winter range. When connected to mains power, the pack is kept at 20C. Warming up the pack will improve winter range. Tesla also has this. Renault and Nissan don't.

Range Extender. Very few customers really need it but everyone is going to want it.


Dealer support. You can take the i3 to any UK BMW dealer for service and repairs. If that dealer isn't able to do the work, BMW-i will transport the car to another dealer at no additional charge.


Areas where the i3 looses?

Looks.

Price. Nearly new Fluence at 9000 or less is today's bargain.

BMW's initial lease offer. The residual is a joke but since it is a Personal
Lease you can't buy the car for the residual.



Advantages if BMW pulls it off:
Charge network. BMW are parterning with Chargemaster to build out a PAYG charge network.
ICE Loaner program. For 40/month you get access to BMW loaners and Chargemasters network. 480 / year may sound expensive but renting an X5 or Z4 is 150 a day. It is a good alternative for a single car household that doesn't want to the annual road trip in a Ford Focus.

There may be others but I haven't even seen an i3 yet.


EV's we've test driven:

Leaf
Kangoo
Fluence
Zoe
BMW ActiveE By far the best to drive. Zoe is a distant second. Sadly, BMW isn't going to sell them.

We've sat in a Model S but haven't had a chance to drive one.











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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 10:51 AM
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RE: No timer, or %age limiter, charging. :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie
Weight. The i3 is about 650 lbs. lighter than a Leaf or Fluence. A light car is a fast car. Not just off the line, but also when turning and stopping.
Quite true, especially with the i3's 125kW. But a heavier, bigger car is also a more civilised cruiser. My preference is greater comfort. I've nothing to prove with speed, especially in an EV where driving hard kills your range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie
Turning circle is 9.86M so it really does drive circles around the others, even Tesla
D'you mean it'll drive circles 'within' the others!! hardly a far comparison, when the Fluence is almost 25% longer!!

Mind you, looks like the i3 is an electronic handbrake, so it may not let you do a handbrake turn that'd be possible with the Fluence's mechanical handbrake! You'd win the 'turning competition', then'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie
Winter range. When connected to mains power, the pack is kept at 20C. Warming up the pack will improve winter range. Tesla also has this. Renault and Nissan don't.
Yeah, that's interesting, and brings us full circle to the topic under discussion. If the ZE's only had timers to set the charge start/finish, then it'd be a doddle to ensure the charging hits 100% just as you want to use it, and as it is charging up it will ensure the batteries are warm.

I still reckon that the 'odd' arrangement of the batteries in the Fluence's boot will prove to be a benefit, in some scenarios - with the battery within the passenger 'box', and with heating to that space (and with the battery heating up under charging), I suspect the Fluence battery pack is much better protected from short term ambient temperature excursions (over-night cooling, or day-time heating). Not forgetting the surface areas to volume ratio is much smaller than for a 'sandwiched' pack under the floor.

I'll be interested to see in winter if, without cabin heating, the actual charging process will be enough to fend off the frost from the rest of the cabin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie
Range Extender. Very few customers really need it but everyone is going to want it.
I agree, indeed. I think it is one of those things that ICE owners will feel they 'must' have, before letting go of the security blanket of range they have with a fuel tank. Reality is that, like many Volt owners are finding, the engines often only run because they are programmed to run every so often so it doesn't seize up and to clear the old fuel out of the tank!!

For now, I'd say that anyone interested in an EV should only go ahead if they have a second ICE car anyway (unless they are absolutely clear on how to get by when they need bigger range).

Renault offer the 'theoretically' perfect solution which is to offer discounted hire of an ICE car. Well, that's the idea. I might try it out, and see if/how much I can hire a replacement for a day.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie
Dealer support. You can take the i3 to any UK BMW dealer for service and repairs. If that dealer isn't able to do the work, BMW-i will transport the car to another dealer at no additional charge.
If BMW are on top of the ball, maybe they'll get that one sorted better than Renault. However, the reality is that we're in Britain, and customer service is disappointing for pretty much every brand I have experienced (with the one exception of my Subaru - but unfortunately the nearby Isuzu/Subaru dealer dropped Subaru because their workshops were always empty [very rarely went wrong!] - one of the reasons I sold it.)

The i3 will add to the mix, and I hope it will prove to be a success and owners have a good experience with it. (Personally, I'd still feel I was driving a Noddy car!!! But if someone wants to lend me one, I'll try it out for them... )
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