It’s because of the implication. You see, the BMW “M” badge is the stuff of legend. For decades, BMW has been pinning it on some of the finest and most entertaining sports sedans the world has ever known. From the E90 M3 of the 80s right up to today’s M2 competition, that badge implies some pretty stout sporting capability. So now BMW has placed that badge on an EV for the very first time, and the implication is... hold on to your lederhosen.
But maybe also hold the phone. This M badge is complicated. The M50 is not considered a full M car like those lustworthy ancestors. It turns out, M is a spectrum. This M50 feels proper fast between the lights, but the weight and the suspension hardware are not in the category of track weapon, which other M badges imply.
So what does this M stand for then? Well, maybe it's Middle. Like the middle ground between the current crop of EV offerings and those more track-focused internal combustion variants. It's certainly the hottest version of the i4, and easily puts a smile on your face. It's easy on the ears, too - quiet when you want, but put your foot to the floor in Sport mode and you're rewarded with swelling custom-composed Hans Zimmer acceleration score soundtracking 536 unleashed horses. You may only want to do that so much, though. With only 270 miles of range, rationing mileage might require keeping some of those ponies in the barn.
And so we're conflicted about this M50. It's undoubtably a fun car to drive, a brilliant daily driver, and hard to find any serious faults. It seems that maybe that M badge may have misaligned our expectations. Set yours accordingly and the M50 will delight.
An EV's advertised range is just an estimate. Your mileage may vary, literally! It's important to understand the factors that can affect EV range, so you choose a car that has enough for your lifestyle and habits. Not choosing enough range for your unique needs can prove to be a frustrating and expensive mistake. If you're not sure how range works or how much you need, visit our section on identifying your EV needs.Identify My EV Needs
Would you rather charge for 20 minutes, or an hour? That's essentially what charge rate comes down to, how much time you'll spend at the plug. Different EVs are capable of charging at different speeds, so it's important to understand what your car's "Peak" or "Max" Charge Rate is. Charge rate is measured in Kilowatts (kW) and in 2023, the average peak charge rate is about 150kW. The fastest EVs charge at 250kW and above. Plug-In Hybrids will charge much slower. What does this mean for actual charge times? Well there's a little more to it...Learn more about Charge Speed
MPGe or Miles Per Gallon Equivalent, is a way to compare the relative efficiency of cars using different types of energy. MPGe says there is 33.7 kWh of energy in a single gallon of gas, so we'll use that equivelency to compare to cars using kWh of energy from gas, batteries, or both.
DC Fast Charging
DC Fast Charging allows you to use more-powerful direct-current charging stations.
Adjustable Regenerative Braking
Regenerative Braking is a feature in electrified vehicles that recuperates energy that would otherwise be lost when the vehicle slows down. When Regenerative Braking is in use, taking your foot off of the accelerator will cause the car to slow, similar to the sensation of engine braking.
One Pedal Drive
One Pedal Drive is a feature that allows your car to come to a complete stop without needing to touch the brake pedal.
Batteries lose efficiency when they're too hot or too cold. Especially on cold days, your car may lose quite a bit of range to a cold battery. Preconditioning allows you to warm your battery (and often the car's cabin along with it) before you leave, so that your car will be more efficient and retain more range. Some cars will allow you to schedule a departure time based on your commuting schedule, and others will allow you to precondition anytime using the car's phone app.
Dual Charge PortsSome EVs will offer a charge port on both sides of the car, which can come in handy if a charge cable isn't long enough to reach one side or the other.
Vehicle-to-Load CapabilitySome EVs offer the ability to power external devices using your car's battery. This can be extremely useful, for example, if your home loses power, or when you're at the campsite or worksite and need to power tools and/or accessories.
Heat PumpA heat pump is a more efficient way to heat your EV's cabin. When temperatures drop, EVs equipped with a heat pump will generally perform better (retaining more range) than vehicles that use more traditional resistance heating. A heat pump may be optional on your EV.
Tow chargingThis is a pretty rare feature, but allows an EV to be charged by towing it. This is for emergency situations when you're out of juice but don't have access to power.