All-New Electric BMW i3 Video Review: Should Tesla Be Worried?

The 2014 i3 is all-new, zippy, and has a solid and comfortable interior. Can it give the Tesla Model S a run for its money?

Jun 15, 2014 at 11:11AM

The electric BMW i3 is now becoming available across the U.S., offering EV enthusiasts a mid-range alternative to both the more expensive Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S and lower-range, less expensive models.

Make no mistake: The hatchback i3 is not in the same class as the Tesla Model S sedan. The Tesla is a larger, more luxurious, higher-performance vehicle with a better ride. But the BMW does offer an intriguing compromise. What's more, i3 presales are off to a better than expected start, and the company has added production capacity in an effort to lessen wait times for the vehicle.

For price comparison purposes, the Tesla Model S ranges from around $69,900 on the low end, to over $100,000, depending on battery capacity and other options. The i3, on the other hand, has an MSRP of $41,350, and goes for $45,200 with the optional gasoline-powered range extender. (All prices exclude the $7,500 federal tax credit.)

The Tesla Model S EPA-tested driving range varies from 208 miles for the 60-kWh battery model to 265 miles for the 85-kWh equipped one. The i3's range is a bit more of a mystery: Some reports mention 80-100 miles for the 22-kWh battery. BMW's website lists 118 miles, and a "mean customer value" of 99 miles. Range is a squishy number, in any case, and largely dependent on driving conditions and driver style.

Motley Fool analyst Rex Moore raved about the Tesla Model S in his test drive and review several months ago. At this year's big Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, he and analyst Lyons George were able to take the i3 out for an extensive test drive. How did it do? Click the video below to go along for the ride!

Profiting from the future of autos
Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner has recommended both BMW and Tesla to our members. In his Stock Advisor newsletter, David's overall returns of 228% have dwarfed the S&P 500's 53% rise. You can see all of David's stock picks -- with two new recommendations being released next week -- at no obligation with our 30-day money-back guarantee. Just click here for more information.

Rex Moore has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends BMW and Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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