It's often said by electric-car owners and advocates that once you start driving electric, you never want to go back.

Now it appears that at least a handful of car dealers are learning that the principle extends even to loaner cars from the dealership.

A recent Facebook thread on the BMW i3 Owners Group prompted Tom Moloughney to post about the phenomenon.

DON'T MISS: Electric Cars' Secret Advantage: They're Just Nicer To Drive

Moloughney--who's now driven three different electric cars, starting with a MINI E, progressing to a BMW ActiveE, and now a 2014 BMW i3 REx--suggests that savvy dealers will recognize the phenomenon and offer electric loaners.

2015 Nissan Leaf

2015 Nissan Leaf

He quotes one owner, who took in his BMW i3 for service and received a brand-new BMW 3-Series loaner car. That owner wrote:

Most people would love to drive a new BMW 3-Series for a few days as a loaner. Not me. It vibrates, burns gas, I have to use the brake pedal, makes noise and is slow. All this found during the 2.1 mile drive home.

The electric BMW i3 has no combustion-engine vibrations, offers strong regenerative braking that allows one-pedal driving under most circumstances, and of course has no powertrain noise.

The owner, to his or her credit, also uses the hashtag #FirstWorldProblems to describe his anguished plight.

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Tesla Motors, of course, handles the issue of loaner cars differently, since it's never built a car with a combustion engine.

When a Tesla owner needs service, the company either sends technicians to wherever the car is located or sends a loaner car on a flatbed truck that drop its off and takes the Tesla back for service.

2013 Tesla Model S P85 service loaner vehicle [photo: David Noland]

2013 Tesla Model S P85 service loaner vehicle [photo: David Noland]

Its loaner cars are usually the newest and highest-spec model the company offers, often the Tesla Model S P85.

MORE: Life With Tesla Model S: Three Days Of Service Nirvana

That version has not only the larger 85-kilowatt-hour battery pack but also the Performance option that reduces 0-to-60-mph acceleration to 4.4 seconds.

As author and Tesla owner David Noland learned, it's a very persuasive way to get an owner thinking about upgrading his electric car--to another, better electric car.


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