Gareth Butterfield spends a week in the all-electric BMW i3

What is it like to live with an electric car? Gareth Butterfield borrows a BMW i3 from Stratstone BMW in Derby to find out



I’M sitting in the showroom at Stratstone BMW in Derby waiting to be “logged in” to a car. If this week isn’t going to give me a glimpse into the future of motoring, I don’t know what will.

When I got to the dealership, I wasn’t ushered to a desk with all the regular BMW customers. Because I was picking up an i model I was led off to a newly-built, lavishly appointed area away from the main showroom and offered a seat with the firm’s “i agent”, Chris Whitmore.

It’s clear BMW has invested a small fortune into the i brand. As if trying to justify his opulent surroundings Chris begins explaining how it will soon become a standalone marque – I’m guessing in the same way as Toyota did with Lexus and Nissan did with Infiniti.

Except i will be an all-electric brand, focusing on sustainability and zero emissions but not forgetting BMW’s reputation for an involving driving experience. Alright, Chris, I’m sold. Give me the keys, I want a go.

I’m sent on my way with a smartphone app that tells me my car’s status, a fully-charged i3 and a quick-start guide. The last item I took possession of that had a quick start guide was a television. This car feels a lot cleverer than my television. It’s going to be an interesting week.

Read more: Derby Telegraph

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