This series of EV-related articles is brought to you by ClipperCreek powered by Enphase. ClipperCreek has been a pioneer in the EV charging market since 2006 and sold more than 110,000 Level 2 AC charging stations since its inception.
So you’ve decided that you’re buying your first EV. As a lifelong BMW fan, you’re only seriously considering a handful of options – with a BMW EV at the top of your list. It’s a big commitment – to both your wallet and sustainability – and should be commended, especially if you’re a long-time petrolhead. But there are some things you should consider before you dive in headfirst to EV ownership. Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered.
Usability and Mileage Traveled
Be realistic about how much and how frequently you drive. With most BMW EVs offering up to 300 miles of range on a charge, consider how quickly it will take you to deplete your vehicle’s charge. With working from home at an all-time high, you may take weeks to put 300 miles on your vehicle. But many people still have long commutes – the average in the US is 27.6 miles one way according to the 2021 census. Using that statistic, most drivers will need to charge once a week at the absolute minimum.
I have little doubt that an EV will fit into almost any lifestyle, but vacations and road trips might take a bit of extra planning. Giving some forethought to your future excursions – before you purchase your first EV – will make things a lot easier for you after you pick up that sweet new i4, iX, or i7. But being realistic is also important. If you drive 190 miles each day, an EV may not be the best without a very reliable charging network.
Charging Your BMW EV
After deciding how much you drive, the next aspect of EV ownership you’ll want to account for is charging. While charging stations are becoming increasingly frequent sights, the infrastructure is still in its infancy. Solely relying on public chargers includes a few inevitable annoyances.
- Wait times at public chargers are inevitable for some drivers, especially if you live in an area slow to adopt EV technology.
- Unmaintained or broken chargers are a sad reality that most EV drivers will eventually face.
- Fluctuating pricing can cause a headache – and wallet aches – with the occasionally drastic disparity between on and off-peak costs.
- Hunting for unfamiliar charging stations isn’t always the most fun in the world – especially if you’re getting low on range.
For these reasons, we recommend seriously considering installing a charger in your home. It isn’t as expensive as you think, and you may even qualify for a federal tax rebate! Small business owners adopting BMW EVs with brick-and-mortar locations may also want to research dedicating some space to an EV charging station, as an additional tax rebate could be available to them.
We’ve been using ClipperCreek charging stations since 2016 and installed several of them in different personal garages. You can see some of those installations here, here and here. The most recent install? An outdoor ClipperCreek charging station which will be used to charge our test cars.
Talking About Your BMW EV
You’re going to get a lot of attention driving a BMW EV, like it or not. While it shouldn’t necessarily impact your decision, it’s something you should prepare for. You’re sure to attract a roughly equal number of promoters and detractors, and handling that is sadly still just part of owning an EV.
While it isn’t an exotic like a Ferrari or Lamborghini, any EV – but especially a BMW EV – is still something that prompts strong, unsolicited opinions from passers-by. It’s a good idea to ready yourself for some unwanted attention!
Benefits of BMW EV Ownership
Just because you’ll be attracting some extra attention doesn’t mean EV ownership is all negative. There are so many positives to owning a BMW EV.
- Long-term EV ownership will highly reduce carbon emissions when compared to a gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle.
- Electric might get pricy, but it will likely never be as expensive as fueling an internal combustion vehicle.
- EVs are less mechanically complex and require less maintenance than internal combustion vehicles.
- BMW EVs are some of the fastest accelerating vehicles currently on the market – electric or otherwise.
- BMW EV ownership comes along with over-the-air updates, and the sky’s the limit on what’s possible. Tesla has even increased vehicles’ performance via these updates, and there’s no reason BMW wouldn’t do the same. You also enjoy the latest and greatest in-car connectivity.
- BMW EVs are made using sustainable practices and renewable materials.
BMW EV Pricing
Finally, you should consider the pricing of BMW EVs. We’ve been amidst the electric revolution for a while now, but it’s still something consumers are paying a premium for. It’s up to you to decide whether the savings (fueling, servicing, etc.) and conscientious consumption are worth spending sometimes quite a few thousand dollars upfront on ostensibly new technology.
Like it or not, the electric vehicle has transformed mobility for the coming generation. Just two decades ago, electrification was less than a thought bubble in a New York Times comic. Today, electrification is at the forefront of marketing, vehicle design, and development for every OEM. Don’t get left behind.