Photography by Cedric Smith
Last week Lori Judge acquired the first BMW i3, the latest urban electric vehicle by the formidable luxury car brand. Only 700 in the U.S. have been distributed for the official test run in the U.S. market. Lori is not only the first owner in Savannah and the surrounding area but also has the privilege of being one of the few owners of the BMW luxury eco U.S. introduction.
How did you first hear about owning one of the BMW i3 in the states?
After realizing that I needed a new car I went to Dale and Critz Auto and he told me I might have the chance to be the first person to own the newest BMW luxury series that ran almost 80 miles completely on its battery. As both a mother of a very active boy, and a broker who shows quite a few homes in a week, I couldn’t resist.
What is your favorite part about driving a vehicle that runs on 100% electricity for up to 80 miles?
Like I said, I’m the mother of a 7 year old boy and I own my own business. Needless to say I am running around constantly whether it’s to Albert’s play dates or going from property to property. It has the sleekest interior, my favorite part being the eucalyptus wood dashboard. It’s also the most efficient car I have ever had and it’s the funnest thing in the world to drive.
With only 700 distributed throughout the U.S. how do you feel about being one of the first representatives for green living in the South?
Since the day I started my business I understood that setting the bar for eco-living was imperative, not only for the obvious reason of charging how we live to better suit the environment, but also because of its inevitability of becoming a sustainable and economic trend. I want to be a representative for how to live a life of luxury without condemning myself to the expense and unsustainable in the traditional meaning, i.e. obnoxiously large and gas guzzling.
What, if any, are the difficulties of having an electric car in Savannah?
Well, I thought at first it was going to be the issue of the charging stations. I’m currently working on getting one installed at my house, but in the meantime I need places that are close and convenient for me. I didn’t realize that Forsyth Park now has multiple stations, as well as city garages, and one of my favorite places, Whole Foods all have stations. I thought it was going to be difficult to have the car without a way to charge it but I’m finding out that I am around a lot of chargers. I guess my only other desire for the car is it to get me to Atlanta and back on the battery but that may be just around the corner with the technology coming out for these cars.
Why is it important to you to have an eco-friendly car?
Most people do not realize what a closeted hippie I am. I love all things that are natural to the body and the mind, in helping create a better environment for the earth. But I’ve also worked hard to represent the luxury world, so I like to incorporate luxury into my life as much as possible. This car, to me, represents everything I want to be and where I want to go.