The BMW i3 will get a new battery option from July, which the car maker claims extends the official range of the five-door electric hatchback from a claimed 80-100 miles, to 195 miles.
The new Samsung lithium ion battery will also be fitted in the i3 Range Extender model. This gives the petrol-electric hybrid an official overall range of up to 276 miles with a full charge and full, nine-litre tank of fuel. However, BMW says the range of the fully electric i3 is realistically 125 miles with the air-con or heater on. No real-world figure is given for the Range Extender.
Existing owners of i3s can have the new 94Ah/33kWh battery retrofitted because it retains the same dimensions as the existing 60Ah//25kWh unit.
After the Government's £4500 grant, the new i3 will cost £27,830 as a pure electric vehicle, and £30,980 in Range Extender form. The current i3 and i3 Range Extender cost £26,480 and £29,630 respectively.
The new battery is 50kg heavier than its predecessor, and this has slightly affected acceleration. The new i3 has a 0-62mph time of 7.3sec, and 8.1sec for the i3 Range Extender, making them 0.1 and 0.2sec slower than before. The top speed of both models is limited to 93mph.