Living with electric vehicles – the BMW i3.

Living with electric vehicles - the BMW i3.

Since its launch in 2013, the BMW i3 has been a trailblazer for electric vehicles. After six years, the i3 is an extremely successful model and symbol of driving electric.

As the number of electric vehicles increase year by year, it’s clear that electric is the future. For many, making the switch to an all-electric will be a huge change. Without visiting fuel stations or oil changes, what will our lives look like living with electric vehicles? 

This week we’re going to look at the BMW i3, focusing on its range, practicality and charging capabilities.


When the i3 was launched, it was BMW’s first all-electric model. It has been completely designed from scratch and is easily recognisable with it’s funky looks. Drivers across the globe rave about the reliability, durability and practicable range of the BMW i3.

As well as being the most efficient BMW car on the market, it’s often called the most sustainable electric vehicle as it has the lowest carbon impact across its lifetime. The i3 is designed using a mixture of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic and aluminum. This makes it incredibly lightweight, weighing in at only 2,800lbs.

Without its distinguishable BMW grille, you probably wouldn’t notice the i3 was a BMW at first glance. However, it’s the ultimate modern vehicle with a touch of retro to it.


Drivers of the BMW i3 note that it is small enough for nimble towns, but the acceleration is crisp and responsive. The standard model produces 168bhp, while it can reach 60mph in roughly 7 seconds (depending on the exact model).

Like all electric vehicles, the i3 is a silent  and refined drive. The i3s are also rear wheel drive, providing some familiarity and comfort, making it a default choice for drivers who have been sceptical about EVs in the past.
One of the best driving features of a BMW i3 is its regenerative braking systems. These are found in most electric cars, but it is more profound in the i3 – possibly because of a BMW i3’s light weight! When you’re driving you’ll find that  you rarely have to use the footbrake. You simply take your foot off the accelerator and you’ll find the car will brake for itself, channeling the regenerated energy back into the battery.


Inside, the high end look of the i3 continues with the modern styling giving the interior an upmarket ambiance, while it remains roomy enough for four people. There’s also extensive glass areas on the rear doors which avoid passengers feeling claustrophobic and the flat floor allows for plenty of foot room.

Thanks to its simple, but elegant, design the dashboard has a futuristic look that is full of high-quality tech. As always, the controls and driving position are up to BMW’s usual high standards. 

The final touch is BMW’s use of renewable materials such as eucalyptus wood which you can choose to have fitted on the dashboard. This gives the interior a contemporary, fashionable finish.

As standard, the BMW i3 comes with a generous amount of equipment, including LED rear and headlights and stylish 19-inch alloy wheels. There’s also an advanced voice recognition system as well as Apple CarPlay which ensures you can connect all your smart devices.

The central 10-inch display uses the BMW iDrive system which is a huge convenience to drivers. Within this, you can access all the necessary information on parking, charging and the available range of your vehicle.



Since the i3 is so popular, BMW now has a variety of different models which have different ranges. When you’re considering buying an electric car, the biggest worry is the range of the vehicle. 

An electric vehicle’s range is how far they can travel before needing to be charged again. This will vary from car to car. Some of the newest, most luxury EVs are able to travel over 500 miles before needing a top up.

While some EV owners, particularly new owners, feel the stress over the range of a vehicle, we don’t believe it should make or break your decision to buy an electric car. Lots of EV drivers manage to travel from destination to destination without the fear of breaking down on route.

Think about it, you don’t have an unlimited amount of fuel in your traditional car so what’s different? Nothing! Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular and more public charging points are popping up each year.

Despite this, we do agree that everyone looking to buy an electric vehicle should ensure that the vehicle’s range is practical for your day to day life. For example, if you have a long commute to work everyday then you’ll probably want a EV with a larger range than those who live locally to their workplace.

The range on all of the i3 models has improved dramatically since they first launched. Some of the most popular models include the 94AH, the 120AH and the BMW i3 Black which can travel 125 miles, 190 miles and 180 miles respectively.


When your i3 does need charging, you’ll most likely top up its battery at home in your driveway or garage. If you don’t have off-street parking, don’t worry! You can still drive and charge an electric car without one. Take a look at this blog post on different charging options.

When charging your EV at home, the easiest option is to have a wallbox fitted, which will charge your i3 quick enough for your next journey.

If you opt to have a 7kW wallbox, the i3 will take six hours to charge. While this may sound like a lot, it’s actually pretty quick for an EV! Plus if you’re planning on charging your EV overnight, then your i3 will be fully charged ready for your morning drive.

Plugged into a 50kW rapid charger, which are the kind usually found on motorway services, you can add 100 miles of travel in just 30 minutes. Whereas, a three-pin plug in a domestic sock will be a lot slower. For the i3 to fully charge it will take nearly 20 hours – not so practical. 

All of these charging times really depend on which charger you choose when buying your BMW i3.


Charging costs:

It’s well known that electric vehicles are much cheaper to run than traditional petrol or diesel vehicles – and the i3 is no different! Let’s talk figures!

On average, to fully charge a BMW i3 it will cost you approximately £1.50 – £2.00 if you charge off-peak.Let’s say you choose to charge the vehicle everynight from empty (which you are very unlikely to need!). You’ll be looking at spending roughly £10.50 a week. That is a LOT cheaper than fuel. 

Insurance costs:

We recently explored data from HeyCar which shows that insurance premiums are significantly cheaper for electric vehicles than they are conventional vehicles. 

The BMW i3 is one of the five cheapest electric vehicles to insure, alongside the Renault ZOE and Nissan Leaf. On average, it could cost you only £569 a year to insure a BMW i3. This will vary depending on factors such as location, drivers age and licence points.

Additional savings:

When buying an electric vehicle, you’ll also benefit from lots of additional savings, including no vehicle tax! If you’re using your i3 as a company car, you can enjoy 1% Benefit-in-Kind tax for the current financial year. London drivers benefit from free entry to the Congestion Charge zone within the center of the city.


We have lots of different BMW i3s available for sale at the moment! All of our EVs come with a one month warranty, MOT and a 7 day money back guarantee. Take a look at our full stocklist, here.

If you have any questions, or need more information, please give us a call on 01634 914 063. You can also drop us an email at

* All information correct as of 06/09/2021.