Category Archives: BMW

News and reviews of BMW electric cars (including plug-in hybrids).

Selfridges Green Free all-electric BMW i3 Chauffeur Service

Selfridges boosts it’s green credentials with free all-electric BMW i3 chauffeur service

BMW has loaned a fleet of all-electric BMW i3s to Selfridges in Manchester for the next three months as part of the department store’s Material World initiative to encourage consumers to think more sustainably when shopping. Customers can choose to be chauffeured with their shopping free of charge by a BMWi Genius or get behind the wheel themselves.

The store is also celebrating the permanent installation of charging points within their car park as London looks to improve the charging infrastructure in high footfall locations plagued by poor air quality across the city.

As air pollution continues to rise at an alarming rate around the world and cities like Paris, Milan and Rome impose driving bans during the worst periods, Manchester is now also being urged by officials to implement similar rules with the possibility of introducing a congestion charge.

Big brands are now taking steps for change including the likes of leaders in sustainable innovation, BMWi and Selfridges. In recent months BMW’s all-electric i range has been used in a range of initiatives across the city to encourage sustainable driving solutions with the likes of DriveNow – the brand’s car sharing service, London’s police force and now as part of a complementary chauffeur service to Selfridges in London and Manchester.

Read more: Female First

BMW i3 in Fluid Black (Image: BMW.co.uk)

New BMW i3 Business Contract Hire Prices

BMW i3 Business Lease Offers

We have new deals available from 22 February for businesses looking to lease the new longer range BMW i3.

BMW i3 'Stormtrooper' (Image: BMW)
BMW i3 ‘Stormtrooper’ (Image: BMW)

We are offering a BMW i3 (94Ah) auto hatchback on 3 year BCH (Business Contract Hire – effectively a long term rental) with either 3 or 6 months of upfront payment on a 3 year term (so ‘3+35’ or ‘6+35’ respectively). As these are business leases, there is no Fuel Included service as standard. However, you do get the usual free car tax (for the BEV version) and congestion charge exemption as well as often free public parking and charging.

These are the current prices (with the lowest ones highlighted):

Battery Electric (BEV)Range Extender (REx)
Payment Terms:6+353+356+353+35
6,000 miles paTBC£279TBC£310
8,000 miles paTBC£286TBC£317
10,000 miles paTBC£294TBC£327
12,000 miles paTBC£306TBC£340
15,000 miles paTBC£317TBC£353
20,000 miles paTBC£340TBC£378
Contact Us

 

The i3 is a very exciting car – arguably the most advanced in the world being 100% electric and the only mass production car made with a carbon fibre frame (plus aluminium chassis and plastic body panels). We have selected news and reviews (and blogging about our own i3) to read here.

A battery upgrade for the BMW i3 sees range almost doubled
The new BMW i3 (94Ah) in the new Protonic Blue colour

A unique feature of the i3 is that it comes in two versions:

  • As a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) – the car just uses electricity from the battery to drive and you recharge it as necessary.
  • With a Range Extender (REx) – as an option the i3 can have a small petrol engine fitted under the boot which recharges the battery when it runs lows on charge.

In both cases we only provide the longer range version of the i3 battery known as the ’94Ah’ (which relates to the specification of the battery cells). Where the previous i3 battery had a range of 70-90 miles this new battery has a range of 120-140 miles. In the case of the REx version (with its engine and 9 litre petrol tank) the total range is over 200 miles.

The other offer terms are as follows:

  • Prices shown exclude VAT.
  • Prices are for a standard car (solid paint, options as listed) – ask us to quote for other options such as automatic cruise control and automatic parking.
  • Maintenance is not included.
  • You get free road tax for the BEV and congestion charge exemption for both versions.
  • While benefits for electric cars are changing, currently you get cheap charging on motorways and many public locations, plus free parking in many town centres and railway stations.
Contact Us
BMW i3 in Fluid Black (Image: BMW.co.uk)

New BMW i3 PCP Prices

BMW i3 Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) Deals

We have new deals available from 21 February for private buyers looking to buy the new longer-range BMW i3.

BMW i3 'Stormtrooper' (Image: BMW)
BMW i3 ‘Stormtrooper’ (Image: BMW)

We are offering a BMW i3 (94Ah) auto hatchback on 2, 3  or 4 year PCP (Personal Contract Purchase – like a lease you can give the car back at the end, but you also have the option of paying a lump sum and keeping it). To keep these prices low, there is no Fuel Included service as standard. However, you do get the usual free car tax (for the BEV version) and congestion charge exemption as well as often free public parking and charging.

These are the current prices for a 3 year term with a deposit of £1250:

Miles Per YearBattery Electric (BEV)Range Extender (REx)
8,000£380£411
10,000£389£421
12,000£399£432
15,000£413£449
20,000£437£476
Contact Us

 

The i3 is a very exciting car – arguably the most advanced in the world being 100% electric and the only mass production car made with a carbon fibre frame (plus aluminium chassis and plastic body panels). We have selected news and reviews (and blogging about our own i3) to read here.

A battery upgrade for the BMW i3 sees range almost doubled
The BMW i3 (94Ah) in the new Protonic Blue colour

A unique feature of the i3 is that it comes in two versions:

  • As a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) – the car just uses electricity from the battery to drive and you recharge it as necessary.
  • With a Range Extender (REx) – as an option the i3 can have a small petrol engine fitted under the boot which recharges the battery when it runs lows on charge.

In both cases we provide the longer range version of the i3 battery known as the ’94Ah’ (which relates to the specification of the battery cells). Where the previous i3 battery had a range of 70-90 miles this new battery has a range of 120-140 miles. In the case of the REx version (with its engine and 9 litre petrol tank) the total range is over 200 miles.

The other offer terms are as follows:

  • Prices shown include VAT.
  • Prices are for a standard car with solid paint, with or without REx – ask us to quote for other options such as automatic cruise control and automatic parking.
  • Maintenance is not included.
  • The excess mileage fee is 8p to 10p per mile, depending on contract terms.
  • You get free road tax for the BEV and congestion charge exemption for both versions.
  • While benefits for electric cars are changing, currently you get cheap charging on motorways and many public locations, plus free parking in many town centres and railway stations.
Contact Us

Jeremy Clarkson builds the case for electric cars

I was running late, but I finally caught up on the last episode of Grand Tour last night, and enjoyed the usual round of sheer irreverence and pointlessness. What I love about Clarkson is that I don’t have to approve of anything, I can just laugh.

However, as a lover of electric cars, I felt trepidation as Clarkson pulled out all the stops to take the mickey out of James May by setting up a petrol Vs electric test designed to make the electric fail (and fail he did missing the whole of the Roger Daltrey gig).

James May with BMW i3 (Image: www.bbc.co.uk)

On the plus side, it set me thinking. Clarkson has a good point which is that an electric car is not the best choice for all situations. It would be a bit like me setting up an off-road race between Clarkson’s beloved Lexus LFA and a Land Rover. The Lexus LFA is great but is just not going to perform across the muddy fields.

When choosing whether to go electric it is vital to think about how you use your car, and how to select the right car to meet your needs. I’d be the first to say that an electric vehicle isn’t always right, but for many cases it is a fantastic choice, and will serve you well and save you money.

So keep enjoying Clarkson – I know I will – but if you want advice on electric vehicles, don’t take it all from a celebrated ‘petrol-head’ playing for laughs. Instead, come and talk with us and explore how to make it work for you.

Please contact us for independent advice on electric and plug-in hybrid cars.

BMW i8 on charge (Image: Chargemaster)

Government sets out new powers to shape electric vehicle charging infrastructure

The government has set out its plans for the future of UK electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the UK, including powers to standardise new publicly accessible chargepoints; requirements for smart technologies to allow chargepoints to help balance the grid; and minimum provision of charging infrastructure at motorway services.

BMW i8 on charge (Image: Chargemaster)
BMW i8 on charge (Image: Chargemaster)

The proposals have been unveiled as part of the government’s plans for a Modern Transport Bill, which will be introduced to Parliament at the earliest opportunity.

Within the response to a consultation on proposed ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) carried out at the end of 2016, the Department for Transport (DfT) has outlined a series of new powers to increase deployment of charging infrastructure.

Within this are plans to require infrastructure installed for the purposes of charging EVs to have ‘smart’ functionality to receive, understand and respond to signals sent by energy system participants.

This would allow charge points to help balance energy supply and demand in a similar way as battery storage, although the plans did not explain if this infrastructure would be able to access the same revenue streams open to storage.

This measure was met with overwhelming support from respondents, with 90% approving of the plans which could allow EV charging demand to “form a controllable load of immense proportions at a national scale”.

DfT also plans to adopt powers requiring operators of motorway service areas to ensure a minimum provision of electric and hydrogen fuels for ULEVs at their sites. This may mean they need to engage a third-party operator to provide the required infrastructure.

Read more: Clean Energy News

Met Police shifts gear with electric vehicle rollout

London’s Metropolitan Police Service has kick started its rollout of electric vehicles in a bid to help combat the capital’s air pollution problem.

The Met is currently working to introduce around 250 electric or hybrid vehicles into its fleet, with an overall target to replace 700 of the police force’s vehicles throughout 2017.

The Met confirmed that vehicles being rolled out will be similar to the BMW i3 which was successfully trialled as an emergency incident response vehicle in various London boroughs.

In January last year the Met took delivery of its first BMW i3 Range Extender ahead of it being tested in Westminster, Greenwich and Bexley after it was considered to be a “brilliant fit” for the Met’s demands.

Jiggs Bharij, head of fleet at the Met, said the force was now looking at various plug-in hybrids and alternative fuel-powered vehicles, however stressed the need for the operational fleet to remain available at all times.

“We have an ambition to deploy 250 [alternative energy] cars, vans and motorcycles on the road within the next 12 months. To support this we need to make sure that there are charging points available across the estate and that the vehicles are capable of carrying and powering additional police equipment which enables officers and members of the public to remain safe at the scene of an incident,” he added.

Bharij also revealed that the response from officers to the new vehicles had been “very positive”.

“The Met is leading the way – certainly in the police sector – and this compliments the decision in late 2015 to stop mandating diesel fuel for our fleet. We continue to work with a variety of vehicle manufacturers to explore the range of technology and the use of vehicles for evaluation has been a great success,” he said.

Read more: Clean Energy News

BMW i3 interior: Lodge interior world with standard Eucalyptus trim (Image: BMW.co.uk)

Choosing the Interior for Your BMW i3

When ordering a new BMW i3 it’s important not just that you get the right exterior paint colour but that you get an interior that complements it and that you’re happy with.

BMW i3 in Fluid Black (Image: BMW.co.uk)
BMW i3 in Fluid Black (Image: BMW.co.uk)

Prices for i3 on PCP

Prices for i3 on Business Lease

To be honest BMW don’t make interior selection easy in the sense that you might expect to be able to just choose a fabric and a colour. Instead there is a standard interior plus three optional (i.e. extra cost) interior arrangements; BMW refer to these interiors as ‘worlds’.

 

These worlds have a choice of trims (essentially the dashboard inlay material):

  • Andesit Silver matt (Atelier only)
  • Dark Andesit matt (Loft only)
  • Eucalyptus matt (any world but Atelier)
  • Oak dark matt (any world but Atelier)

 

The four ‘worlds’ are as follows:

  • Atelier (standard) interior world: Neutronic cloth with Andesit Silver trim
  • Lodge interior world: Solaric climate active wool/leather, standard trim is Eucalyptus
  • Loft interior world: Electronic cloth/Sensatec artificial leather, standard trim is Dark Andesit
  • Suite interior world: Stellaric natural leather, standard trim is Oak

 

There are therefore a total of 8 different world/trim options; these are illustrated below (click to enlarge).

BMW i3 interior: Atelier interior world with Andesit Silver trim (Image: BMW.co.uk)
BMW i3 interior: Atelier interior world with Andesit Silver trim (Image: BMW.co.uk)
BMW i3 interior: Lodge interior world with standard Eucalyptus trim (Image: BMW.co.uk)
BMW i3 interior: Lodge interior world with standard Eucalyptus trim (Image: BMW.co.uk)
BMW i3 interior: Lodge interior world with optional Oak trim (Image: BMW.co.uk)
BMW i3 interior: Lodge interior world with optional Oak trim (Image: BMW.co.uk)
BMW i3 interior: Loft interior world with standard Dark Andesit trim (Image: BMW.co.uk)
BMW i3 interior: Loft interior world with standard Dark Andesit trim (Image: BMW.co.uk)
BMW i3 interior: Loft interior world with optional Eucalyptus trim (Image: BMW.co.uk)
BMW i3 interior: Loft interior world with optional Eucalyptus trim (Image: BMW.co.uk)
BMW i3 interior: Loft interior world with optional Oak trim (Image: BMW.co.uk)
BMW i3 interior: Loft interior world with optional Oak trim (Image: BMW.co.uk)
BMW i3 interior: Suite interior world with standard Oak trim (Image: BMW.co.uk)
BMW i3 interior: Suite interior world with standard Oak trim (Image: BMW.co.uk)
BMW i3 interior: Suite interior world with optional Eucalyptus trim (Image: BMW.co.uk)
BMW i3 interior: Suite interior world with optional Eucalyptus trim (Image: BMW.co.uk)

Hyundai Ioniq, Volkswagen E-Golf, BMW i3 vs Nissan Leaf

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is the latest addition to a growing class of city-friendly battery-powered hatchbacks. We pit it against its rivals

The electric vehicle market is growing, so we’ve collected the Hyundai Ioniq, Volkswagen E-Golf, BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf together to see which comes out on top.

Hyundai Ioniq, Volkswagen E-Golf, BMW i3 vs Nissan Leaf - electric vehicle group test (Image: Autocar)
Hyundai Ioniq, Volkswagen E-Golf, BMW i3 vs Nissan Leaf – electric vehicle group test (Image: Autocar)

A watched EV never boils. More to the point, it doesn’t bleep, flash, pop, ping or do anything else that you might imagine an all-electric hatchback ought to do to indicate a completed charge. Shame. I like the idea of a Nissan Leaf gradually browning, wafting warm toast smells in every direction, before spontaneously hopping three feet into the air like a slice of Warburton’s ready for the butter knife.

It would at least make an interesting spectacle in the motorway services car park in which we’re now waiting. We’ve got four brand-new battery cars lined up in front of Ecotricity’s fast chargers, each suckling almost noiselessly in turn from the national grid, before setting off on an exercise we’ve been waiting a long time to carry out.

It was six years ago that the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV first tested the appetite of drivers all over the developed world for a compact, affordable electric hatchback. It’s an appetite that’s needed plenty of encouragement, but it’s finally growing at something close to the rate those evangelical early market entrants had hoped for. Viewed globally, the market for pure EVs and plug-in hybrids will total more than 600,000 cars this year, up about 50% year on year. Just over half of all those ‘plug-in’ cars sold this year will be wholly electric-powered.

More important, as concerns today’s agenda, the all-electric hatchback market now provides the UK motorist with enough choice to populate a full Autocar group test. Welcome, then, the new Hyundai Ioniq Electric to UK showrooms. And allow us to introduce it to the similarly priced, all-electric rivals against which its stature must be measured: the Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen e-Golf and BMW i3.

Having followed the early-stage development of these zero-emissions pioneers, we’ve become used to the strengths and limitations of electric propulsion at the affordable end of the ownership spectrum. An £80,000 Tesla may already offer the sort of cruising range it takes to replace internal combustion in a car for almost any occasion or journey, but a £25,000 Leaf doesn’t – and probably won’t for a few years yet.

Where affordable EVs have already shown strength is when performing as responsive, relaxing, cost-efficient short-range transport, in the role typically served by the second car in a family. And that’s how we’re going to test today’s field. We’ve plotted a route across north London, taking in some of its most congested streets and winding up at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Newham. We simply want to know which of these cars would serve you best with predominantly urban use in mind.

Before we set off, time for a quick poke around our newbie: the Hyundai Ioniq. The Leaf, i3 and e-Golf are well known to us, all having been the subject of Autocar road tests over the past few years and all serving customers looking for slightly different things from their first EV. And rather than competing for exactly the same customers as any of its new-found rivals, the Ioniq definitely adds to the breadth of choice in the market.

Read more: Autocar

BMW i3 (Image: Carwitter)

BMW I3 Review – Concept To Reality

[Originally published in 2013 but recently updated with a nod to us – thanks CarWitter!]

BMW first showed off the i3 concept back in 2011 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, it was at an advanced stage but looked nothing like any BMW had done before. Low and behold it’s now available to order and sitting in showrooms.

BMW i3 (Image: Carwitter)
BMW i3 (Image: Carwitter)

Powered by a 130 KW electric motor making 170 HP and 250 Nm of torque it accelerates to 37 MPH in just 3.7 seconds, 0-62 takes 7.2. On a full charge you can expect 80-100 miles of driving. In fact the i3 is quicker to 30 MPH than a V8 BMW M3. Oh, and it’s also rear wheel drive like an M3.

Our test car was kitted out with just under £6k of extras, bringing the final price up to £35,945.

However, there is now a company that will give you 10,000 miles of fuel (electricity) in with the cost of your new car, check them out at fuelincluded.com.

The i3 is one of those special cars, it has come from design to concept, to production with barely any changes. It looks stunning, fresh, modern a new phase in BMW’s somewhat stayed and generic design house.

Up front the tell-tale kidney grille floats over the lip of the bonnet, inner edges coloured by the bright turquoise blue hue that signifies BMW’s I range. A gloss black bonnet contrasts with the lower sections, our car was coloured in Ionic silver, but the real stunner was sitting in the showroom, a Capparis White model – it looks superb with the black bonnet and hatch!

Read more: Carwitter