The first BMW i3 commercial debuted during the Olympic coverage, and it conveyed more about the BMW EV than the Cadillac ELR ad that was twice as long.
The uber-American Cadillac spot starred Neal McDonough, and didn’t even show the plug-in Cadillac ELR until the last ten or so seconds. The BMW i3 commercial, however, manages to convey the car’s whisper-quiet drivetrain, the thrilling feel of instant torque, and the i3’s smartphone connectivity. This ad instantly speaks to me, which makes me think BMW is aiming the i3 squarely at Millennials.
Between this commercial, and watching the rear-drive i3 rocking some hot laps around a legitimate race track has me thinking BMW is taking a much different, and far more interesting approach to electric cars. Whilw Nissan has focused on the green, zero emissions aspect, and Tesla started upmarket where wealthy buyers can subsidize expansion, BMW is highlighting how fun and convenient the BMW can be. For tech-savvy buyers who don’t want a pure electric vehicle, BMW will also offer a $3,950 range extender option, turning the car into a plug-in hybrid of sorts.
While the $75,995 Cadillac ELR isn’t really aimed at my broke and automotively apathetic generation, Cadillac could do more to groom a new generation of potential buyers who may eventually be in the market for a $75,000 hybrid coupe. The BMW i3 might be expensive, but that $7,500 Federal tax credit can make a big difference at these lower prices.
I’m gonna have to bug BMW for a test drive at the next auto show, that’s for sure. The Cadillac ELR? Eh…