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Old Tue, May-14-2019, 11:59:18 AM   #1
Obioban
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Default Obioban's i3 babymobile

Well, there's a bit of hell froze over feeling to it, but we bought an i3.

The basic thought process was this...
1) inbound baby in a couple weeks
2) baby's are disgusting and ruin cars
3) I don't want them ruining and of the M cars
4) a slightly used (CPO 2017 in this case) i3 is cheap enough that the money we're not spending on gas 100% (and then some) costs the cost of it over 3-4 years, so long as we actually drive the thing
5) They are also essentially maintenance free driving (so long as you don't get the REX), which will be useful to my decreased free time. No engine, fuel system, transmission, etc vastly cuts down on upkeep. E.g. BMW's free maintenance covers two things on this car-- wiper blades and brake fluid

The i3 is kind of a cool car in a lot of ways. Ways that would be much cooler with a high revving, NA engine, but cool either way. E.g.
-Carbon monocoque
-all the panels are plastic or CF.
-total weight of <2800 lbs for a full functional 4 seat car (took it to dinner in comfort last night with me (6'4), my brother (6'6), my super pregnant wife, and my brother's wife)
-rear wheel drive
-50:50 weight distro
-super stiff chassis
-instant throttle response
-super low COG

My option needs were pretty specific:
-94aH battery (so 2017 or later)
-No REX (adds 300 lbs, maintenance, seemingly 99% of the failure points)
-HK stereo (because my wife really cares)
-no sunroof
-"tera world" (for the leather interior, instead of cloth interior)
-never smoked in or had an air freshener installed
-not silver
-20" wheels... because that's they way you can get summers (as opposed to all seasons).

Since most cars are REX and/or have the cloth interior, it was actually pretty tough to find a car. I quickly gave up on finding one locally (seems like very few were sold in this part of the country). After 6 months, I finally found a car in Florida that met my needs. M3F member Dave B went over to check the car out for me, test drive it, and make sure it didn't have any evidence of a former life owned by a smoker or air freshener user (it didn't). So, after 2 weeks of the dealership being the worst I've ever dealt with Lauderdale BMW Pembroke Pines), it arrived at my door

Pictures from the dealer:










Random fun photo of the chassis I found:




Wired up the garage with a 240v charger (0%-100% in ~4.5 hours):




Arrived:




Car in the garage for the first time:



Until the kid arrives, I'll be using it for my daily ~100 mile commute. Including today. Initial impressions:
-the car feels incredibly solid.
-It's weird to drive an EV by a real car company. Previously I've only driven ones that... aren't quite complete cars yet
-it's NOT slow. Not at all.
-it feels rwd, in every way you'd hope for
-steering feel is typical EPS, aka not great
-no engine sound is very strange. Great for DD, remarkably detracting from driving hard
-94mph top speed is seriously annoying. I'm going to try to get that removed, or at least raised the i3s's (same engine and battery) 100mph.
-interior, in tera world form, is really nice
-my driving style is not efficient. The Connected Drive app rates your driving efficiency on a scale of 1-5 stars. I'm averaging 1/2 of a star.
-regen braking takes some getting used to. It also makes the car feel strangely heavy, as if there's a ton of friction slowing you down
-LED headlights are bright!

Mods I'm considering...
-DIY trunk extension (into the area where the REX engine would be)
-bimmertech MMI carplay retrofit box
-OE BMW sunshades on the passenger rear seat
-Britax car seat base on the passenger rear seat
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Last edited by Obioban; Tue, May-14-2019 at 02:33:57 PM.
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Old Tue, May-14-2019, 02:30:20 PM   #2
e46lsb
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Default Re: Obioban's i3 babymobile

Best of luck with the car and the baby.
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Old Tue, May-14-2019, 02:54:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Obioban's i3 babymobile

Staph. Pls.
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Old Tue, May-14-2019, 03:02:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Obioban's i3 babymobile

Nice! I almost got one last year instead of my Countryman but the range just wasn’t enough. My neighbor has one (non extended) and after taking notes from his experience over the year (which he loves that thing) i realizes my commute and city living just would not work for me. If i had a charging station at work I’d be able to swing it but we dont
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Old Tue, May-14-2019, 05:47:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Obioban's i3 babymobile

Curious as to why you chose this over a model 3?
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Old Tue, May-14-2019, 06:00:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Obioban's i3 babymobile

Best of luck with the baby and i3.
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Old Tue, May-14-2019, 06:05:17 PM   #7
Obioban
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Default Re: Obioban's i3 babymobile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitehawk8 View Post
Curious as to why you chose this over a model 3?
-Build quality
-weight (the i3 is 900-1300 lbs lighter than the model 3, depending on which battery you get in the model 3)
-price (I paid ~half the price of a stripper (no option) Model 3)
-back seat space (specifically head room-- all Tesla's are pretty useless there)
-part support (exists, unlike Tesla).
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Last edited by Obioban; Tue, May-14-2019 at 06:09:29 PM.
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Old Tue, May-14-2019, 06:13:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Obioban's i3 babymobile

Love this car. Not many electric cars out there that look good outside of Teslas. Although this one has a more unique look, in a good way.
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Old Tue, May-14-2019, 09:31:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: Obioban's i3 babymobile

Nice pickup! I've been seriously considering one of these to take over DD duties since my commute went down to about 15 miles a day. The (basically) maintenance free aspect is what was selling me.

The issue for me is supply - there's next to no full-BEV versions on the market, seems everybody except me wanted the REx model. Also not keen on the extremely unique wheel/tire size. Being that I would be driving it in Canadian winters, there is literally like 2 wheels and 2 tire options, leaving me SOL if supply runs low and I'm in need of a replacement.

Curious how much you end up driving it long term relative to your other cars. From what I hear, a lot of people end up neglecting their ICE cars for the EV in 95% of driving purely because it's free and they get comfortable with the available range.
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Old Wed, May-15-2019, 12:23:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: Obioban's i3 babymobile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
.... I'm averaging 1/2 of a star.
This
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Discussing Obioban's i3 babymobile in the Member Journals Forum - Do you have a long term project you would like to share with the community? Use this forum to create a single thread which you can update over time to document the progress. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)