BMW i3 Year One Celebration

BMW i | May 10th, 2015 by 5
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The BMW i3 Year One Celebration in underway across America with various dealerships hosting events, and local owners getting together to celebrate the one year …

The BMW i3 Year One Celebration in underway across America with various dealerships hosting events, and local owners getting together to celebrate the one year anniversary of the launch of the i3 in the US.

The idea for the Anniversary Event began with a conversation back in February between a few i3 owners in the BMW i3 Facebook group. Roman Vasquez actually was the one who first thought of having an official nationwide i3 anniversary celebration. At first the thought was that we’d pick a day and coordinate local meets for i3 owners to get together. We’ve done similar meets like this before, where we get together in a parking lot somewhere, but Roman thought meeting at a dealership might be interesting. The idea quickly expanded to, “How about we try to get dealerships across the country to host an event?”

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We knew we couldn’t coordinate something that large ourselves, so I reached out to BMW i Marketing Manager, Joan Bowen, and asked if BMW would be willing to help us get this off the ground. She loved the idea and simply asked, “What can we do to help?” So BMW created the event logo, contacted their dealer network informing them of the event (of which participation was optional) and created some swag (T-shirts, pins & stickers) which they would send to participating dealers to give out during the day.

Some dealerships took it one step further and gave away prizes. Two dealerships that I’m aware of that really put extra effort into the event were JMK BMW in New Jersey and Crevier BMW in Southern California. Both dealerships raffled off a free JuiceBox Pro 40 EVSE (Crevier also raffled off other prizes including a JLong charging extension cable), offered catering for the attendees and did their best to make the day special for the i3 owners.

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The official anniversary event lasts for the remainder of the month of May, but the majority of events happened on May 9th, which was the day we originally planned, before BMW joined in to help us get more dealerships involved. It was really nice to get together with other i3 owners, swap stories and EVangelize a bit. There’s already talk of formally making this an annual event and I think that would be a great idea. We put this year’s gatherings together on short notice and without many of the dealerships participating. It was a lot of fun and I think we’re on to something here, so watch out for next May!


One thing I’m particularly happy to see, is BMW’s willingness to participate in events like these. They didn’t hesitate to say they thought it was a great idea and then asked how they could help. It’s important that the manufacturers continue to offer strong support for their plug-in offerings. It’s not enough just to make the cars. A successful plug-in vehicle program needs the support of the manufacturer with a healthy marketing budget, and continues with community outreach, like these kinds of events offer. The EV market in still in its infancy, and if a manufacturer is really serious about being a market leader in this space, then these kinds of events are a great way to build consumer confidence in the brand.


A special thanks goes out to Roman Vasquez, Heather Somaini, Kris Kluzak, George Betak, Shawn Wooten, Wilfred Fojas, Manny Antunes, Dave Avery, Peder Norby, John Higham, David Vottero and Brandon Watson. All of whom put a lot of time and effort behind the scenes to make the i3’s first birthday party a memorable event.

[Source: bmwi3blogspot]

5 responses to “BMW i3 Year One Celebration”

  1. no-aids says:

    1 year anniversary = 1 year of failure ? The i3 is a dog. A Bulldog actually. Its sales are tanking and its not helping that the car is ugly. Interior is cheap and terrible feel. I had a “pleasure” of driving one for 3 days in their extended test drive program. Absolute utter crap inside, ugly and over designed on the outside, but a cracking drive for the few hours it lasts. About 50 mile real world range unless you drive like an 88 year old grandma who left her glasses at home and has been smoking weed for a week.
    Drove it on a nice fall morning with full charged batteries. Turned up the heat as it was 42F outside, turned on the headlights and wipers as it was lightly raining and cranked up Brian Johnson in the radio.
    Well after just 23 miles the batteries were half way depleted. Ouch, I had 28 more miles to go. Kept on driving no pause. Well after just 49 miles into my journey the batteries were completely depleted and the generator kicked in. Well it is not a real engine as it never propels the car only generates power and the electric motors runs the car. Fine, no panic. 1st stop light though and I exited the car with a rush. What happened in the back ? Whats that noise ? 5 minutes of investigating I came to a conclusion. It is a generator running in a back. Literally. Like the one you get from Home Depot. Same finesse, same noise (horrible lawn more type of quality) and it is on the back of your 50k usd premium electric BMW.
    Wow. Driving the remaining 2 miles was same as before but noisier.
    At that location was no 220V supercharger option so I used regular 110V household plug. The total of 3 hours I spent there was enough to re-charge me for 7 miles. Yeap, 7 miles.
    Put some more fuel into the tiny tank and headed home. After some calculating my mpg was 31 when running the gas engine. Thirty one miles per gallon !!!!

    So the 3 days test drive ended. One time we were able to get almost 70 miles from a full charge. Once in 3 days. Pathetic. We used the gas generator a lot.
    Got a Prius C – same size but better interior – no recycled cardboard door cards, no recycled cardboard dash panels, etc. less then half the price and we constantly got 50 mpg. Any day – cold or warm, at any moment we were able to refuel, no wait for power cords and parking close to outlets, etc.
    The i3 remains as a toy. For people who has no real job and wants something unique and expensive to show their wealth. Its a gimmick and not even a good one.
    When the battery was charged the car was fun to drive, I agree on that. I tried drifting and tested acceleration and even top speed. Very viable cracking little car with a redesign of the inside/outside to be more “normal” and not so cheap on the inside, it could be a very good little car. But don’t forget to double the battery pack and refine that generator.
    Until then don’t expect more then 11-12 thousand rich schmuck to pony up the 50 grand for this toy.

    • Horatiu B. says:

      Thanks for the report. I would have to say my experience is different. I love the i3 REx, it made for a perfect winter car, it drives well and plenty of range. Now granted I only drive about 120 miles per week so maybe that’s why.

      • no-aids says:

        120 miles a week ? I ride my bicycle more then that :-) but yes, if you don’t drive a lot and just needs a car for a few miles a day then it is fine. It is however more of a toy then a real car imho.
        I drive about 70-75 miles a day between school drop off, taking kids to gym, practice, and having two kids means two schools, etc. roughly 400 miles a week driving and mostly city. I live in SC Greer, 7 miles from BMW factory so we have no real cold and long winter. The i3 failed miserably in a cold weather. Range plummeted withing seconds of turning on the heater. Also w/o the 220V charger it is useless. A friend’s Tesla recharges in 3h on the 220 and about 8 on the 110V and his battery goes 200+ miles.
        Imho if a car has less then 150-180 miles range it is a golf cart with a roof on. I would not consider any of them as real cars with 70 miles range. Also it is only 70 miles if you drive like a grandma. I drove it like any other car, hence the low range for me. Wife drove it as a electric vehicle owner – slow and careful, trying to get the mileage and still never gave us the promised 90mph.
        The Prius C was the only car that actually did better then any of the promises from the manufacturer. It easily went 50 mpg and we say 64 on one occasion.
        at 18,500 that car was easily the one that we would have chosen as city car had the gas prices not plummeted down.
        It probably killed some of the sales for the i3 as well.

        Now if you want to hear my opinion if the i3 was fun to drive , then Hell yes. I kept up with an E46 M3 and drove the max of 93mph. It actually did not do more according to the speedo but did the 93 with the without the generator.

        Drifting with those skinny tires was a breeze and had fun with the car. Good engineering but half the size of the battery then should be and that generator needs a cylinder, a balance shaft, an intake and exhaust revision. I had home depot generators (made by Honda) that made more civilized noise.

        Bottom line – at 50 large the i3 is weak. no range, cheap (very ugly cheap) interior (besides the seats which were great) controversial exterior, and good driving feel.
        not worth it for 95% of the population.
        I might want to add another huge negative factor – the missing rear door handles.
        The rear door can not be opened from the inside without 1st somebody opens the front door. Here is our situation.
        – small kid in a back seat – with the booster seat. Bigger kid is in front.
        Big kids gets out of car to school. we go to the next school. school drop off zone comes – kid has to get out – he can NOT ! options – ask somebody to open the right front door and right rear door from outside, or reach over and open the right front door and right rear door and then once he leaves shut them.
        Get out of the car walk around and do the same opening-closing. None are convenient and none are simple.
        So another engineering failure in my eyes, the rear doors should be real doors that you can open from inside outside. This gimmick “suicide” door setup is dumb and totally useless and not convenient at all.
        I’m not even getting into the trunk space – or the lack of it. The front is useless as it is not weather-proof and the back is barely enough for the kids backpack and a few more little things. Again at this price range you expect a little better execution of things. Maybe the i3 gen II will be better. I narrowed it down to BMW in my review to a few things to improve

        1. make it more handsome – it is like a bulldog
        2. get rid of the suicide door, get normal real doors
        3. enlarge the battery by a lot – double it pretty much
        4. refine the generator
        5. drop the recycle cardboard interior parts, get real about a 50k cars interior. green is good but for 50 grand I want green and decent look
        6. pack the front and rear differently so useable space can be enlarged a little. The front was specially bad looking.

        size is oke, don’t need to enlarge it or anything like that. Speed/acceleration/handling is top notch, no trouble there. Speedo or gauges are a bit confusing but overall it was ok after a few hours.

        we ended up not buying anything for now as the gas prices went down. With the 400+ miles a week driving (in city) I wanted to save fuel and have a car that still considered as a real car, not a toy. So far the Prius C won with the good gas mileage (fun driving too) and space/ease of use. Sure, it was slower and less precise handling but in a city it did not really matter. We have larger cars and ones that handle good, just wanted a car that would be good for 5 years to get the kids to school/practice/errands and still work as a car to go to places. I could see using that car at least 4-500 miles a week so it will have about 100k+ miles after 5 years and if I see correctly Prius’s usually retain about 40% of their value after 5 year, then I could sell it for about 7400usd. That is a great value and I actually liked the look/feel. Perfect city car for getting around and not have to recharge every 4-5 hours to get going.

      • no-aids says:


        Read this Car and Driver article about the Tesla 70D.
        240miles range, 3+h recharge time, AWD, 5 seating, large family sedan with looks that BMW could get envy of. Base price 76,500 USD. Yes, it is more then the i3 but look at the car and what you get. BMW is behind, way behind in the electric car business. Their 7+ year development time was wasted imho.
        I’m sure very soon they will be up to the level, but they are lacking right now. So many mistakes and annoying hassles with their electric cars, they are only for a select few people, hence the reason they tanking. I’m not including the i8 as it is a limited car, there is not enough data to actually say it is good or bad, also twice the price of the Tesla.
        I had a chance to sit in an i8 and yes, its awesome. at 140grand it is better be.
        would I buy it had I have a need and means for that car ? Probably not. As much as I love the brand (have 6 BMW’s) it is not the car that I’d love to spend 140grand.

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