Category Archives: i3

Electric Car Day – A great Success for our Milton Keynes Multi-Car Test Drive Event

With support from Nissan, Renault and BMW, we hosted our first Milton Keynes multi-brand electric car day at our offices in Milton Keynes.

In a packed two and a half hours of pre-booked drives over twenty people enjoyed the thrills and spills of electric car driving, with 2 Nissan Leafs, 2 BMW i3’s, 1 Renault ZOE and one Nissan EV-200 electric van.

This is the first of many. Please contact us if you have an office that would benefit from a multi-car test drive event.

Facebook Live Video from a BMW i3 test drive

Video walkaround of a couple of our Cars available for test

Leaf, i3 and EV-200

 

Multi-Car Test Drive in Milton Keynes – This Friday 28th April 12pm – 2pm

FuelIncluded have organised a test drive day this Friday in Milton Keynes.

We shall have the three best-selling all-electric cars here; Nissan Leaf, Renault ZOE and the BMW i3.

Multi-car test-drive

Please contact us now if you would like to drive one or more of these great cars at a single, convenient location, with experts on hand to discuss and ask questions of.

Our BMW i3 on display outside our office (Image: T. Larkum)

Our First Milton Keynes Electric Car Event

At Fuel Included we’re very pleased to be members of the Entrepreneurial Spark programme.

Our BMW i3 on display outside our office (Image: T. Larkum)
Our BMW i3 on display outside our office (Image: T. Larkum)

As part of this we have office space in the Milton Keynes Hub. It was natural therefore for our first electric car event in Milton Keynes to be a display outside the Hub building.

The centrepiece was our new BMW i3 94Ah on show. It generated a lot of interest, particularly amongst those visitors who had not seen an electric car up close before.

Naturally, we have plans for organising more MK events through this year – and you’ll read about them here first.

 

Longer range BMW i3 on Business Lease (BCH)

BMW i3 Business Lease Offers

We have new deals available from 18th April 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 a 3 month upfront payment on a 3 year term (‘3+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:3+353+35
8,000 miles pa£284£313
10,000 miles pa£292£322
12,000 miles pa£304£335
15,000 miles pa£316£348
20,000 miles pa£338£374
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

Buy a New BMW i3 on PCH

BMW i3 Personal Contract Purchase (PCH) Deals

We have new deals available from 18 April 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 PCH (Personal Contract Hire – effectively a long term rental). 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 (with the lowest ones highlighted):

Battery Electric (BEV)Range Extender (REx)
Payment Terms:3+353+35
8,000 miles pa£385£420
10,000 miles pa£393£429
12,000 miles pa£402£439
15,000 miles pa£415£454
20,000 miles pa£436£479
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

Renault Zoe vs rivals – cost analysis

We’re all pretty clued-up about the benefits to zero-emission driving these days. Not only do electric cars help to improve air quality, lower your SMR costs and bring a reduction in BIK tax bills, they also deliver huge savings by not relying on fuel.

According to many experts, we are now getting very close to mass adoption of electric cars here in the UK. But they’re still a niche choice for many fleets because higher P11D prices and anxieties over range remain key stumbling blocks.

A whole-life cost approach is essential and, as discussed in the previous pages, they have to be fit for purpose to provide enough savings to outweigh the initial cost. But technology is improving at a considerable rate and battery ranges are increasing with every update.

The Renault Zoe

Refreshed in 2016, now offers an official 250-mile range – the best the sector has to offer, Tesla aside.

According to the French carmaker, if you use the most efficient means possible, like charging at night, running a Zoe could cost as little as 2p per mile in warmer weather, rising to 3ppm when the nights draw in. As well as offering the best range of our four cars here, the Zoe is also the cheapest to buy with P11D prices starting as low as £18,440. Despite some disappointing residual values, which are a common theme for most electric cars currently, the Zoe is the cheapest per mile too, costing 52.9p.

Renault Zoe Dynamique Nav 41kWh R90 – 52.2p CPM
P11D: £27,890
CO2 (tax): 0g/km (7%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £33/£65
Official range: 250 miles
National Insurance: £1,116
Boot space: 338 litres
Battery size/power: 41kW/92hp
0-62mph: 13.5 seconds
Residual value: 18.7%/£5,225
Fuel costs: £600
SMR: £890

Nissan Leaf

The biggest-selling electric car here in the UK by some margin, the Nissan Leaf also had a battery upgrade in 2016, which saw its range increase up to 155 miles.

Not only is the Leaf the most popular of our models here, it’s also the most practical, offering a 355-litre boot and the most interior space. The Nissan is also easy to drive and comfortable over longer distances.

Nissan Leaf Acenta 30kWh
P11D: £30,235
CO2 (tax): 0g/km (7%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £35/£71
Official range: 153 miles
National Insurance: £1,210
Boot space: 355 litres
Battery size/power: 30kW/111hp
0-62mph: 11.5 seconds
Residual value: 16.9%/£5,100
Fuel costs: £980
SMR: £1,029

BMW i3

First launched in 2013, the i3 not only marked the start of BMW’s EV model range, it also moved the game forwards considerably for electric car technology as a whole. It was a game-changer in every sense, and although it’s struggled to gain momentum in sales against its rivals, the i3 has remained one of the most desirable and technologically advanced electric cars on the market.

A battery update in 2016 doubled the car’s range to 195 miles officially on one charge, although the carmaker believes 125 miles is more realistic in real-world conditions, plus the i3 is also fitted with a new charging system that is 50% faster.

BMW i3 94ah eDrive
P11D: £32,485
CO2 (tax): 0g/km (7%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £38/£76
Official range: 195 miles
National Insurance: £1,300
Boot space: 260 litres
Battery size/power: 33kW/170hp
0-62mph: 7.3 seconds
Residual value: 30.2%/£9,825
Fuel costs: £1,200
SMR: £1,216

Hyundai IONIQ

The first car to be available in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric forms, the Ioniq moved Hyundai into new territory when the car was launched last year. It’s all part of the firm’s plans to have as many as 28 eco-friendly models on sale by 2020.

Arguably the most eye-catching of the four cars, the Ioniq also has one of the biggest boots, and its official 174-mile range is one of the best on offer here too. RVs, as we explained earlier, leave a lot to be desired for EVs in general; however, the Ioniq still manages to better both the Zoe and Leaf at 20.3%, and only the Renault is cheaper per mile for whole-life costs.

Hyundai Ioniq Premium
P11D: £28,940
CO2 (tax): 0g/km (7%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £34/£68
Official range: 174 miles
National Insurance: £1,158
Boot space: 350 litres
Battery size/power: 28kW/120hp
0-62mph: 10.2 seconds
Residual value: 20.3%/£5,875
Fuel costs: £862
SMR: £1,222

Read more: Business Car

Why BMW’s i3 is the ideal city car

Believe it or not the BMW i3 was unveiled back in 2013, long before Brexit dominated the news, and the presidency was just a glint in Trump’s eye. But despite that, it still looks and feels like one of the most futuristic cars on the road in the UK.

Design and features

The BMW i3 was one of the first electric cars which, in our opinion, actually looks good. It’s distinctive, and looks futuristic. But it’s under the surface where the i3 really shines – it’s been designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle (unlike most other electric cars) and therefore is a lot more revolutionary than its competitors.

It’s based around a carbon-fibre passenger cell with an aluminium subframe for the suspension, motor and battery pack. This maximised the space inside, while minimising the size outside.

Tooling up for carbon-fibre construction is just the beginning of the i3’s techfest. All i3s get Bluetooth, DAB radio, iDrive Touch, cruise control, BMW Business Navigation, BMW Online, BMW Apps and Advanced BMW ConnectedDrive.
You’ll also get bags of clever connected and remote features. Things like streaming music from the internet and support for sending navigation destinations direct from your phone or laptop to your i3. Or unlocking remotely with a smartphone app.

Performance

Thanks to the instant torque from the electric motor, even the i3 Range Extender with its heavy lithium battery and petrol generator will hit 62 mph in 8.1 seconds. That’s impressively swift, and especially useful when darting around in London traffic.

The i3, just like any electric car, is at its best around town. It’s quick, it’s responsive and it’s refined. Even the best combustion cars make noises, shift gears and take critical moments to respond to throttle inputs but the i3 is silent, and quick (yet also relaxing with great visibility).

When we first received the i3 we’d try to charge it at every possible opportunity, and suffered from major range anxiety. But after some time with the vehicle, we quickly became more relaxed, and would let the battery run down to around 10-percent before we plugged it in. That’s where the petrol generator comes in useful – it provides peace of mind.

Read more: T3.com

Rhapsody in Blue, Part 3

Today we had another trip to Birmingham but since our destination was past the city centre (130 miles round trip) and I wanted to go fast on the motorway I made no effort to do it all on one charge.

We were taking our daughter to a gymnastics competition. After it was over we headed back towards Northampton but stopped at Corley Services for dinner. And so we made use of the Corley Ecotricity rapid charger again.

While we had our burgers the i3 filled up with time to spare. I took photos of each step of the process and will write that up soon as a guide to rapid charging.

In Praise of the Ecotricity Charging Network

Last week I took a bunch of friends to a concert by the progressive rock band Haken. The round trip distance from Northampton to Nottingham was 150 miles. So, even in the new i3, I knew I would need a charge or be constrained to keep my speed low.

With a bit of Googling I settled on parking at the Victoria shopping centre as it had a charge point. On arriving we plugged in and I started a charge using an old Plugged in Midlands card.

The concert was great and Haken were in fine form. However afterwards we returned to the car to find the charge had failed. Unfortunately I hadn’t been able to monitor its progress on my smartphone as the location had no signal.

So we went to Plan B and stopped off on the way back at Donnington Services to top up on the Ecotricity rapid charger. Although we might have gotten away with just a ten minute charge, there were signs saying the M1 was closed further south so I gave it a  good 20 minutes instead.

After a coffee and a Danish we were on our way. It turned out that it wasn’t just the M1 that was shut but also the main alternative, the A5, so we had to divert a long way out via Rugby.

The i3’s range was more than up to it though and we got home with charge to spare. The trip took place after going to work earlier in the day so the i3 had done 200 miles in a day without trouble. And all for £8.70 in fuel costs (the daytime charging at work in Milton Keynes).

What IS ‘one-pedal driving’ in an electric car?

One-pedal driving is rather like the experience of owning an electric car: it can be hard to appreciate until you’ve spend time doing it.

The phrase “one-pedal driving” refers to the ability of some electric cars to be driven almost entirely with the accelerator pedal alone.

It’s a feature much prized by owners of Teslas, BMW i3s, and most recently the Chevy Bolt EV.

And it’s something that everyone should know about, even if you don’t own an electric car. Even if perhaps you won’t completely understand why it would be appealing until you experience it.

One-pedal driving combines conventional acceleration, using the right-hand pedal, with a much higher degree of deceleration than in a conventional car.

That means that when a driver lifts off the pedal, the car slows down more quickly than an internal-combustion-powered car would.

It’s not found in every electric car. Some makers give their electric cars an identical driving experience to conventional vehicles, meaning they drive like an automatic-transmission car that never actually shifts.

Once you’ve acclimatized, the only times you hit the brakes is for emergency situations.

It may sound a little strange, but trust us: once you try it, you’ll never go back.

And then you’ll start to wonder why all cars don’t work that way.

Full article: Green Car Reports