Dan Neil

Gone are the days when you would drive a sports car through Central Park to get attention. Dan Neil takes a break from fast cars to test out the all-electric, all-recyclable BMW i3, which is meant for city traffic and is quite a head-turner.

WITH A SNOW STORM ON MY TAIL, I finally found my way to the all-new, all-electric BMW i3 last week in Manhattan, where holiday gridlock was in full swing. I located the Start button on the compound-switch nacelle behind the steering wheel (this is a car so different we are going to have to create new vernacular). The display graphics lit up. Twenty-one miles of range. Merry Christmas.

OK, electric car. You are making me look bad. As an advocate of EVs I know that these machines are the future of urban personal transportation. But you do occasionally have to plug them in. Also, it was bitter cold, which wasn’t helping the car’s 22 kwh lithium-ion battery pack, recently exercised from speeding the 2,700-pound car in from New Jersey.