The best electric cars of 2017
BMW has redefined the small car genre with the i3 and there’s plenty more to come from this line of carbon-fiber/aluminium bodied machines.
A range of 81 miles is the limiting factor, although you can order your i3 with a range extender engine that turns it into more usable transport with a 150-mile range. In 2017, the i3 will have a range of 114 miles without petrol power.
It charges in 3 hours on a 220-volt outlet and with a rear-drive set-up it should be fun. Intrusive electronics and a 2600lb kerbweight mean it isn’t quite the pure driving machine that built BMW’s reputation.
It is, however, a premium city car that means people can enjoy zero emissions without slumming it. It’s a lifestyle statement and a fashion accessory, as much as a usable car, but the world still loves a designer label.
There are neat tricks on the i3, including regenerative braking that means you can leave the brake pedal alone if you plan your drive. It will also hit 60mph in 6.5s, which in the confines of the city is all you are likely to need. It isn’t the total package, but it’s a good first attempt from BMW and a clear sign of what is to come.