Electric ride in Germany for Straits Times contest winner

Businessman Yap Pow Look standing next to a BMW’s new electric car. -- ST PHOTO: NURIA LING
Businessman Yap Pow Look standing next to a BMW’s new electric car. -- ST PHOTO: NURIA LING
Businessman Yap Pow Look sitting in a BMW’s new electric car. -- ST PHOTO: NURIA LING
Businessman Yap Pow Look sitting in a BMW’s new electric car. -- ST PHOTO: NURIA LING
Mr Yap Pow Look with the BMW i3 premium electric car that he test-drove in Munich last year. -- PHOTO: COURTESY OF YAP POW LOOK
Mr Yap Pow Look with the BMW i3 premium electric car that he test-drove in Munich last year. -- PHOTO: COURTESY OF YAP POW LOOK

Project executive Yap Pow Look has always been interested in technology, so it was a dream come true when he won a four-day trip for two to Germany to test- drive BMW's new premium electric car.

The holiday went according to plan except for a minor glitch - the i3 vehicle almost ran out of battery power when Mr Yap and his wife got lost while driving to a park during their first visit to Munich.

"The GPS led us onto a highway and my wife was worried that we would run out of battery power, so we turned back," said Mr Yap.

They managed to make it back to the BMW World exhibition where they charged the car before continuing with their sightseeing.

The incident did little to dampen the spirits of the 53-year-old, whose trip last November was the top prize in a contest jointly organised by The Straits Times and BMW Asia.

It was part of The Straits Times Appreciates Readers (Star) programme - an ongoing initiative to reach out to readers and the community.

"It was a great trip and a rare experience," said Mr Yap. "The car was relatively small but it was spacious inside."

He and his wife Doris Yee, 51, an adjunct university professor, had flown to Munich in business class and checked into their hotel on Nov 30.

The next day, they were picked up from their hotel and taken to BMW World. A black and silver i3, already charged up, was waiting for them. Within five minutes, an instructor taught Mr Yap how to start the engine and use the car.

"It's very simple," said Mr Yap. "I just had to make sure I drove on the right side of the road."

The couple spent the day exploring Munich in the i3. On the third day of the trip, they toured the BMW World, museum and plant where they were shown how the cars are assembled.

The BMW i3 is made from lightweight carbon fibre. It can run about 120km to 160km on a single battery charge and go from zero to 100kmh in 7.2 seconds.