How to demo a BMW i3

BMW i3 Forum

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Well-known member
Apr 30, 2016
Huntsville, AL

Recently in another forum, "Mike King" asked and I recommended coming here with the same question:

  • I work for a car leasing company in the UK, , and would very much like to understand the take up of alternative fuel cars in the USA. In my experience vehicle technology changes in the USA flow across the Atlantic to us here in the UK. It seems to me reading through the threads in this forum there are numerous practical issues being explored and I would appreciate any feedback from daily users of these cars to offer me some advanced information. Our business is beginning to offer these types of vehicles so the better informed we are the better customer service we can offer, looking forward to your replies and help.

So this is my answer for a BMW i3-REx:

  • Have all seats up.
  • Start with driver door, open it and rear seat door. 'Like a two door coup, the rear seats are accessed after opening the front.'
  • Here are the front trunk and gas cap access buttons. Press both and show the display indicating the tank is depressurized for filling.
  • Leave doors open and open the front. Go over the contents and fluid fill caps. Pull off the shields to expose the front equipment, 'Note the crush space in an accident doesn't have an engine and transmission to enter the cabin.'
  • Open the gas flap and open the cap. 'The sealed gas tank prevents fumes from polluting the area.' Let them put the cap back on and close the flap.
  • Open passenger side doors. Casually discuss the seat controls and lower the passenger side seat. Close the doors and leave seat down unless there are more than two customers.
  • Open the charger flap. Point out that even with the car charger, it will be fully charged the next morning. If it has fast DC charger port, discuss typical costs and nearest one. Let them know, 'The best use is to charge the car in 30 minutes returning from a trip and then go home to top it off over night.' Close the flap.
  • Open the hatch and point out how much space is available either with both seats down or up. Close the hatch.

  • Have customer(s) sit in driver seat and you ride shotgun behind the passenger. Passenger seat if only one.
  • Have them READY the car. Make sure the battery SOC is on the display.
  • Talk them through adjusting seats and mirrors, Make sure the passenger sees the vanity mirror and light.
  • Show the fuel and EV range bars. Go over briefly the steering controls but don't spend 'university prep' detail . . . ON and SET.
  • Warn them about the strong regeneration that lifting off the accelerator will feel like braking.
  • Have them shift car into "D" or "R" to get moving and feel the regeneration. 'You will find it takes a very short time before it becomes second nature.'
  • Have them stop and discuss the BMW style of five positions for the turn signal and cruise control.
  • Direct them to drive through a couple of intersections to a freeway.
  • Have them join the traffic and follow a truck. Then go over how the cruise control works. Be sure and have them set the speed to +10 mph so they can see it in full operation.
  • Away from traffic cams and cops, have them do a short, maximum acceleration. Point out the low road noise makes it easy to bust the speed limit. Slow back to normal.
  • Return to dealership.
  • If there is a second in the customer pair, let them drive too although around the urban area would be good.

  • With the car in "P", go over the different displays and cabin controls.
  • 'Any questions?'
  • Close the deal.

Bob Wilson