What should I be paying?
As we write this (end of June 2022), i3 production is about to end. It’s no longer possible to configure a car online and order it from the factory. The only new cars now available are already in the system.
As such, this is more of a guide to buying used than new. But let’s touch on new purchases first. The i3 has a small but loyal market which means BMW has never needed to discount the cars. Prices start at a bit below £34,000, but with a few options that rises to £38,000. Most electric cars of comparative performance and size are a little less, but the BMW has brand and image on its side, which boosts residuals and means lease costs of around £350 per month.
Residuals have actually strengthened over the years. Be aware that early cars have smaller batteries and correspondingly less range, which has made them less desirable. If possible look for post-2018 facelifted cars with the 42.2kWh (120Ah) battery. Expect to pay in the low £20k area for one. That’s probably the i3 sweet spot.
As far as running one goes, as standard you get DC Rapid Charge preparation, but home charging should be able to add around 60 miles of range in a couple of hours. If you can get BMW’s ‘i Wallbox’ home charging station that allows 11kW rather than the usual 7kW charging for a range of approximately 112 miles in under three hours.
As far as tax breaks go, the government recently axed its purchase grant for new electric cars, but road tax is £0 and to be fair the i3 itself is all the incentive you need. It’s a cracking car.