From the Forums: A couple's failure to plan when buying a BMW i3

Here is a post to bimmerfest's BMW i forums that reads like a list of "Things to avoid when buying a car, especially an EV"

Picking up our i3 from out of town dealer

1. Chose not to buy from local dealer because we don't want to wait 3 months.
2. Found dealer in another city 150 miles away with exact car we wanted (except giga instead of tera, which was ok with us).
3. Dealer used "True Price", which was about $300 more than our Car buying service. Service would have gotten us the car for, which we were fine with.
4. Called dealer and told them exactly when we would be there (in 6 hours). Confirmed price, explained the "dealer check" from our bank. Offered to fax it just to be safe, but the number they gave us never worked. Called back and just got voicemail of the person we had spoken with. They said they didn't need it anyway, so we moved on.
5. Drove the 3 hours, set to arrive just before closing time.
6. Dealer COMPLETELY surprised that we were there, says they had no idea who we were or that we were coming.
7. Person we spoke to was identified, and found out they a) aren't in sales, b) didn't relay to manager that we were coming and c) didn't understand what we meant by "have the car charged up" and apparently blew off the request.
8. Dealer gives us paperwork, which is the right price - except with a $250 "Phantom Footprint" charge, which was not in the internet ad, sticker, or "True Price". We were told it was not optional because it had already been installed.
9. Dealer apologizes profusely for the whole situation, agrees to remove the Phantom Footprint charge, and takes $500 off the price.
10. Dealership does not have the charging membership card that the website says comes with the car, leaving us to stress even more about what is now going to be a midnight drive across Texas.
11. Dealership staff leave after two hours of finishing up. Finally get on the road, with only 70 miles of range.
12. 50 miles later, we stop at a Blink station. Very easy to use, and all goes well. Sitting to wait 2-3 hours, we find the ChargeNow card in the glove box.
13. After an hour, charger says that it will be another 2 hours. We need EVERY range mile, due to it being 82 miles to the next station. Oh, did I mention that there is an erroneous location on the ChargeNow map, which shows 45 miles? We had planned the trip around that, then found out that the location was really 40 miles further away.
14. It's 11pm, and my wife is starting a new job the next morning, is 120 miles from home, with 2 hours of charge time, an hour of drive time, another 2 hours of charge time, and then another hour of drive time - we are done.
15. We call our insurance roadside assist, and even though we added the vehicle earlier in the day, they say it's not in the system so not covered.
16. We call BMW roadside assist, and they take great care of us. She unplugged from the charging station, and drove another 20 miles to the next town. We leave the car in a Wal Mart parking lot, unlocked, and drive home. BMW agreed to tow it the 100+ miles to our local BMW dealership.
17. We'll see what happens tomorrow!

Lessons learned so far:
ChargeNow has some inaccurate data
On a 160 mile trip without a range extender, the stars have to be aligned to make it work without killing a lot of charge time
BMW dealership staff still coming up to speed on this new product

We did not buy this car for long distance, and did consider towing it from the beginning, behind our SUV with a tow package. However, I was afraid of getting there and ready to go, and find out that it didn't fit properly on the tow dolly from Uhaul (I ripped the bumper off a Porsche years ago on one of those things), so thought it would be safer to drive it. We had planned to be there around 5, get back on the road by 6, a 3 hour drive plus a couple hours of charge time. Seemed reasonable, but clearly was not.

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Picking up our i3 from out of town dealerPicking up our i3 from out of town dealerPicking up our i3 from out of town dealer

Read on bimmerfest.com


Tell me if I miss anything here.

They planned to buy a EV with a 70-90 mile range, from a dealer 150 miles away. A dealer they cold called, who they had never dealt with. They left with the goal of arriving right before the dealer closed a day before the wife starts a new job.

And I'm sure they thought everything would work out perfectly.

Remember kids: "A failure to plan is a plan for failure."