Electric Cars

BMW i3 is on sale for $20K off... if you live in SoCal

After a brief-ish nationwide stop-sale on all i3 models, BMW is doubling down by offering $10,000 off an i3 coupled with a pile of other incentives.

Hey, remember a few months ago when BMW had to issue a stop to all i3 sales in the US because of a failed crash test with an outlier sample? No? Well, it was a thing. We wrote about it.

It was bummer news, especially if you were in the market for a small, well-made and slightly overpriced electric city car, because it was a good'un. Don't despair though, unless you already bought a Chevy Bolt, because the BMW i3 is back on sale and you can get it for almost $20,000 off its MSRP (if you live in Southern California)!

That seems like a huge discount, right? Well, that's because it is, but it isn't all coming out of BMW's pocket. Southern California Edison is footing some of the bill too. We'll explain.

Basically, if you print out some forms and bring a utility bill showing that you're a residential So-Cal Edison customer, BMW will give you $10,000 off the price of a new i3, i3s or the range-extended version of either. This $10,000 discount stacks with the $7,500 tax credit, a 450 dollar So-Cal Edison Clean Fuel Reward and the $2,500 California EV tax credit. Wild, right? To put that in perspective, you could be paying less than $30,000 for the base i3.

But, what was so wrong with the i3 that made them stop selling it for a few months? Is it a good car? Is it dangerous? Well, the VERY specific test scenario where the i3 didn't meet standards would, and we're not kidding here, only apply to a 5-foot tall woman who weighs 110 pounds and wasn't wearing her seat belt. So, you'd have to be that exact size and breaking the law (unless you live in New Hampshire, aka the Live Free and Die From Whiplash state) to have been affected in the first place, but BMW was able to fix that with a software change.

If you're in the market for an electric car, live in Southern California and you don't want to roll the dice on buying up an ex-LAPD off-lease i3, this might be an excellent way to go.