Each day, we take a look at how some of the cars on the What Car? test fleet are getting on, and today we look at the BMW i3 and the newly arrived Mini Cooper hatchback
My i3 lifestyle benefits greatly from our company having installed a bank of 32A chargers. They're Chargemaster items – the sort that can be yours at home for around £90 if you use the current government grant scheme – and they're quick enough to replenish the energy used driving home and back (60 miles, including 40 on motorway) in a couple of hours. It's fully juiced up and ready by lunchtime, basically.
The car park is a bit hazardous otherwise, though. Our electric spaces are right outside the door and if I manage to make a prompt departure I end up scaring my fellow employees. Without the noise of an engine running, the i3 is basically silent at parking speeds – and if my colleagues are focusing on a) getting to the station, b) lighting a cigarette or c) both then they can be easily caught out by a slow-rolling BMW.
It's almost got to the point where I'm considering a brief toot of the horn before I press the throttle pedal. EVs are great at low speeds and around town – but there's no doubt that we've yet to fully resolve how they 'announce themselves' to pedestrians.
By John McIlroy
Elsewhere, the Mini Cooper hatchback hasn't been here long, but is already winning admirers.