BMW i3 on and in front of the Los Angeles auto show: Test drive marketing in front of the Staples Center delights Americans

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BMW invited Americans to take an i3 test drive in front of the Staples Center in Los Angeles Photos: Kai Groschupf

“Driving electric is fantastic,” says John Waleski, restaurant operator San Francisco, after a test drive with the BMW i3. Like him, other interested parties who came in front of the Staples Center In Los Angeles took the opportunity to drive the i3 through LA Downtown. BMW had given a few hundred people the opportunity to feel the electrified pulse of the i3 during the auto show.

BMW i3 ready for a test drive

BMW i3 ready for a test drive

Interest in LA on BMW i3 is huge. In any case, I was able to determine this through my own observation in front of the Staples Center. Anyone with a driver's license could experience the electric vehicle on a given test track around the exhibition center. The confidence of those responsible in the product and the potential customers is obviously great, because the test drivers were allowed to go without one BMW- Companions on board hum quite extensively through the city center. Afterwards, they could not only enjoy snacks and soft drinks in a specially constructed pavilion, but also find out about technical details and ask questions that sometimes overwhelmed the respondents. “How long does the battery live exactly?” Or “When can I recharge electricity at every petrol station?” Yes, even the question, “Will I get from BMW towed away for free when the power goes out? ”had to be answered. For battery life, reference is made to the six-year guarantee; normal petrol stations are not yet showing any signs of installing charging stations. In contrast, the number of charging stations in parking lots and car parks is growing significantly. And even today, nobody who runs out of gas is towed away for free. The questions ranged from bizarre to intelligent. However, it became clear time and again that people were curious about the future of the automobile.

After the test drive: snacks and information about the i3

After the test drive: snacks and information about the i3

Mike Terry from Pasadena was enthusiastic on the one hand, but was also surprised by the high price, which is quoted at $ 41.350 for the US market. The model with range extender is said to cost $ 45.200. However, electric cars in the United States are initially subsidized by the state with $ 7.500. The state of California puts an additional $ 5.000 on this. This makes buying a new electric car much more attractive than the ridiculous tax incentives in Germany. This is certainly one of the reasons why BMW already has 3 pre-orders in the books for the i10.000 and there are 100.000 inquiries for test drives.

“The range of 100 miles would be enough for me in everyday life,” says Terry. For him, that he would try his X5 M for longer distances is "no contradiction". Because: “It's also about emission-free driving in city centers,” he says. The fact that petrol in the USA is currently dirt cheap at 75 euro cents per liter makes switching to an electric vehicle "not economically necessary for me," says Terry. "But who knows what will be in a few years. It's just a shame that the i3 won't be sold here until next summer. I would have taken one with me immediately, ”says Terry and laughs. As a well-earning attorney, critical recalculation of economic efficiency is obviously not the order of the day. And the fact that he is 64 shows how attractive it can be to become a trendsetter even in old age. It belongs to the target group that has the money and the need to demonstrate its ecological progressiveness to the environment, neighbors and friends. “When I drive my X5 M here, nobody waves to me. I saw several thumbs up in i3. People were all curious to see what kind of vehicle it was. And the BMW- Trademarks on the bonnet, which are not there, are all the more astonishing. ”Does he have any critical comments to make? “The interior is a little too eco-friendly for me. The materials could seem a little more valuable. It doesn't have to be luxurious, but not quite as spartan as in the demonstration vehicles. "

After the test drive: enthusiasm above all

After the test drive: mostly enthusiasm and curious questions

In California in particular, it is becoming increasingly important to be environmentally conscious. People like to drive a hybrid every day, but there is also a gigantic SUV in the garage, the ecological footprint of which makes electrification absurd. For the BMW However, i3 doesn't matter what motives customers have. It is only important that he finds enough customers. That he will be successful on the east coast and in California can be predicted without many question marks. In addition to that comes the consistency I always admire BMWto go full on i3. BMW does excellent broadband communication and overall a very good job. Whether television advertising, print campaign or public appearances: everyone is talking about the i3. Yes, even a controversial clip with Joschka Fischer ensures the necessary level of awareness. Whether image, mirror or star and others: everyone linked to the movie with Fischer in i3. The question in the comments as to whether the ex-Foreign Minister has betrayed his principles is nonsense. If someone who has always advocated environmentally friendly driving now praises the i3, it is not a contradiction. That Fischer gets money for it BMW advising is not an argument against the film. Even during his time as a politician, Fischer never appeared as an enemy of the auto industry. The criticized alleged betrayal of green ideals is at best evidence of green hypocrisy that rejects everything related to industrial success. Especially when it comes to cars. Realo Fischer is wrongly criticized.

The future i3 customers in the USA can like everyone BMW- Models with a four-year or 50.000-mile warranty are happy with the battery for six years or 100.000-mile (160.000 km) In Germany, the battery is even eight years old, but only 100.000 km. How that was calculated is not clear to me. But I'll find out.

 

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