2019 BMW i3 Sport essentials: Almost evangelistic

Our Opinion: I can’t totally explain it, but I find myself increasingly drawn to Brass Era cars. They were products of a fascinating time: There were no formal rules for what an automobile was supposed to look like, or even what it was supposed to be powered by, and so manufacturers tried just about anything they could dream up. What resulted was an amazing profusion of shapes and even propulsion methods — steam, gasoline and electric. Most of the manufactures failed, gasoline won out, and the rest is history. 
We’ll probably never know a period of such rapid automotive innovation ever again, but if you cock your head just right, you can hear echoes of it in the modern era. Electrified vehicles are lurking out there on the fringes, and nobody — not even the manufacturers — seems to know what to make of them. Should they look like regular cars? Will they come from established marques or up-and-comers? Can they work with just batteries, or will most vehicles have to pack internal combustion-powered backup for the foreseeable future?
A lot of companies are trying to answer those questions, even as EVs make up only a tiny part of the new-car market (except for a few oddball places like Norway). For the most part buyers ignore them, much like we imagine your typical horse-and-buggy driver did cars in 1903. Once you spend some time in a modern EV, you start to see things differently. The concept starts to seem less fringe, and more like something that could really work, even if large-scale implementation is a ways away.