It’s no secret that pollution has been a major issue in the past, and has become one of the top priorities that the government has decided to tackle. One of the major contributors to urban air pollution is car exhaust, and in an effort to combat this, several preferential policies have been released favoring electric vehicles, such as the BMW iX3. To find out more, we sat down with Yevhen and Yuliana Balatsanov to talk about their experience driving an electric vehicle in Xi’an.
• What made you want to start driving in China?
• First of all, it’s just much more convenient. When we first started out company here, our offices were further outside of the city, so it was much more convenient to drive than to take public transportation, as you would need to take the subway, then change to a bus, then walk to the company from the bus stop. It was just much easier to drive. Also, the car provides a private space, because we get a lot of attention when taking public transportation.
• Besides just using the car to get around town, we also use it to travel around as much as we can. We will go to the mountains to go skiing or horseback riding.
• How is driving in China different from driving back home?
• The road are good here by comparison, and the intersections and everything are arranged well. Outside of rush hour, it’s actually quite nice to drive. The biggest challenge are the drivers who cut in or drive unpredictably. The other challenge is the electric scooters. They can come out of nowhere, so you need to be prepared to break quickly or use the emergency break. In general, the driving conditions are good, the roads are maintained and things work and are modern.
• Why did you choose an electric vehicle over a gas-powered vehicle or a hybrid?
• We had a gas car before, also a BMW. Since we mostly use the car for daily things like dropping the kids off at school and going to work, the plate limitations for gas cars was a bit troublesome, as our plate were limited on Mondays, when it is hard to get a taxi. Also, having one of the green plates that come with electric vehicles allow you to drive in the bus lane. Very convenient.
• Why did you decide to go with the BMW IX3?
• BMW is our favorite brand, ever since the beginning. There are a lot of electric vehicles in China, but BMW has a long history of quality vehicle engineering, and we trust their engineers and experience. They didn’t release their electric car immediately, but waited until they got it right, even when their competitors already had one. The IX3 is the first proper electric car made by BMW, and it is good for families.
• Also, the IX3 became available on the China market earlier than in other markets because it is produced here in Shenyang, Liaoning Province. So, it’s nice to be able to get the vehicle early and get the feeling of an electric BMW.
• Can you tell us about your experience driving the car?
• One of the reasons we chose the electric car is that the dealer gave us some great conditions for it. They provided a charger for us which included installation in our parking lot. The only hiccup was when the parking space owner needed to provide documents, but even the public charging station works well.
• There are various apps that help you locate charging stations, and they are easy to use, even when you don’t read Chinese. Just scan and pay and you’re ready to go. There are many stations around town, and they even installed several near our son’s school. They are powerful and cheap. About .5 RMB per kilowatt, and it takes less than an hour to fully charge the car.
• The car can run up to 300km on a single charge if we’re also using the seat heaters, music, etc., even when it is very cold out, and runs almost 400km when the weather is better. But with all the charging stations around, it’s not really a problem.
• What are the major steps that you encountered for buying and registering a car in Xi’an?
• This was our second car that we bought from this dealer and it was very easy. We just came and paid the money and they took care of all of the other documentation and registration. It was very easy. They have an English-speaking manager at the dealership and that made the whole process easier. They even helped to get the plates, insurance, and everything else. We just had to come and pick it up. Easy
• Would you recommend others to buy an electric vehicle in Xi’an?
• Definitely, yes. There are no restrictions and you can use it every day. Even if you don’t have a home charger, it’s still easy and cheaper to keep your vehicle charged and ready to go. You also get cheaper highway tolls, there are no lines for the chargers, and it’s just cheaper overall. I would definitely recommend it. The more that we drive the car, the more we like it. We were skeptical at first, because we were driving the very sporty 3 series, and we thought the performance would be lacking, but actually it’s quite good and it’s much better for the family. It’s an SUV but it has a low center of gravity, so it handles like a regular car. It’s a great vehicle.
Innovative pure electric BMW iX3
The official suggested retail price starts at RMB 399,900
·Long endurance: The maximum range of 500KM under NEDC test standards
· Low energy consumption: power consumption 16.7 kWh/100KM, costing as little as 9RMB
· Convenience: 0 to 80% battery in 45 minutes via the DC fast charger
·Intelligent: equipped with the most advanced autonomous driving assistance system Pro of the BMW Group
·Digitalization: equipped with the BMW iDrive 7.0 human-computer interaction system
·Unlimited travel: Green license plate available for 365 days
Car purchase discounts:
· Enjoy 48 months with 0 down payment, interest rate as low as 3.88%
· Old BMW customers can enjoy a discount of up to 12,000RMB
·New BMW customers can enjoy up to a 6,000RMB discount
·Free vehicle purchase tax
·Free home charging wall box and basic installation fee
·Purchasers can enjoy a 5-year 100,000-kilometer maintenance package
·Receive a gift package of 13,800 yuan with purchase
BMW Authorized Dealer: Xi’an Zhongbao
Sales Advisory Hotline: 029-8905 7777
Address: No. 966, East Chang’an Street, Xi’an Aerospace Base