In 2017 I have been lucky enough to drive two BMW i3 cars (in supercool Fluid Black and chilled out Silver in case you wanted to know) over 60,000km across Europe.
This has given me an incredible insight into the pleasures and practicalities of living with (and adventuring with) the car, rather than just taking it out for a day and forming a snap judgement. Nearly one year on from the start of my i3 journey and I still love the car.
Here are some of my i3 stats and facts:
- I have driven 60,000km, which is more than three times the yearly average of a road user. To put this in perspective, this is the equivalent of driving around the world one and a half times!
- This means I’ve charged the i3 approximately 375 times!
- I’ve driven the i3 (and charged) in 11 different European Countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, UK
- And experienced some interesting weather… Like this incredible fog in Spa-Francorchamps and the biggest thunderstorm in Southern France.
- I visited 14 racing circuits in 5 different countries: Brands Hatch, Daytona Milton Keynes, Daytona Tamworth, Goodwood, Hockenheimring, Karting Genk, Nurburgring, Red Bull Ring, Rockingham, Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps, Steisslingen, Zandvoort, Zolder
- Plus I’ve driven the i3 to back-to-back Formula E races in Monaco and Paris.
- Whilst on the road and charging I have encountered over 100 people I do not know, who struck up conversations to find out more about the car.
- The Fluid Black i3 was the first ever electric car to charge on board the DFDS Seaways channel crossing… Sadly I only got 11% battery from the charge!
- The car even visited and charged at the BMW museum in Munich.
- I played a giant game of BMW chess in Eindhoven, Netherlands!
- With both the i3 and i8, I participated in the Electric Playground event, which saw electric vehicles take to the airstrip in Brustem, Belgium to show what they could do. Other vehicles included the Formulino Electric, InMotion IM/e, Punch Powertrain Solar Team, E-Trike and an Electric Proton. I even had a drag race against the legendary Didier de Radiguès. He won.
- In fact, a video of the event was displayed on a scarily big screen in the middle of the city of Hasselt, Belgium for a whole weekend… So everyone could watch me lose to Didier over and over again.
- I drove the i3 to both the Geneva Motor Show (where I gave a presentation during the press days about electric cars built by student motorsport teams) and IAA Frankfurt. At the IAA there was (unexpectedly) a video of me driving both the BMW i3 and i8 on display.
- And alongside my colleague Dieter Vanswijgenhoven, I was featured in the BMW Driven Magazine BeLux Edition with the story of the work we do promoting electric mobility and STEM education activities. This article focused on the 10,000km electric journey I undertook earlier in the year which included back-to-back Formula E races in Paris and Monaco. At the races I interviewed teams and drivers with questions from school children and students wanting to work in motorsport.
- Driving 60,000km in an average combustion engine vehicle would have used 4200 litres of fossil fuel. In terms of emissions, this would have produced approximately 10,500kg of CO2.
With thanks to BMWi BeLux