The city of Los Angeles has had its sights on becoming a paradigm for fleet electrification for the past several years. Included in the fleet was law enforcement. Thereafter, BMW won a bid with LAPD to supply one hundred BMW i3s each year for three years via lease starting in 2016. In 2016, LAPD took delivery of one-hundred BMW i3s (LA Mayor's Office). Fitted to the 2016 i3s was the base 22kWh battery pack, the Deka World interior package, and the standard 19" aluminum wheels. The 22kWh battery pack provided 81 miles on a single charge; nevertheless, none of the models included the optional gasoline range extender. For 2017, optioned was the 33kWh battery pack providing a much more healthy 114 miles.
Despite the high hopes, the program was not exactly a success. The elephant in the room was the cost, which included charging stations, amassed to a staggering $10,267,699 (CBSLA). Moreover, most of LA's finest i3s accumulated under 20,000 miles due to the "administrative" title placed on the cars. Furthermore, CBS Los Angeles reported some i3s that accumulated just several hundred miles. However, there were other vehicles used less than the i3s and all was not lost, as the one-hundred and four charging stations will remain for future use.
So, where are these carbon fiber monocoques now? New Century BMW, the dealer that handled the leases initially, is currently selling them as CPO models. Interestingly, the front plates on the i3s in the LAPD parking garage are from New Century BMW, proving the conclusion. Additionally, all the Capparis White i3s with Deka World interiors and 19-inch aluminum wheels for sale on Century's website have their Carfaxes listed as "government vehicle." If you are familiar with the electric hatchback, you'd know that i3s depreciates around 70% in the first three years of ownership. All of LAPD's i3s for sale are all under $20,000, even ones with four-digit mileages. This is a significant disparity from their original starting price of $44,595. There are twenty-three of LAPD's i3s for sale on their website now.
To the consumer, this is a bargain. All twenty-three i3s currently up for sale are certified pre-owned. So expect the remainder of the four year / 50,000-mile warranty, a one year / unlimited-mile after the basic expires, and an eight-year / 100,000-mile battery warranty (from the date of purchase). A 2017 i3 would have two more years under the basic warranty, and five under the battery warranty, provided the vehicle purchase date was in 2017. Let it be said that none of the i3s have the all-important Technology Package or Parking Package.
On the other hand, some are priced around $15,000, unbeatable for an under warranty, lightly-driven electric car. The only issue that one may see is that some of these i3s were sitting, presumably for prolonged periods. We do not know the charging intervals in which these vehicles partook, so it's hard to tell if they have been appropriately cared for. The reassurance for this is that the cars are covered under the battery warranty. In short, if you are in the market for a fun daily driver that requires virtually zero maintenance, one of these may be for you!
Image Courtesy: CBSLA