If Tom is correct about BMW, I guess they’ll just lose me as a customer…


I like to read what my fellow BMW EV guy Tom Moloughney has to write and his most recent post has me thinking…

What category would I be from the categories he wrote about a few days ago:

“Basically there are four main groups of perspective i3 purchasers:

1) They are interested in the i3 but the 81 mile EPA rating is just too low for them and the range extender is out of the question. They walk away from the car and consider their other electric vehicle offerings.

2) The 81 mile range works for them. They get the BEV i3 and understand its limitations.

3) They really wanted the BEV i3 but the range rating was too low for their comfort so they reluctantly ordered the i3 REx. (I fit in this box)

4) They really liked the idea of the range extender from the start and wouldn’t have bought an i3 without it. The ability to drive primarily on electric but have the range extender there for the few times they need more range is perfect for them. Not ever worrying about getting stuck on the road because they ran out of charge or a public charger was broken or blocked is paramount for these people.”

For most of the time, I’ve felt that I’ve been category 3 and begrudgingly have to go with an i3 REX because I am not so comfortable driving my Model S on a daily basis and really enjoyed my ActiveE. With the addition of a NEMA 14-50 in my parking spot at the office and my JESLA, I could go category 2. However, this was completed after the deadline from BMW for Electronauts to place their orders, my order was for the i3 is with a REX. I would’ve preferred that BMW offered a larger battery pack option, if my experience with the Active E is any indication, sometime between my 2nd and 3rd years of driving, I would probably have lost a good chunk of range because of the miles that I drive (54,321 miles for 2 years of the ActiveE program).

The Model S as a daily driver still has some of the nits that I’ve written about previously when I compared the three EVs that were in our garage at the time. The Model S is still larger than the vehicles I’ve been driving on a daily basis over the past few years, but I have gotten used to it. Additionally, the firmware upgrades that the Model S has been receiving has provided constant improvement in the experience.

However, all these compromises and constant reduction in i3 published capabilities, my overwhelming desire to stick with driving in all electric mode, and my adjustment to using my Model S on a daily basis has lead me to determine that I don’t really need to compromise. I’m about 95% sure that I’m just sticking with Tesla and move to category 1 with regard to the i3. And as I’ve written before, this would be a shame. Now, I’m sure not the only participant in the Electronaut program to feel this way, that last 5% could still swing to the i3. Look at what Pamela and Michael Thwaite went through last week. It could still happen, but if you ask me right now… Probably not. There are a lot of other things we can use i3 money for. (Like a Fiat 500e and some money left over…). If BMW loses me as a customer for the i3, hopefully they improve the next generation of i cars to try to win us back. (Besides, our dirty not so secret X5 will be with us for a while longer)

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Dennis

rEVolutionary armed with a Tesla Model S S85 and a Tesla Roadster, when his wife let’s him borrow it. Formerly driving a BMW Active E (2012-Feb to 2014-Feb).

Dennis has been driving EVs since he found himself on the BMW Active E trials on February 2012. As a result of his involvement in the Active E program, he became Accidentally Environmental. Aside from this blog, he often tweets @dennis_p. When not driving, he can be found on the following Tesla/EV forums – teslamotorsclub.com, teslamotors.com, and model3ownersclub.com as AEdennis or on speakev.com as Dennis. In the interest of full disclosure, Dennis has an inherent bias toward electric vehicles and has an investment in and is LONG Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA).

3 thoughts on “If Tom is correct about BMW, I guess they’ll just lose me as a customer…”

  1. We’re definitely in the 2) camp of want the BEV, would never choose to add a gasoline engine – we’d had that in the past, it didn’t work for us, time to move on.

    However, being on the East coast really limits your options. I’m almost certain that we’d have chosen the Fiat 500e had it been available however, I’m not sure it’d have been as happy. It would have been our joint second car along with the Focus – two number 2s, no number 1. The i3 is now our number 1 car so, there’s definitely something there to overcome that limited range.

    1. Michael, I am always thankful to be an rEVolutionary in California… Pretty much the only EVs that isn’t sold here are the Renault ones… And I’d really like to check out a Twizy…

      I keep flipping back and forth on this i3 thing and really disappointed that I ordered a REx one even more so at all he things that were taken away from the initial REx designs. Besides, I always look at the range less 20% for “future” projections and would prefer to keep my EVs for at least five to ten years.

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