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About to purchase an i3

Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:36 pm

I live in North Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth) and have looked at i3s for a while now. Our charging network (particularly Level2) is pretty good. My wife has a 5 mile commute to work daily, but we live in an apartment currently and wont purchase a house for another year. We have a library only a quarter-mile away with two Blink chargers at the cost of $.04/minute. Our housing and work situations might change drastically in the next few years, but we plan to own the vehicle for over a decade. We have two children and have some small concerns about the rear doors particularly with unloading in the school zone. It seems if the school faculty that assists with unloading are aware of the vehicle, it wont be an issue.

My biggest concerns are with reliability, tires, size of trunk/boot if my children start playing sports, and battery longevity. I will need the REx as I have family that lives on a farm that we frequent 65 miles from my home. I can likely level1 charge there or in the future level2 charge, but sometimes I am just dropping off my kids for the weekend and I don't want to be tied to waiting on a charge. My commute there is 130 miles round trip and I would easily tap into the gasoline on that trip. I am currently looking at two models at a local dealer ecarone which are in the grey color we like and have the REx. Both are 2015 and have the tech package and sport wheels. However, one is a gigaworld with the light grey interrior and harmon kardon package and the other is a teraworld fully loaded except for the harmon kardon sound. The gigaworld is $1,100 more expensive, despite its lack of options due to only having 14,000 miles on it. The Teraworld is very nice and we prefer the leather interior especially for the ease of cleaning the seats should our children spill, but the Teraworld has 40,000 miles on it. 14,000 miles seems low for a 2015, but 40,000 seems high.

My question to you is: is either low miles a concern of the battery being neglected and the high miles a concern of it being abused with frequent deep cycles? I have test-driven both and noticed that neither vehicle has been coded yet, but I will do it immediately as I want the REx to come on long before 6%. We like the idea of taking the high mile one spec'd the way we like it, especially how lightly she puts on miles (7,000-8,000/year). I have already put down payment at the dealership, but I can transfer it to the more-expensive gigaworld if we change our minds.

After we purchase, I plan to post on here frequently to update everyone on our progress with apartment, large metropolitan EV living. I also plan to do as much maintenance on it as I can myself up to replacing the battery pack with the new one when mine no longer holds a sufficient charge.

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Re: About to purchase an i3

Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:37 pm

Kaisarwilhelm wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:36 pm
However, one is a gigaworld with the light grey interrior
That sounds like a base Mega World model because the Giga World has tan leather trimmed beige upholstery with light eucalyptus wood trim on top of the dashboard. Except for different upholstery, Giga and Tera World models have identical features unlike Mega World models which lack a few relatively minor features (e.g., some interior LED's). Seems like you'll be buying the Tera World model, so whether the other is a Giga or Mega doesn't matter.

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

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Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:37 am
Location: Anglesey, Wales, UK

Re: About to purchase an i3

Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:46 am

Sounds like I'm coming to this too late, but I'll add my thoughts anyway.

Owning an electric car without a guaranteed place to charge is challenging. What will you do if the nearby chargers are in-use or not working? Do you have a plan B and C for overnight charging?

$.04 / minute on Level 2 works out to about $0.35 per kWh. I'm not up to date with US pricing but that sounds expensive. You should disconnect the car when it is done charging. Having to move the car every night might get old.

Option bundling in different here in the UK. So are the names of the interior worlds and what comes with them. The options are mostly the same though. Things like the extended interior light package are fun but not at all important.

Does the car have DC Charge Prep? I'm not sure about US options and what came standard when.

The base audio system is not very good. (Mine has base audio). H/K isn't great either but it is much better. There are some aftermarket upgrades but if you care about music try and find a car with H/K.

Storage space in back of the car is small, especially by American standards. BMW make a dog guard for the i3. With a dog guard, you could fill the back up to the roof and not worry about cargo hitting you kids. It isn't in the catalog, but a dealer should be able to order one for you. The part number is 51 47 2 455 971.

Don't worry about the Battery. Worry about the Range Extender.

10 years? Can you stretch your budget to a newer i3? 2017 gets the 94Ah battery. 2018 has the LCI (facelift). The LCI updates all sorts of things.

Last time I looked there were still brand new 2018's at US BMW dealers. You might be able to get a huge discount since the 120Ah car is out, making the 94Ah hard to sell.

What sort of discount can you get on a new 120Ah i3? I've seen people getting more than $10,000 off on the brand new 120Ah i3. --
2014 LEAF 24 (gone)
2017 LEAF 30 (gone)
2018 Mazda 2 (Debbie's)
2018 i3s 94Ah Rex

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Location: Dallas

Re: About to purchase an i3

Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:24 am

I'm with Andrew - having an electric car without your own charge-point can be a study in frustration. Even at level two you are looking at a four to six hours charge time at least a couple of times a week. Have you checked with your Apartment complex on the availability of a standard 110 plug for level one charging, or even paying for the installation of a 220 outlet for level 2 charging? Would be well worth it.

If you are looking for a specific i3, i.e.. leather, HK, all the options, their are other sources in DFW besides eCarOne. I wanted a 2015, Tera, white, fully optioned, HK, 20 inch wheels - and after trying for several months to find one at eCar, found a small Dallas dealer who has access to the twice monthly dealer-only BMW lease-return auctions held in Hutchins, TX. I gave him a deposit, and my requirements, and he found exactly what I wanted, with 9,600 miles on the clock, and a year left on the factory warranty.

And the "the Rex is a problem waiting to happen", is just not reality. Does it add some complexity to the car? Sure. Have there been a few reported repairs? Sure, but not wide-spread. Someone on the Facebook group asked for 'show of hands' on real-world reliability, and most Rex posters even into high mileage had zero issues.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BMWi3/p ... %22O%22%7D

Are the doors awkward? Can be if you are not used to them - but we had a Honda Element for ten years before the i3 - same doors, so second nature. Picking up two grand-kids from school is no issue - both were taught from early-on to put on and take off their own car seat safety belts - so basically it was open the door for them, they toss their back-packs in the foot-wells, climb in and get themselves squared away. The trick is, open your door, open the rear door, then soft-close your door, so you are not pin-balling in-between the two open doors.

But all that being said - unless you have a good, reliable charging option, your current circumstances lean much more to a hybrid. eCarOne has a pretty good selection of Lexus CT 200h hybrids.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

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Re: About to purchase an i3

Wed May 08, 2019 10:45 am

I would recommend the one with lower miles. There's a "secret" menu that you can tap into on the dashboard. Youtube how to do it and you'll find how much the battery has deteriorated on each and can make your decision from there. 40k miles is considered a lot for a 2015 i3. It should be in the 30's.

As far as the doors are concerned, I'm about to have the same experience with escorts opening the doors. They'll just have to figure it out. I may need to do it for them the first few times. I'm anticipating that I will several times as the escorts will be different kids opening the doors an they'll all need to be educated. At that age though, your kids can point out to the escorts how to open the back door. Theoretically speaking.

If you plan to keep the car awhile, then these few years of car doors being opened by school escorts is short term and may not need to be a deciding factor as you know.

You mentioned Texas. I remember it getting quite hot there. The cloth seats will not increase/decrease in temperature as much as the leather. Personally, I prefer the cloth seats for that reason as well as the aesthetics of having accent colors. I'm also not a fan of the dark brown. Reminds me of the new CX-5 Signature. So brown that you wonder why they didn't just make it black.
A fanatic of all things electric. Ridables like electric ice chests and stand up scooters I adore. Drones like DJI, I root for. I'm a fan of both, but nothing beats my love for my 2016 i3 Rex with Deka World. Shhh, don't tell my wife.

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