The only two choices when it comes to a $50,000-$60,000 premium brand all electric car are the BMW i3 and the Tesla Model 3. BMW launched their all-electric BMW i3 in 2014, winning multiple green awards for their EV’s eco-friendly lightweight construction, production methods and use of sustainable materials.
The Tesla Model 3 has been one of the most anticipated cars ever, irrespective of it being an EV. Around 500,000 people put down a$1,000 deposit, sight unseen to buy one. Both are clean sheet design, purpose-built electric cars. Despite similar price points and that battery packs reside in the floor board, both company’s have completely different philosophies in their approach to an EV.
The BMW i3 is a great car with un-matched lightweight build, eco friendly materials and has enough range for most daily drives. Nothing gets around a crowded downtown easier than an i3 with its tight turning radius and ease of parking. The i3, though, is best as a city car or someone’s second car.
The Model 3 forces you to make fewer compromises, however, to drive an EV. The Model 3 seats five and can easily be your only car. The range of the Model 3 is far superior at 310 miles and with a Tesla you are not only buying the car but into Tesla’s Super Charging network. BMW does have ChargeNow network but vast expanses of the United States are not covered by it.
The real competition for the Tesla Model 3 though, isn’t really the BMW i3. It’s the BMW 3 Series, and that lets you know just how good the Tesla Model 3 is. Ultimately the Tesla Model 3 wins this overall comparison. It is not that we don’t love the i3. I’ve owned two of them and they are great cars. It’s just the they have a hard time being your only car.