BMW i3 electric car owner review

BMW i3 electric car owner review

Rex drives a BWM i3 Range Extender 21.6kWh 2015 electric car.


This is Rex’s first electric car, he’s owned the BMW i3 for 3-4 years and drives between 10,000-15,000 miles per year. The current mileage is between 30,000-40,000 miles and he achieves 70 miles range from a full charge.


Rate your BMW i3 of 5.


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Why did you choose the BMW i3?

Timeless compact design & price.


Positives – List 3 or more reasons why you love this electric car.

  • 0-30 acceleration feels crazy fast, comes in handy when pulling out onto roundabouts
  • The handling is excellent and every mile is fun
  • I love the design of the outside and inside. It feels futuristic but everything is easy to understand and intuitive to use.
  • I think the Rex is genius – I’m amazed other manufacturers haven’t copied the idea
  • Although in theory this car is a PHEV its 90% electric rather than 50/50. We only put petrol in the car once every few months but it’s so handy for adding a couple of miles range when needed.


Negatives – List 3 or more things that you really don’t like about this electric car.

  • You can’t open back passenger windows
  • Only 2 seats in the back
  • Ours only has AC charging (no fast charging).


Have you experienced any faults with the car? If so, what have they been?

I’ve just started to get a dash warning that the 12v battery might be having an issue (that’s the normal car battery that all cars have). That’s the only issue I’ve had.


What are the standout tech features of your BMW i3?

When we first got the car we enjoyed the BMW Connected phone app but after 6 months we lost interest and stopped using it. It was fun to see the battery status remotely from an app but after a while it felt like a gimmick. When the app updates you need to re-enter the cars VIN number and we couldn’t be bothered so deleted the app from our phones.


BMW i3 electric car owner review


Surprise us! Tell us something people wouldn’t readily know about this BMW i3.

Although this car’s spec does not have fast charging we’ve not missed it. We use the car for local trips and always park it in our garage where we have a 7kW home charging box. It feels like a never ending battery because we can always top it up.
We mostly charge the car to 75% at night using an Ohme smart cable on a 5p Octopus Go tariff.


In the day I often use the Granny 3 pin plug charger if I want to top up. I do this because I don’t want to accidentally put too much charge in at 25p (I’d rather use the 5p night rate). We do long trips maybe twice a year and the REx is amazing. You can only activate the REx when the charge is below 75% so I tend to switch it on at 50% as I feel that’s best for the battery.


What electric car are you interested in next and why?

I’d buy another BMW i3. I buy cars that are 3 years old and I feel the i3s have a great used price, there’s plenty to choose from and if there’s a problem you can always find a BMW garage. The build quality with the carbon fibre frame feels premium and makes the car feel light. BMW have not repeated this in the newer models so I feel the i3s were probably very expensive to manufacture.


What home charging unit do you use? Would you recommend it to others and why?

I’m not sure – it was the first one I could find 3 years ago. If I had to start again I’d go with a zappi.


Rate your home charging unit out of 5.


What home electricity supplier & tariff do you use? Would you recommend it to others and why?

Octopus Go – I can’t believe in the current cost of living crisis it’s still 5p per kWh at night.


Rate your electricity supplier out of 5.


What public charging networks would you recommend to others and why?

I don’t have fast charging on the BMW i3 but I do have an electric van that can fast charge. If I’m travelling long distances I like to stop where there’s more than 1 charger available and usually that will be a Gridserve or Instavolt. If I see a SWARCO, bp pulse or Shell charger on my travels I use them with RFID cards. I find the 1 monthly bill from these suppliers saves me never ending credit card reconciling.


List your top 3 favourite public charging networks (in order of preference).

  • Instavolt
  • Gridserve


Who do you insure your electric car with? Would you recommend them to others and why?

Admiral – they gave us a great combined policy for the car & van.


Rate your insurance provider out of 5.


Estimate how much money you save per month owning and running an electric car compared to a petrol/diesel car.



See other owner reviews here


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