Home » My 2014 BMW i3 Has A Horrible Achilles Heel, But It’s Still Way Cheaper Than Driving A Gas Car

My 2014 BMW i3 Has A Horrible Achilles Heel, But It’s Still Way Cheaper Than Driving A Gas Car

Bmw I3 Achilles Heel Ts
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My 143,000 miles 2014 BMW i3 has a terrible achilles heel that makes driving it far, far more expensive than it needs to be. And yet, I just ran the numbers and found that it’s still significantly cheaper to drive than a gasoline car, especially here in California. Let’s look at those calculations, and you’ll see why it’s such an insanely good deal despite its rather significant foible.

My i3 has been very reliable. In 12 months and 10,000 miles of driving, I’ve replaced a 12-volt battery and done a preventative differential oil change. That’s it. And other i3 owners say that’s what I can expect for years to come; it’s an absurdly reliable machine. In California, where gas is $5 a gallon, you might think I’d be saving a bundle of money. After all, all I really have to do is pay my power bill, and that’s about it. No regular changes, no weeping at gas pumps, no internal combustion engine replacement parts — I just plug it in every night and I drive.

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But the reality isn’t so simple, and my i3 is likely going to cost more to drive than I thought.

The Tire Issue

Screen Shot 2024 04 25 At 11.10.43 Am

BMW i3s absolutely chew through tires, and though that’s the case for many EVs, the i3 is among the worst culprits. Hop on BMW i3 forums, and you find pages and pages of conversations about egregious tire wear. Some folks aren’t even getting 20,000 miles out of their set:

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Based on what I’m reading, if I’m lucky, I can make it two years on a set of tires before I have to spend $1,000 on a new set of tires, as — and this applies only to the i3 — the tire options are severely limited due to them being a special (skinny) size:

Screen Shot 2024 04 25 At 10.01.43 Am

A typical gas car’s tires will last twice as long, so whereas over a decade I’m buying five sets of tires for a total of $5,219.80, a gas car owner would have to buy only 2.5 sets, and likely at a lower cost due to more availability. One can get a decent set of tires for a typical gas car for $700 installed; multiply that by 2.5 and you’re at $1,750 in tires to drive for a decade — that’s $3,469.80 saved driving the gas car over my i3!

But let’s look at fuel costs.

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Fuel Costs: Where The i3 Makes Up Lots Of Ground

Screen Shot 2024 04 25 At 11.11.17 Am

First things first: Electricity isn’t free. I typically spend about 30 cents per kWh when I factor in both the energy rates at my apartment and those at charging stations. My i3 generally does about four miles per kWh, meaning I’m spending 30 cents to go four miles or 7.5 cents per mile. A typical gasoline car the size of my i3 (like a Mini Cooper) can easily score 32 miles per gallon, meaning every mile costs $5 (which is about the price per gallon here in California) divided by 32 = about 15.6 cents, or 8.1 cents per mile dearer than my i3. Assume average annual miles traveled of 12,500 (that’s about average in the U.S.), and I’m saving $1,012.50 a year on fuel! That’s $10,125 over a decade.

Not to mention, I save $25 every 3 months for not having to do an oil change (I rarely use my i3’s range extender, so we can ignore that for now), and I save loads not having do deal with serpentine belts or oxygen sensors or even brake jobs (since my i3 uses regenerative braking, so pad wear is minimal).

Let’s say we spend $100 every 50,000 miles (four years of typical driving) on a dirt-cheap DIY brake job, that means that over 10 years you’re spending about $250 on that. As for oil changes, if you do one every 4,000 miles like I do, that’s about three per year, or $75 a year or $750 a decade.

So $750 in oil changes, $250 in brake jobs, and $10,125 extra in fueling per year, and you end up with with $11,125 more to operate a typical gas car. Even after you lop off the extra $3,469.80 I’m paying for tires over that span, we’re still at $7,655.20 saved driving my i3 over an equivalent gas car over a decade.

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Price Of Entry

Screen Shot 2024 04 25 At 11.15.26 Am

But what about the price of entry? Well, this was typically where gas cars gained their ground, but that’s just not the case anymore. New EVs are getting close to reaching price parity with gasoline cars, and used EVs are downright cheap these days. You can buy a 2020 Tesla Model 3 for like $25,000. My 2014 BMW i3 was $10,500, and if I’d gotten a federal rebate, it’d have been closer to $7000. Try finding a 10-year-old luxury car with adaptive cruise control, self-parking, and a Harman Kardon sound system for $7000. Heck, even finding one for the full $10,500 I paid would be tough.

My girlfriend and I just drove a Lexus RZ to wine country last weekend. The thing starts at over $56,000 new, but I’m finding examples with only 1,000 miles on the odometer costing under $40,000. Polestars are getting cheaper, VW ID.4s are getting cheaper, and on and on. If you can find a good deal on a reliable EV, and especially if you can take advantage of a federal EV rebate, you stand to save some good money, assuming gas isn’t too cheap where you live.

Anyway, I just thought I’d share those numbers since I was sure my i3’s tire situation would put me in a hole. But actually, given how pricy gas is, I guess I can deal with it chewing through tires at twice the rate a gas car does.

Top image base photo: BMW

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EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
1 month ago

Just head on down to Tractor Supply, I’m sure they got some trailer tires that will fit with a little brake clean and a whole lot of will power. I bet 200 bucks all together, tops. Sure, can’t go past 55. But they’ll sit in 110 gridlock just fine.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago

“The Tire Issue”
Yup… That’s one of the reasons why the BMW i3 isn’t on my vehicle candidate list.

The tires are more expensive than the much larger (but more common sized) 19″ tires on a Tesla Model S

Incidentally the Model S is also known for chewing up tires. Sometimes it’s due to driver behaviour, sometimes it’s due to tire choices made (high performance tires with low treadwear numbers), but sometimes it can be an alignment issue that there are fixes for that I’ve bookmarked already in the event I decide to buy a Tesla Model S at some point.

One thing that manufacturers do to make vehicles feel more stable is put some toe-in at part of the alignment specs. That’s good for the feel of stability, but it’s bad for tire wear and bad for efficiency.

If your tires are wearing out fast, you may want to get your i3 custom aligned at a wheel/tire specialty shop… NOT the dealer. And have it done with just a slight bit of toe-in… maybe just below the minimum specs: Same for Camber Here is an example sheet I found for an alignment done for someone else’s i3
https://i.ibb.co/jTN9GFp/IMG-5682.jpg

Here’s a bigger discussion on the issue and how it impacts efficiency:
https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/toe-set-0-results-front-end-alignment-17893.html

JDE
JDE
1 month ago

when the vehicles are heavy and intentionally hard to reduce parasitic drag, this is the result. Similarly an issue is say a turbo 4 making 300 HP vs a v8 making the same HP. one is working much harder generally to perform the job and as a result longevity suffers.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

May I point out I have over 20 notifications to respond to. I am blocked from responding to them. And I have notified Matt, Jason, and David recently of the issue but can’t respond.

Greg
Greg
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

so its time to pick on you since you can’t respond? Let me start

I’ve heard you’re a real genuine guy.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

You’re blocked from responding to comments? That’s a shame.

I heard your mother was a hamster and your father smells of elderberries!!!
If you don’t respond to this quickly, then OBVIOUSLY it’s true!

:-p

Uninformed Fucknugget
Uninformed Fucknugget
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I heard your real name is Mr. Genuine

Jatkat
Jatkat
1 month ago

Man, I see stuff like this and am again thankful again for going with a Volt.

Spikersaurusrex
Spikersaurusrex
1 month ago

But is it really reliable? Does it have a timing belt, or a chain?

Genewich
Genewich
1 month ago

I always hear about the EV tire thing, but I have a Mach-E and so far it isn’t chewing up tires nearly as fast as my Focus ST did, and I’m not any gentler on the pedals with it.

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 month ago

Just think about the savings you could have if you drove an e-Golf. 4.5+ mile/KWH (I experience close to 6 mi/kwh in summer) in real world driving, and a 205/55R16 tire, which cost under $150 a piece, and should actually reach 20k miles each. More usable interior space then a Bolt, and all should be priced to qualify for the $4k tax rebate(if buyer qualifies). For the 2019 model fast charging is standard, and battery warranty runs 8 years until 2027.

Edward
Edward
1 month ago

E-Golfs have half the range of a Bolt, give up two full seconds 0-60 to Bolts due to about 30% less HP. (8.5 sec to 6.5 sec). The Bolt and e-Golf cost about the same used.

And every 2017-2020 Bolt got the new, greater range battery pack under the recall, with a fresh 8 year battery warranty from the date that new pack was installed. Bolts also use a common 215-50/17 tire size.

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 month ago
Reply to  Edward

yes, the Bolt has a longer range, but the e-Golf is more efficient. (lower Cd, more usable interior space, and less weight) I really like it more than the Bolt because its just like a ICE vehicle converted, so the interior doesn’t try to pretend to be some new computer/futuristic layout.

Attila the Hatchback
Attila the Hatchback
1 month ago

I thought the eGolf had a nice design too, especially with the analog gauges, but I’d say the Bolt has a pretty ‘normal-car’ interior.

Edward
Edward
1 month ago

I’m totally happy to give a way a bit of efficiency to get double the range and 2 full seconds shaved off the 0-60 times. And the interior of the Bolt is a very straightforward, logical and conventional layout, with the cluster in front of the driver, conventional physical HVAC controls, physical turn signal stalk, cruise buttons, physical buttons on the steering wheel etc.

It just makes sense and it works.

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 month ago
Reply to  Edward

I don’t hate the Bolt, but I do hate the shiny white painted plastic on the dash (not sure if all have that). For my use longer range provides no value unless it were at 400+ miles, and 97% of it’s miles are around town and in city driving. 0-30 its just as quick as the Bolt, and frankly if I do a 0-60 pull it’s likely putting me 25mph over the limit.

Edward
Edward
1 month ago

If what you have works for your use case, that’s great! (no sarcasm, if it makes you happy and does what you need it to do/want it to do, there’s not much more you can ask of a car IMHO)

For me and a whole bunch of other people, having double the range for similar money makes the car way more useful and the faster acceleration is icing on the cake.

Attila the Hatchback
Attila the Hatchback
1 month ago
Reply to  Edward

I came here to say this.

I leased an eGolf, and then bought a Bolt. The Bolt is superior in every way to the BMW i3 (and eGolf). The i3 is funky, and makes for interesting articles, but it’s rated a DUMB BUY on the Attila the Hatchback Scale of Car Greatness.

Personally, I’d be much more interested in reading about a cheap 1st Gen Leaf with 20 miles of range left and a writeup on a DIY battery swap, or something like that.

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 month ago

I like comparing the e-Golf to the i3 because they have similar range, and e-Golfs usually have far fewer mile on them. I never liked the i3, but David is enjoying it and that’s what matters. It’s also nice to see other issues with similar cars to reconfirm my biases.

Attila the Hatchback
Attila the Hatchback
1 month ago

enjoyment is what matters — that’s why I recommend that I am the only person who uses my personal Scale of Car Greatness. Not too many people want to read about maintaining a fully practical car, either!

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
1 month ago

So, it looks like Michelin makes tires for the i3 for Europe, why don’t you try your German connections to ship some to you?

R53 Lifer
R53 Lifer
1 month ago

If only BMW made something with the reliable electric bits from an i3 but without the wonky tire sizes….oh wait, I bought that car! 🙂

The Mini SE comes with either 16s or 17s in normal sizes AND a range of 100mi at interstate speeds! I look forward to reading a future article titled “The Mini SE is the best cheap EV bargain you forgot existed”

Side note: Cali costs are no joke! It’s 0.11/kwh & 3.30/gal here – still favors the EV, but cheaper gas has cut the difference by about 0.03/mi

Stoney got got (potentially)
Stoney got got (potentially)
1 month ago

DT, out of curiosity, what is the going rate for insurance in LA these days on it?

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

Why can’t I respond to notifications after 2 days?

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Hit Matt up at the Tips email: he’s pretty quick to respond

Marantzer
Marantzer
1 month ago

I have been reading about one source of pollution from EVs……tire wear and particles coming off of the tires is fairly severe…..as seem by this article.

https://nypost.com/2024/03/05/business/evs-release-more-toxic-emissions-are-worse-for-the-environment-study/

https://www.wsj.com/articles/electric-cars-emit-more-soot-california-ban-gas-powered-vehicles-521b29e3

Edward
Edward
1 month ago
Reply to  Marantzer

Both sources are slanted Murdoch-owned right wing trash, so take those conclusions with a pound or two of salt.

Marantzer
Marantzer
1 month ago
Reply to  Edward

Just as most of the rest of the media is slanted Left as financed by Soros.

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
1 month ago
Reply to  Marantzer

This Soros guy who lives in your head must have more money than God and Warren Buffet combined to finance all the things you think he finances.

Edward
Edward
1 month ago
Reply to  Marantzer

That is hilarious; thank you for the chuckle. I’ll see you in the Wal-Mart baking supplies aisle when you’re stocking up on Great Value tinfoil.

Edward
Edward
1 month ago
Reply to  Edward

Ooooookay, my tinfoil hat wearing friend, whatever you say 😛

Defenestrator
Defenestrator
1 month ago
Reply to  Marantzer

Eh, not as severe as this wave of articles would imply. The “study” is by a consultant firm, so their job is to reach the conclusion they’re paid to reach. Also worth noting that the WSJ stuck it in Opinion for a reason, not News.

They basically picked a smaller and slower ICE vehicle with economy tires and compared it to a larger performance EV with sticky tires. The extra weight and torque do increase wear, but not nearly that dramatically. And the move from smaller cars to big SUVs and trucks is at least as much of an issue there.

On top of that, there’s the implicit claim that CO2 and NOx emissions aren’t important, and that all tire wear becomes airborne particulates.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

David why are you lying? You fail to include an entire batterpack replacement. You didn’t pay for it but it did require a replacement making repair costs huge. Just cause you didn’t pay for it doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. That is like believing something is free because the tax payer paid for it. You are becoming a real Californian.
You can’t ignore why is gas more expensive in California than say Detroit. The state is subsidizing the cost of EV by changing ICE ownership. The state is screwed over any workers by taxes to subsidize their personal opinion. If you aren’t brain dead you realize this. That is why a Whopper cost 2 for $7 in Pennsylvania and over $16 for 1 whopper in California. CAN YOUR BUSINESS PARTNER GET SOMEONE WHO KNOWS ECONOMIC FACTS?

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Yes it didn’t cost you because the state of California passed a law? Does that mean it was free for everyone? It was free for you but someone paid for it. This is why I keep requesting that a business major be approached. Nothing is free. That free battery required by the state of California cost BMW. Did you think the battery doesn’t cost anything to produce or install it was just little Keebler elves in a hollow tree creating it? It was free for you and you deserve it. But it isn’t free.
Can we get a person who knows economic problems to teach the journalists here economic facts?

Stoney got got (potentially)
Stoney got got (potentially)
1 month ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Laplace Transforms is my favorite Decepticon.

Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
1 month ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Sounds like your i3 needs tire replacement at a rate approaching the Nyquist frequency. Which means if your tire wear gets any worse, you won’t even be able to measure the costs.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  David Tracy

A business major considers all costs as relevant.

V10omous
V10omous
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I’m a business major.

This cost is irrelevant.

If someone else covers it, and it’s not likely to occur again, how can it be a cost to the consumer?

Last edited 1 month ago by V10omous
Lockleaf
Lockleaf
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

This cost would have relevance in pricing the original vehicle MSRP, as BMW would be attempting build in a proper margin that includes all warranty repairs. However, 10 years down the line, third owner? The MSRP basically has nothing to do with the vehicle’s value at this point, which seems to indicate that the costs built in for the warranty coverage no longer have any real impact on the value of the vehicle. David did not pay extra for the vehicle because the warranty was still valid, so there was no measurable impact to him directly for the cost. Why would he measure a cost paid by someone else, 10 years ago, when figuring out if the electric car is cheaper for him than a gas equivalent?

I second David and v10omous. The cost here, while real, is irrelevant to this discussion.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lockleaf
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago
Reply to  David Tracy

“I’m an engineer; I can do Laplace Transforms”

You must get all the chicks..

Mr. Fusion
Mr. Fusion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

This is like asking, “If an internal combustion engine fails and is replaced under warranty, is it really free?!?”

This isn’t the “gotcha” you seem to think it is.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr. Fusion

It isn’t free it is a measurement of reliability of the vehicle.

Attila the Hatchback
Attila the Hatchback
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr. Fusion

This must be the car version of, “If a tree falls in a forest an no one is around, does it make any sound?”

VanGuy
VanGuy
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

It cost BMW money, and they could afford it.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  VanGuy

But it is a measurement of reliability of the vehicle

VanGuy
VanGuy
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

My Prius broke down one time, and once I got home, it wouldn’t start up the next morning. I got it towed to my dealership, and some part relating to the inverter was replaced at no cost, covered under some Toyota technical service bulletin. All the incident cost me was a bit of time and getting a Lyft to the dealership.

It’s one of the only repairs it’s needed, and I don’t hold it against it.
I don’t see why DT would hold the battery replacement against the i3 if the newer batteries are known to be better. Plus there’s always the chance that it was neglect by a prior owner, or something similar, and not a grudge to be held against the car itself.

Blahblahblah123
Blahblahblah123
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Well I have two business degrees and I’m scratching my head with your point. From David’s point of view the battery replacement was free. End of story.

Yes, BMW had to pay for the replacement. BUT…. even then, BMW have already accounted that a percentage of batteries in i3’s would need to be replaced under warranty. That is good and proper business accounting.

A portion of sales for ANY car (gas, ev, hybrid, whatever) are allocated towards warranty repair with a warranty claim liability entry on the balance sheet. When a warranty gets claimed, it is charged against this balance sheet entry. This is standard business practice. The claim by David is just a minor entry for BMW.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

Really? BMW figured out replacement per warranty but California people created a different warranty. DT got a great deal but are you of the opinion that because DT got a free battery because politicians gave him a free battery that the cost wasn’t passed on to other buyers? Or considered on whether to continue or cancel the I3? THere IS NO FREE. IF YOU THINK THERE IS YOU ARE WRONG.

Blahblahblah123
Blahblahblah123
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I’m actually pretty confident BMW figured out how to price the car including the small percentage that need warranty work. But I guess all caps means you must be right.
It is a liability pool entry. All cars sales go into the warranty liability entry in the balance sheet. Some cars will have more warranty claims than expected. Some the exact opposite. It is a cost of business as a car manufacturer to deal with warranty claims and they account for it.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

I agree. I’m not a BMW fan. But if they figured out a plan then illiterate California politicians create a different warranty then what?

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I guess you don’t remember when OEMs built vehicle specific to CA’s rules? OEMs have a lot of bean counters that are paid to calculate all this into the MSRP of their cars. Heck even Ford turned a profit with all their recalls, same with Hyundai/Kia

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

In that case BMW would have made a transfer from their operating account into the deferred/ unrealized warranty claims for the percentage of cars sold in California to cover the longer claim period. All this was realized on BMWs earning years ago. If more of the batteries then expected survive past the warranty period the income could become realized, or could continue to help fund future warranty claims on other vehicles.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I actually do this kind of pricing professionally. I have to figure out estimates on frequency of failure and severity (cost) per failure, so we know how much product failures will cost over the life of the product. Do we get it wrong sometimes, maybe because there is a law that changes our coverage requirements? Sure we do. But since we have been in this business for a while, we can also measure an average impact of law changes, which we then add to the program up front. So unless there is a catastrophic change in the legal world, our total costs usually end up +-2-3% of our expectations. And we build our finances to be able to absorb that 2-3% deviation. I work at a small company. I expect a group like BMW to not only do this type of work, but to do it better than I can.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lockleaf
Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 month ago

you beat me a few seconds, and 1 business degree. This is the correct answer however.

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

David is comparing the costs that he has incurred on the purchase of the i3. His costs are what they are. If BMW were half as smart as a kid with an associated degree, the cost of percentage of battery replacements would have been baked into the original purchase price of every i3 sold new. Someone did pay for it, but that came far earlier in the timeline. The costs associated to warranty repair weren’t realized until the repair is needed, so the BMW would have deferred the income portion set aside for warranty repair.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

Yes but actually business expenses aren’t based on DT only. And maybe BMW realized DT is a automobile journalist so maybe he got something Noone else gets? What do we want journalist gets or car ownership?

Last edited 1 month ago by Mr Sarcastic
Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

This was an article about DT Expenses.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

That would be great if I wasn’t blocked

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

just take the L and move on.

Marteau
Marteau
1 month ago

He sure writes a lot, for someone that is “blocked”

Mouse
Mouse
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

He bought a ten year old car from a used car dealership. BMW had nothing to do with it and didn’t give him special treatment. It was a valid warranty repair under CA law. Which at least a dozen people have told you already. You repeating yourself doesn’t make you less incorrect.

Peter d
Peter d
1 month ago

It does imply that David is not intending to keep the car beyond another 8 years – at which point he will likely need another, this time expensive, battery replacement. The California location and carbon-fiber construction (and ongoing parts for the fragile gearbox) should allow this car to have a lifetime of more than 30 years if you can afford the battery replacements. He also isn’t depreciating the car in any of his calculations which kinda implies he is going to hold it for a really long time so that it becomes a valuable classic car ;-). My mind is too fried from chasing too many numbers this week, but David’s retorts sorta make sense to me in this state – not sure where I form by boundary for which costs to consider in this estimate.

Although, where he is an engineer and not a mathematician, and the best engineers are lazy, my assumption is that he really means that he can tell a computer to do a LaPlace Transform.

God all the frigging math they made us take to generate closed-form solutions has been replaced with numerical solutions that would have required half the class-time to understand. Not sure if it is still the same, but it used to be that UVA Mechanical Engineers had to take more math courses than the Math Majors in the college.

V10omous
V10omous
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

over $16 for 1 whopper in California.

Please someone who lives in CA fact check this for me.

Stoney got got (potentially)
Stoney got got (potentially)
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

https://www.bk.com/menu/section-section_5596

That didn’t take long, lol.

JerryLH3
JerryLH3
1 month ago

I picked a random ass LA location and they charge $7.99 for the original Whopper. A far cry from $16. One might think Mr. Sarcastic is taking extreme positions in an attempt to engage.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  JerryLH3

I am in PA it was a story on USA today that I took the price from

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Looks like you could use a journalism major to help you decide what sources of news to trust, or how to fact check.

Hiram McDaniel
Hiram McDaniel
1 month ago

Journalism major here, did someone ring? Ah, yes, USA Today. That bastion of in-depth reporting

Blahblahblah123
Blahblahblah123
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Using USA Today huh? Not exactly a bastion of deep hitting journalistic reporting.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

Check USA TODAY

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

If you’re comfortable making outrageous claims, you should at least do the work and link back to them.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

⁸if I wasn’t being blocked I could show thevfacts

V10omous
V10omous
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

The only news article remotely related to the topic I can find is this one:

https://nypost.com/2024/04/02/us-news/californias-20-fast-food-wage-raises-prices-by-up-to-1-80/

A “Texas Double Whopper value meal” is $16.89, not a regular Whopper sandwich, which is what costs 2 for $7 (on a promotional deal) in PA.

Last edited 1 month ago by V10omous
Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

Thanks I hope you don’t get attacked and blocked like I did. I have 34 comments and can’t reply because political disagreement

Mouse
Mouse
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

A Whopper is $7.19. I can get an impossible whopper for a dollar more (and I do, cuz I don’t eat meat). $15.99 gets you 2 whoppers, 2 small sodas and 2 small fries. It’s labeled “Whopper meal for 2”. That’s the only $16 thing I see on their menu. The most expensive single sandwich is a Texas double whopper for $9.79.

Edward
Edward
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Dude, what is wrong with you? You rant about someone else lying when you’re the one shamelessly lying. A Whopper is $7.89 at a BK in San Francisco and it’s $5.79 in Philly and $5.59 in Detroit. Anyone can go to BK.com, put in a zip code, and see for themselves.

Last edited 1 month ago by Edward
Greg
Greg
1 month ago

David, I am seeing people comment online that with cali flex rates, which sometimes goes to .6 per really is eating any profit and its cheaper to drive gas.

How are you averaging so low in Cali?

And then, does your tiny battery have a big advantage over a tesla or a ford ev, and that also helps cost?

All for the car, just wondering how it translates to others. thanks!

Peter d
Peter d
1 month ago
Reply to  Greg

I assume this is because PGE has a time-of-day rate that has a really low rate in the afternoon when solar is making way excess electricity. I really hope that sometime soon we move to an on-demand model where the electric companies send you a signal when the rates are low because of excess renewables and you charge your car or cool down your house when there is excess electricity in the grid.

Greg
Greg
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter d

it would be great, but I think that will require a ton of battery backup storage. Which as a solar owner I would love, but can’t afford the 40k in batteries I would need, on top of the 60k solar installation. Waiting for prices to drop drastically, and I know we are getting closer everyday! I’m prewired for it ha.

Peter d
Peter d
1 month ago
Reply to  Greg

I have not done even a small battery yet (which I should to handle short term power failures) both because it is a time consuming task to pick what battery to use and I expect at some point there will be an incentive to offset some of the cost. Still not sure why on a Kw-hr the storage batteries are so expensive.

Sid Bridge
Sid Bridge
1 month ago

I had to get a tire for my Triumph Spitfire last week, and there are only three options for it’s 175/70R13 tires (which are actually bigger than factory, as my spare has an ancient tire on it that’s much skinnier).

Thankfully, the Hankook I ended up getting was only $90, so I will probably go ahead and replace the rest of them soon. It had a set of Michelins that don’t exist anymore.

I was seriously considering looking at trailer tires since the thing can’t really do more than 55mph anyway. But it’s cool to say “I have Hankooks.” Therefore I am now cool. Don’t press me for more information on my car’s capabilities. It has few that stretch beyond “Look at that adorable little happy frog of a car!”

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
1 month ago
Reply to  Sid Bridge

the epic desert that is tire purchasing for 15 inch and smaller rims hurts inside. I have cars that I really don’t want larger rim diameters on, but nowadays to get even halfway decent widths, you jump straight to street slicks it seems. I don’t want high wear street slicks that cost $400 a piece. I just want some nice 9 inch wide tires for my 8 inch wide rims without a 70 aspect ration.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago
Reply to  Lockleaf

One of the reasons I ended my affair with 80s Subarus about 15 years back was the tightening of the 13” tire supply. They have a funky bolt pattern, so you have (or maybe had now) very few choices going up a size or 2–and most of those had incorrect backspacing.
—I didn’t really have the cash for aftermarket, so was junkyard shopping. Plus, I like 4-wheeling them, so wanted small wheels

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
1 month ago
Reply to  Sid Bridge

Is Hankook a brag? Pretty sure they’re just generic mid-range tires. I have Hankook Dynapro HT all seasons on my truck and they suck

MP81
MP81
1 month ago

It’ll be interesting to see how many miles my Gen 2 Volt gets on the original set of Energy Saver A/S tires that seem to do nothing other than spin like madmen off the line.

I’m at around 35k miles, however I run winter tires for ~5 months out of the year, so only about ~60% of those miles are on the all-seasons…and they’re definitely in need of replacement this year.

Defenestrator
Defenestrator
1 month ago
Reply to  MP81

Depending on how wintry it gets there, CrossClimate2s are worth a look as a year-round tire that won’t spin quite as hard off the line.

MP81
MP81
1 month ago
Reply to  Defenestrator

Michigan, so pretty wintery (unless it doesn’t), so I run Xi3s in winter.

We got my mom a set of CC2s for her Fusion though, and they’re an excellent tire.

Billywa
Billywa
1 month ago

David, if it will make you feel better, I know guys who spend $200 apiece on bicycle tires in common sizes. They only have to buy two at a time, but they’re also lucky if they get 2,000 miles on them before they need to be replaced too…

RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
1 month ago
Reply to  Billywa

Back when I bicycle commuted, I worked out my math on cycling vs driving. It was actually cheaper to drive because of replacing my Schwalbe Marathon tires every two years, replacing the front chain rings, rear cassette and chain every 7,500 miles. The area I parked my bicycle at work is in a high dust environment. Even weekly chain cleaning couldn’t keep the grit from eating my drivetrain. There wasn’t an option for inside parking either.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
1 month ago

I justify bicycle stuff to the other-half and myself all the time, but it’s really a net-win for the fresh air & exercise that balances out other poor lifestyle choices that I refuse to give up.

RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
1 month ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

I agree with that. The 600 calories I burned every day was great for negating the effects of all the craft beer I drank at the time.

Loudog
Loudog
1 month ago

Did you try the Endust trick? Best chain lubricant ever. It penetrates, leaves a wax residue, and doesn’t attract dust/dirt.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
1 month ago

Use wax and skip the front chain ring replacement

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
1 month ago
Reply to  Billywa

Getting 2k out of some of those race tires if your lucky. You could chunk a Vittoria Corsa to death in like two crits. Maybe 60, albeit pretty fast miles. Got to keep that rolling resistance low! and you coming back for more tires.

Max Headbolts
Max Headbolts
1 month ago

One point I completely disagree with is your cost on an oil change, I don’t know what kind of oil you’re putting in your cars, and filters you’re using that you can do the job DIY for $25, A good OEM or Wix filter alone is at least half that, and full synthetic is $35-40 per 5/quarts at least, more if you want speciality oil.

This just makes the ICE car more expensive which further proves your point.

V10omous
V10omous
1 month ago
Reply to  Max Headbolts
Max Headbolts
Max Headbolts
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

I don’t shop at Wallmart.

V10omous
V10omous
1 month ago
Reply to  Max Headbolts

OK, don’t be surprised when your ideas of what things cost aren’t commonly shared then.

Max Headbolts
Max Headbolts
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

There are PLENTY of places that sell oil, I guess I’m more concerned with where and how I spend my money than “commonly shared” ideals?

V10omous
V10omous
1 month ago
Reply to  Max Headbolts

You came in here and said synthetic costs $35-40 or more for a jug.

When proven wrong, you responded with your own shopping habits, as if that has any bearing on what something costs to anyone but yourself.

I’m sure you’re very pleased that you buy from some upstanding and moral company like Autozone or Napa instead of evil Walmart. Nobody else cares. Mobil One costs $25 for a jug, other synthetics are less, paying more than that is entirely voluntary.

Max Headbolts
Max Headbolts
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

“You came in here..”

It was more a question, which is hard to read in text, I was honestly surprised at citing TCO for Oil changes at $25, I guess specifically for David, yes this is true, but is not an overall assessment of the market? Most people pay FAR more than $25 for an oil change, which would make ICE ownership more expensive. I didn’t do a good job of articulating this, which it seems to just make everyone else double down on THIS ONE WAY to buy your oil change supplies is THE ONE TRUE way and I must be worth proving wrong?

As a normal enthusiast I’ve been changing my own oil most of my life, and was just surprised at the dollar amount, I had to hunt for oil under that $35-40 price I quoted, and I just did this like two weeks ago so it was fresh in my mind, and was annoying because I spent more than I did even last year.

Maybe I misunderstood the intended tone of the article as David’s specific cost benefit analysis and not to be extended to anyone else.

CrystalEyes
CrystalEyes
1 month ago
Reply to  Max Headbolts

My yearly oil change was notably more expensive this year than previously (do it myself).

JerryLH3
JerryLH3
1 month ago
Reply to  Max Headbolts

The REX in an i3 takes less than three quarts of oil. As posted in another reply, you can get five quarts of Mobil 1 for $25. So I think he absolutely can do it for around $25, more likely $30 if we factor in sales taxes.

Max Headbolts
Max Headbolts
1 month ago
Reply to  JerryLH3

I wasn’t referring to the I3, I was referring to a regular ICE vehicle, and saying it skews the cost in favor of the i3 even more.

Marantzer
Marantzer
1 month ago
Reply to  Max Headbolts

5qts of 0/30 Mobil One at Walmart in CA is $24.97

HOT_HATCH
HOT_HATCH
1 month ago
Reply to  Marantzer

The 5 quart jug is maybe a dollar more. $5 bucks a quart vs $8. I’ve been buying the same oil from walmart/amazon for the last 13 years and I don’t ever recall it being more than $25-26 bucks even during the rona.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago
Reply to  Max Headbolts

Supertech full synthetic: $19/gal at Walmart.

Super tech 10k filter usually runs $3.62.

Supertech oil = Warren. Supertech oil filters = Champion

Both are just fine.

Max Headbolts
Max Headbolts
1 month ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

As I said above I don’t shop at Wallmart, my last Oil change:
Castrol Edge 5w20 5 quart Jug: $28.97
OEM Honda Filter: $12.96

Yeah I don’t use all 5 quarts, but my Civic takes 4 quarts, and needs to be topped off between changes because it’s creaky and old.

I’m not going to fall into a filter quality argument, or fall down the rabbit hole of why I won’t give money to Wallmart.

Last edited 1 month ago by Max Headbolts
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago
Reply to  Max Headbolts

Well you do you. I use Supertech oil and filters in my cars and they’ve worked just fine for me for 150k+ miles per car at under $25 per change. Walmart the store may have its issues but Supertech quality isn’t one of them

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
1 month ago

Wait until you get a chip or crack in the windshield. Supposedly all the molding on the side of the window and along the roof has to be removed and they have built it clips that break, and you need all new moldings.

Or so I have been told, had a Safelite appt to do mine, said they can’t for these reasons and dealer has to do it. Dealer also confirmed. Not my top priority so it’s been months and still haven’t replaced mine.

Thomas Nguyen
Thomas Nguyen
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

I’m not sure where your info is coming from because Safelite replaced my windshield 2 years ago in their shop. Maybe they won’t do it on site?

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas Nguyen

If BMW would sell and supply them the parts perhaps they could but they said BMW at least from what they know won’t allow them to buy the parts.

05LGT
05LGT
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

Your state needs it’s own right to repair law. Feds are sleeping on it.

Sir-Barks-A-lot
Sir-Barks-A-lot
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

My 2009 Civic had that exact issue with the windshield.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 month ago

I fucking HATE when they use weird tire sizes and worse, a staggered setup.

They should just use regular tire sizes like 185/70-13 or something

Somebody needs to make smaller wheels using normal sized tires.

Fuck that. Just get a Leaf, which uses a common size 205/55-16 🙂

HOT_HATCH
HOT_HATCH
1 month ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Normal width tires would cause a likely shocking reduction in range that would probably offset the savings of the tires.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 month ago
Reply to  HOT_HATCH

They don’t have to be wider, just the same width but with smaller wheels and more sidewall.

You might be able to downside the Leaf’s wheels to 15 inch and use the size 195/65-15 and get a little more range too 😉

For the i3, maybe 155/80-13 would work, or if you insist on keeping the staggered shit, 155/80-13 up front and 175/70-13 in the back or something IDK

Thomas Nguyen
Thomas Nguyen
1 month ago

The rear brake pads on my i3 with 140k miles still had about 40% left it’s insane.

I was forced to change the oil because the oil filter developed a hole when it rusted through.

That’s pretty much the only part that rusts.

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 month ago

My question is why didn’t BMW notice this during testing?

And if they did why didn’t they remedy it?

Thomas Nguyen
Thomas Nguyen
1 month ago
Reply to  MrLM002

BMW designed a very odd sized tire for this for efficiency purposes. My tire guy calls them pizza cutters. There are only two tire types available for general use the EP600 “all season” and the EP500 “summer” both made by Bridgestone. For a normal car with regular tires you can usually get a cheaper option from a company like Cooper, Toyo, etc. No such option exists for a low volume car like the i3 (except for winter tires where you have Bridgestone, Continental, and Nokian).

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas Nguyen

With such poor mileage from a set of ‘all season’ rubber, it now makes me wonder how long a set of winters might last.

Thomas Nguyen
Thomas Nguyen
1 month ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

With normal use and rotation about 3 seasons for Blizzaks. Maybe 4 for the Nokian Hakkapiletta and Continental Vikings.

Peter d
Peter d
1 month ago
Reply to  MrLM002

The funny thing is that BMW has literally had to settle a class-action suit on some of the early E90 3-series because the tires were wearing out in like 15K miles (with incredibly annoying tramlining). They just seem to prefer to let the tires wear out to get other aspects of the car the way they want them – ride, handling, in this case efficiency.

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter d

Oof

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
1 month ago

Why can’t you put new rims and tires on it that are less expensive?

Side note, updated top shot is perfect!!

Last edited 1 month ago by Icouldntfindaclevername
Thomas Nguyen
Thomas Nguyen
1 month ago

Really odd size 175/60/19!

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas Nguyen

There’s no reason not to get another size that will fit, right? I got 1in larger diameter and width tires on my car right now. They’re not OEM size, but they still fit. I could see some strange bolt pattern stopping you, but if it’s a common one, why not change it to a less specialized tire?

Last edited 1 month ago by Icouldntfindaclevername
V10omous
V10omous
1 month ago

Probably because the narrow low-resistance tire is the only thing keeping the range tolerable.

Thomas Nguyen
Thomas Nguyen
1 month ago

There is a 19 and 20″ factory option. The 20s are notorious for pothole damage and harsh ride. Trust me, i3 people have been through this many times.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas Nguyen

What about a 165/80/17? I mean there is bolt pattern and offset to deal with for sure, but there are a few different manufacturers in that tire size, selling tires starting at $125. Unless the brakes won’t clear a 17 inch for some reason, that seems like an alternative to try at least once. Rims plus tires wouldn’t cost more than just the stock tires.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 month ago

because nobody makes them for the i3, that’s why 🙁

Bearddevil
Bearddevil
1 month ago

One thing you’re forgetting is the insurance differential. Every time I’ve gotten a quote for insurance on an EV, it’s at least 25% over what I’m currently paying. I’ve never gotten a quote for a Tesla, but I can only imagine that it’s even worse.

ElectrifyAllTheThings
ElectrifyAllTheThings
1 month ago

When I was looking into getting an i3 (ended up getting a C-max Energi), I remember forum posts of people replacing the tires/rims with close but slightly more common / less expensive alternatives. Might want to look into that.

JTilla
JTilla
1 month ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Just because they are forged doesn’t mean they are perfect. The achilles of this car is the stupid wheel size. I was looking at one of these as a daily but the cost of normal tires and snow tires for where I live is ludicrous. Not to mention apparently they are hard to find proper sized wheels for.

Diane M
Diane M
1 month ago
Reply to  David Tracy

The late 70’s called and they would like to introduce you to this new tire/wheel combo, it’s called TRX and they say it’s going to be all the rage in the future!

Dumb Shadetree
Dumb Shadetree
1 month ago
Reply to  David Tracy

“The tires on this car are a horrible achilles heel!”
— David

“Why mess with (forged) perfection?”
— also David

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