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PressClub Asia · Article.

“This is my first electric car – and I love it.”

Interview with Mr. Christopher Quek, one of the first owners in Singapore of the first-ever BMW iX3.

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Singapore. The BMW iX3 is the first fully electric BMW X model, and the second electric vehicle (EV) from the BMW brand. The fifth generation of BMW eDrive technology debuts on this car, and sets the stage for the upcoming fully electric BMW iX and BMW i4 models. Three months after the local market introduction of the BMW iX3, BMW Asia spoke with Mr. Christopher Quek, one of its first owners in Singapore, on his thoughts and experience with electrification.

 

Hi Chris! What do you do, and is this your first electric vehicle?

I’m a property agent, and in my free time, I run a company called Wheels For Fun where I organise driving programmes for customers. My relationship with BMW goes all the way back to 1985 when I first bought my BMW R80 GS.  While I had this motorbike for 15 years, I also owned a few petrol and diesel cars over the years. I purchased my first BMW car, the BMW 216i Gran Tourer, two years ago. When I heard about the BMW iX3, it immediately caught my attention and I traded in my Gran Tourer. The iX3 is my first electric car and I love it.

 

What made you consider the iX3?

It all started when my wife wanted a more luxurious car. My two children have grown up, and we needed a family car that could accommodate us and our dog; so the iX3 came up at the right timing for us. In fact, it was a motoring journalist who told me about the new electric X3. Straight after I heard from him, I messaged my salesperson to request for a test drive.

When I first saw the iX3 in person, it was very impressive. It had the space we needed, and it was very well put together. I let my wife test drive first, and both of us said, “wow”! It was such a pleasant driving experience and because my family fell in love with it, we decided yes, we will make the switch to this car.

 

Was it a must for you to get an electric car when it came to replacing your previous combustion-engine car?

Well, I’ve wanted to pursue a greener way of living, and recently remodelled our house and installed solar panels to tap on the sun’s energy for electricity. So, it was in my long-term plan to try an electric car, but I did not specifically set out to buy one so soon. Perfect timing aside, the iX3 is a great package, my children love driving it and that it’s a green car, and their friends like it a lot too.

I’ve been telling my friends, if you live on a landed property, get an electric car. It just makes sense in terms of running costs and you won’t have issues charging. And when you’re out, you can charge your car at shopping centres for example, which is a little perk! It’s definitely a lot easier to find a parking space that is dedicated for charging.

 

You’ve had your BMW iX3 for a while now. How much do you and your family drive on a daily basis? What has your charging experience been like?

I use the car to run errands and drive to house viewings all around Singapore with my clients. My wife mainly uses it go to the gym, golf, or yoga. I’d say on average, we cover about 100 km a day.

I find myself charging every three to four days. The lowest I’ve run down the battery to is about 20%, and that was the only time I needed to charge the car overnight. If not, the car will just be parked when I’m home and I don’t even think about it.

 

In terms of driving dynamics, general feedback from our customers is that the iX3 drives just like an X3 with a petrol engine. What has been your experience?

Yes, and this is one of the reasons why it was very easy for us to decide on the iX3. I was not a fan of the early electric cars as the one-pedal operation was not as smooth an experience as I would like it. So, when I test drove the iX3, I was very surprised at how well it handled. The technology has improved so fast in just a few years.

I’ve been feeling jaded with cars until the iX3 came along. It is something so different and this is the first vehicle that has made me excited about cars again. The more I drive it, the more I think how great it is. And I love the fact that the car is so quiet.

 

That’s great to know. What do people around you think about your car?

The iX3 has attracted a lot of attention from my neighbours. They know it’s an electric vehicle because of the blue tinges (on the exterior), and they are curious. I think people are generally more open to the thought of electric vehicles as they are seeing more of them around, and now it’s a small question about being comfortable enough with the idea to try it out themselves.

 

On that note, if someone said, “convince me to go electric”, what would you say?

I’d tell them, “come and drive my car.” I’m serious! The best way is to really try it out for yourself.

Yes, if you’re living in a high-rise property that doesn’t have easy access to charging yet, you might want to wait for one, but the incentives now make it very worthwhile to go electric.

There’ve also been other surprises – I have a lower interest rate for financing, and the insurance cost is lower too. My loan was financed by my bank's green car loan, so it’s 0.2% cheaper. And the fact that the iX3 is cheaper to purchase than the petrol version of the X3, just makes a lot of sense.

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WORLD PREMIERE.

Munich. 01 JUNE. Here you can see the webcast of the world premiere of the all-electric BMW iX1 & the new BMW X1.

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