Pulling out of the gas station that is. Knowing your 10 gallon tank will give you over 1000 miles of range is an excellent feeling.
'I had found a cheap lease.' This was my main thought when I walked into my local BMW center. Little did I know I was about to take delivery of the best daily driver I'd ever owned.
Living in Chicago, IL USA, I find many of my local car enthusiasts in need of an extra garage space. We love cars, a certain type of car, but we just can't drive them year round as our Floridian brethren can. Earlier in the year I purchased such a car. 2 doors, 2 seats and a wonderful exhaust note. Yet, summer tires, no ground clearance and paint too nice to be involved in an unwanted relationship with the salt and ice that wintertime in the midwestern United States brings. And so, I knew the time had come for me to utilize that second garage space.
For some reason, I always found joy in finding the perfect 'practical' solution in any given situation. When the tires were shredded and speed limits broken, when countersteering was performed and the smell of brakes was...smelled, it actually felt wonderful to find the aggressive vehicles inverse partner.
In came the BMW 330e plug in hybrid. It had 4 doors, a sizeable trunk, decent ground clearance and it wasn't a sin for the paint to consider salt and ice a suitable mate. The vehicle comes with a 4 cyl turbocharged, gasoline powered engine (b48 platform for the BMW nerds) and also an electric motor fed by a 7.6 kWh battery.
I know what youre thinking. 7.6 kWh is near nothing in comparison to the 100+ kWh offerings from Tesla. BUT, the important thing here is to find out how exactly a vehicle will fit your specific life style. The 7.6kWh (of which only 5.7 kWh can be used) provides about 15-17 miles of range in 'electric only' mode. Seeing as this vehicle is used primarily to commute to work in my case, I can get to work, recharge and back home on all electric power. In theory, if I only used this vehicle to go to and from work, I'd return it after my 24 month lease expires with the original gasoline first filled by the dealer still sitting in the tank.
Of course, I do go places outside of work, and for that reason I got 1130 miles on my first 10 gallons of fuel. I found this mind blowing. In comparison, my previous daily driver was a 2009 328i xDrive coupe. It got 17.5 mpg and had 228 hp coming from a naturally aspirated inline 6 that was as smooth as butter. I drive my daily about 10000 miles per year, so with premium gasoline costing about $2.80, you could safely assume I spent about $1600 on gasoline in the previous year. Now, with the 330e that number will be just under $250 for the year. $1350 savings for 249 hp and 310 ft lb of torque, 4 doors, free maintenance and repairs, all the brand new technology BMW has to offer and I can even turn on my vehicle's heating/ air conditioning from an app on my mobile phone before I depart.
It could have been the God Father himself selling me my new hybrid, for he made me an offer I could not refuse.