LAPD's Gently Used BMW i3s Are An EV Bargain That Keeps On Giving [UPDATE]

Illustration for article titled LAPDs Gently Used BMW i3s Are An EV Bargain That Keeps On Giving [UPDATE]
Photo: BMW

In September a slew of barely driven BMW i3 models that once belonged to the Los Angeles Police Department turned up for sale at New Century BMW, a dealership just east of the city. New Century sold the battery-only i3 cars at steep discounts, knocking off between $25,000 to $30,000 compared with the price of a new i3, though most of them had driven well under 20,000 miles.

That initial shipment sold through quickly, but apparently a second batch was recently offered for sale, according to Andrew Lambrecht, who runs the EV blog the Current Review.

Lambrecht reported on December 2 that six more i3s turned up at New Century BMW last week as certified pre-owned vehicles. However, at a hair under $20,000, these weren’t going quite as cheaply as the previous examples, and they weren’t as well-appointed, either:

There are six i3s in this new shipment, each of which cost $19,995 and have between 7,281 and 9,481 miles. While the first shipment had many more bargains, this is not as impressive. Since all have no additional equipment, like the all-important Technology or Parking Package, I’d say do a bit more shopping. However, since these are Certified Pre-Owned (1-year/unlimited-mile basic after the 4-year/50K-mile expires) and all have an odometer that equates to around 70 charge cycles, it may be a great option as a commuter car, which is assumed to be the wonted habitat.

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Checking New Century BMW’s website now, it appears all the i3s have already been sold or are pending sale, as they’ve disappeared from the dealer’s inventory.

Four of the six ex-LAPD BMW i3s listed for sale last week at New Century BMW.
Four of the six ex-LAPD BMW i3s listed for sale last week at New Century BMW.
Screenshot: Andrew Lambrecht/New Century BMW

However, more should soon arrive. The LAPD said it returned 50 vehicles to New Century BMW at the expiration of their leases, according to Business Insider last September. The initial stock consisted of 28 cars, and this batch had six. New Century BMW Internet Sales Manager Tony Ketsoyan confirmed to Jalopnik today that the dealer expects a new shipment “sometime this week or next week.”

These i3s weren’t patrol vehicles; they were designated only for “administrative” use, so they didn’t see much action at all, according to a CBS Los Angeles investigation from 2018. Some of their mileage can be attributed to personal tasks like lunch runs.

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The LAPD’s green initiative has been dismissed as a waste of taxpayer dollars by some. CBS Los Angeles reported a total cost of $10 million to secure the cars as well as the infrastructure for a charging network.

A new i3 starts at $44,450 and comes standard with a 42kWh battery, offering greater range than the 22kWh and 33kWh units inside the LAPD’s fleet. However, the LAPD’s i3s are going for less than half of sticker price, making them compelling deals for those interested in an EV for zipping about town — that is, if you can snap one up before they sell out, as they tend to disappear quickly. Perhaps you should bookmark New Century BMW’s inventory and check back periodically.

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Update Tuesday, December 8 1:35 p.m. Added that New Century BMW expects to receive more ex-LAPD i3 vehicles by next week.

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. 2017 Fiesta ST. Wishes NASCAR was more like Daytona USA.

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DISCUSSION

These i3s weren’t patrol vehicles; they were designated only for “administrative” use, so they didn’t see much action at all, according to a CBS Los Angeles investigation from 2018. Some of their mileage can be attributed to personal tasks like lunch runs.

CBS Los Angeles reported a total cost of $10 million to secure the cars as well as the infrastructure for a charging network.

Jesus Christ. Defund the police.