I would think that the primary purpose of a motor show is to make you want to buy a car. In this respect the Seattle Auto Show has must be counted as a success as far as I'm concerned.
In amongst all the monster pickups and unfamiliar brands of the show I spotted this little gem. It's a BMW i3. It's an electric car, but you can get a version with what they call a "range extender", essentially a small generator that can top up the battery when it runs down a bit. Which means that your range is not limited by how much electricity you have left and you are never in the situation where the battery runs completely flat.
I'd read about the i3 but never actually seen one in the flesh. Until last week in Seattle. I really liked the look of the car and made a mental note to check it out when I got back to the UK. I definitely make the most rational purchasing decisions when I've got jetlag....
Anyhoo, I went and sat in one earlier in the week and discovered that it fits me just fine. And apparently one of the rites of passage for retirement (although of course I'm not really retired) is the purchase of a shiny car. So said the jetlag. So I began the search for one that was in my budget. Which proved tricky. Until I found what seemed the perfect vehicle. Only snag is that it was 250 miles away from Hull. In Canterbury.
So...... Today I got up at 6:15 and took the train to Canterbury with a return ticket I hoped I wouldn't have to use, and an overnight bag if I had to stop and take on wood (or whatever) on the journey back. A test drive convinced me that it was the car that I wanted, and after a modicum of paperwork, they let me drive the car away there and then. So there was just the matter of a 250 mile night drive which included the Dartford Tunnel and the M25. In a car with a 75 mile electric range.
Erin said I'd be fine. And I was. In fact I got home with the battery still half charged. I had to stop a couple of times to add petrol to the tiny tank that the Range Extender runs from but apart from that it was a comfortable journey.
The aim of the Range Extender is not really to let you drive 250 miles in one go, but to allow you to go a little further on a charge (hence the name). But it is nice to know that you can do long journeys if necessary.
Thanks to the folks at Broadoak Canterbury for looking after me so well, particularly Erin who deals with their electric vehicles. I never ever expected to be a BMW driver, but here I am.
And the Cube will be staying around too, but now in the hands of number one wife.