• Long-term test Winter Wunderkind Robert Hefferon has warmed to the i3

    CAR: #BMW / #BMW-i3 / #2017-BMW-i3 / #2017 / #2018

    OWNER: Robert Hefferon

    There was an extra air of smugness about me as I passed the fuel station and saw that prices had increased again, and it stayed with me all the way to work.

    The morning had already started well. I opened the curtains and saw a crisp covering of frost smothering the i3. There was none of that ‘Where have I left the scraper?’ or ‘I’d better set off ten minutes early’ business because the day before I had luckily and unknowingly got one-up on winter, and set the i3’s pre-conditioning schedule for 7.30am and 5.45pm.

    Another peek out of the window at 7.40am confirmed that the i3 was very kindly warming the cabin and defrosting itself. OK, similar things exist and have done for a while, but often they have to be activated in real-time. Incidentally, you can do that too on the BMW i3, if you don’t have a schedule set for the pre-conditioning or you want to access the car at a different time, by pressing a diamond-logo button on the key fob, which will instantly activate the warm-up function. The idea of the pre-conditioning setting isn’t just to keep me toasty: it also improves the batteries’ efficiency in the cold months.

    Win-win! And it got me thinking: how many people, despite warnings to the contrary, leave their car idling to warm up and de-mist? Countrywide that adds up to a boat-load of fuel! It’s the little things that make a big difference, and this little i3 has some big ideas. Less pollution, less global warming, more properly cold winters for the i3 to do its thing…