...or at least good for me maybe buying one because they're getting pretty cheap.
So I posted a thread recently asking what super rare manual Japanese sports sedan I should buy to replace my German manual sports sedan. In my searching I also started to realize that the BMW i3 is actually cheaper than some of the cars I'm looking at, and my wife and I fell in love with it when we had one on BMW's extended test drive program a few years ago (Marketing: it works!™). That started my eyes wandering...
I'm seeing non-REX models in my area for under 18k before negotiation with less than 20k miles. I assume that number will go lower in the coming months as more cars come off lease and end up in used car lots. Maybe we'll see the $15,000 i3 by the summer? I bet it's possible with negotiation. There's not a glut of inventory, but they're not particularly thin on the ground either.
Other than the suicide door setup which makes it kind of a pain for getting kids in and out in tight spaces, it really does everything we'd need a car to do. We have the van for long trips, and my jeep for my manual fix. I may miss having a truly fast/sporty car, but I won't know that until I actually live without one, and the electric torque and tossability of the i3 is a neat party trick. And before anyone mentions them, the Leaf and Volt just didn't do it for me in the driving experience. They're fine cars, but I'd gladly play the premium for the more playful driving experience of the Bimmer.
Downsides are the limited range of the non-REX (and even the REX models really), depreciation, and unknown long-term reliability. I'm guessing the i3 will still continue to lose some value, but I wonder when it'll bottom out? will there be 5k well maintained, low mile i3s in 5 years? Will a middle east war that raises oil prices make even 1st gen electric cars a hot commodity? who knows? I also wonder about the market for and availability of aftermarket replacement battery packs with improved range. I can totally see a case for Die Hard/Doorman "200 mile" battery pack replacements for $3000 or so as these electric cars get older. It's hard to buy a car purely based wild ass speculation though.
What options are considered must haves for electric cars? I'm assuming it would be dumb to buy one without DC fast charging capability, but is there anything else? Discuss away!