BMW is set to extend the range of its electric-powered i3 with the introduction of what sources close to the German car maker describe as an “optimised driveline” that draws on battery efficiency gains developed since its launch in 2013.
The i3 will receive a new lithium ion battery with the same 22kWh (18.7kWh usable) capacity as that used today but a higher power density for a longer range.
The move is claimed to extend its range to well over 124 miles in real-world use, compared with just under 100 miles now.
The i3 will also get an upgraded electronics package that features new software mapping for the battery cooling system and the electric motor.
The revised battery pack will be fitted to not only the all-electric i3 but also the i3 Range Extender, which uses a small two-cylinder petrol engine to produce electricity on the run.
The new battery will also be available as a retro-fit option for existing i3s.
Exciting Development for this superb city-sized all-rounder. in my humble opinion, – “i like it. i want it.”
124 Mile “Real World” Range.. ( Forgive the skeptisism, but i would bank on 105-110max real world mileage estimate) + Range Extender would do me aplenty. This would do away with any hassle on “long-haul” trips, such as London Cardiff i have completed in my Nissan Leaf MK2 (Acenta) in +8c recently. 7 Total Charge (and top-up) Stops. 340 Miles range.
BMW’s i3 has been out since 2013, yet is still considered one of the most cutting-edge electric cars on the road. Now, the Nissan Leaf rival is set to take you further on a charge, thanks to battery tweaks to increase driving range.
Although a BMW spokesperson confirmed the full details will be announced “by the end of the year”, it’s unknown exactly how they will do this. It’s thought that the existing lithium-ion battery pack will either increase in capacity or become more dense, thanks to improved tech.
The current i3’s battery pack has a capacity of 22kWh and promises a range on full charge of just under 100 miles. That’s significantly less than the newly updated Nissan Leaf, which offers a 30kWh pack and claims a range of 155 miles. It’s thought that BMW wants to bring its electric car more into line with the Leaf.
It’s also predicted that both the Range Extender and battery-only i3 will receive the tweaks. It’s not clear yet whether it will take longer to charge, yet we expect the BMW to retain the option of an 80 per cent fast charge. We also don’t know if the update will bring along a price increase, but we will find out in due course.
At Present, the i3 manages 81 miles of electric range in full-EV guise or 73 miles of electric range plus 77 miles with the petrol-powered generator.
The new figures will match up almost precisely with one of BMW’s competitors, the Nissan Leaf, which will boast 125 miles of all-electric range for 2016.
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt, by comparison, only manage 53 miles of all-electric range before its petrol generator kicks in to carry the vehicle another 370 miles.