New 120Ah battery replaces 94Ah unit of the current model; it's been shown at the Paris motor show
28 September 2018

BMW's i division has upgraded the electric-powered i3 with a new battery that is claimed to extend its range by almost 30% under everyday driving conditions. The revised EV has been shown at the Paris motor show.

The new 120Ah lithium ion unit replaces the 94Ah battery used by the existing i3 and brings a 9.2kWh increase in energy capacity for the quirky five-door hatchback, at 42.2kWh.

In the standard 168bhp i3, it provides a range of 193 miles, or up to 34 miles more than the predecessor model, under the newly introduced Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).

In the more performance-orientated 181bhp i3s, the new battery is claimed to bring a 25-mile improvement in range at an official 177 miles under WLTP.

Under everyday driving conditions, BMW says the new 120Ah battery provides both i3 models with a realistic range of up to 162 miles, or 37 miles more than that quoted for the existing i3 with its 94Ah battery.

BMW i is remaining tight-lipped about the weight of its latest battery. However, it claims the 0-62mph times for the rear-wheel-drive i3 and i3s remain virtually unchanged, at 7.3sec and 6.9sec respectively, with the 50-75mph times put at 5.1sec and 4.3sec.

The new battery, developed in partnership with Samsung, retains the same dimensions as the unit it replaces, enabling it to be packaged in the same dedicated space within the floor of the i3.

BMW puts the recharge time of the battery at 15 hours on regular 2.4kW mains electricity. This is reduced to 3.2 hours from the optional BMW i wallbox, which provides three-phase charging at 11.0kW. On a fast-charging DC system operating at 50kW, the recharge time is a claimed 42 minutes.

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Since its introduction in 2013, the i3 has been offered with three different batteries, including the original 60Ah unit and the 94Ah unit of the existing model, with respective energy capacities of 22.6kWh and 33kWh.

In addition to the new battery, BMW has also announced a new optional sports package for the i3 as part of changes being brought to the 2019 model. It includes sports suspension with a widened front track, a 10mm reduction in ride height, uniquely tuned springs, dampers and anti-roll bars and 20in wheels.

Further changes include new exterior colours, revised upholstery combinations for the interior, optional adaptive LED headlights and new iDrive infotainment functions, including a wi-fi hotspot capable of supporting up to 10 devices.

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Comments
38

28 September 2018

 For me I’d need about 400miles minimum, that would cover my weekly commute, is this going to happen soon?, how soon?

Peter Cavellini.

28 September 2018
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 For me I’d need about 400miles minimum, that would cover my weekly commute, is this going to happen soon?, how soon?

 

Why?  the paradigm for "filling up" is different for EVs. if you can charge at home or out shopping or at work, you plug in as you park up.  You don't go from "Full to Empty to Full" as you would do in a ICE car.

28 September 2018

Ditto, only I wouldn't have been so polite

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

28 September 2018
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 For me I’d need about 400miles minimum, that would cover my weekly commute, is this going to happen soon?, how soon?

Not soon for the i3, but the Hyundai Kona has realistic 300 mile range, so it wont be long for people like (ie the minority of drivers) have a choice of a 400 mile range electric car. Although you could always charge overnight or at work, that way you wouldnt need the 400 mile range.

XXXX just went POP.

28 September 2018
typos1 wrote:

Peter Cavellini wrote:

 For me I’d need about 400miles minimum, that would cover my weekly commute, is this going to happen soon?, how soon?

Not soon for the i3, but the Hyundai Kona has realistic 300 mile range, so it wont be long for people like (ie the minority of drivers) have a choice of a 400 mile range electric car. Although you could always charge overnight or at work, that way you wouldnt need the 400 mile range.

Not sure it will do 300 miles.... it might claim it but good as the battery is it is still only 64kWh. In the real world I'd expect around 220 miles from it.... a Tesla Model S with the 100kWh battery just about scrapes 300 miles. Costs a bit more though...

28 September 2018

How many people have 3-phase installed in their homes?

 

Just curious.

 

28 September 2018
Symanski wrote:

How many people have 3-phase installed in their homes?

 

Just curious

 

more common in Germany apparently, Autocar just copied and pasted the press release annoyingly. 

29 September 2018
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 For me I’d need about 400miles minimum, that would cover my weekly commute, is this going to happen soon?, how soon?

 

Don't worry Peter Captain Obvious Spam Your Name Everywhere Cavellini. A Dacia Sandero would suit you much better anwyay.

28 September 2018

This is now the 3rd upgrade and the range is still pretty poor/average, coming from a company that's meant to be at the forefront of everything it's not great.

No mention of a possible price increase for an already expensive car when compared to the Kona and LEAF.

Going forward can we either have Ah or Kwh.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

28 September 2018

I wonder if the high capacity battery could be retro fitted to earlier i3s, if not by BMW by a specialist?  Such a mod might arrest the current high deepreciation of early models. 

I guess that battery range is less important with the i3 than competitors, because of the avaiolability of a range extender model (whose legislated petrol range will also be increased). One advantage the i3 should retain is efficiency brought about by low weight and compact dimensions, though with cheap electricity this isn't a strong selling point.

 Sadly I think that the i3, along with the Audi A2 and first Honda Insight, can be considered an inspired, futuristic design but a commercial disaster. I'm sure that it will become a collectors item in years to vcome.     

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