Currently reading: BMW i3 range boosted by new battery
BMW's i3 will be capable of travelling up to 124 miles on a single charge thanks to a new lithium ion battery pack

BMW is set to extend the range of its electric-powered BMW 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.

Read our review on the BMW i3

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.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
hammerofgods 30 November 2015

More range from the same capacity?

How did BMW get 25+ miles more range from a new battery with the same 22 kWh capacity as the old one? If they're using a pack with more density, they would end up with more capacity in the same physical space. Maybe they're using more efficient motors too.
LP in Brighton 24 November 2015

Whu not go the other way?

We've had suggestions of doubling the battery size to double the range, but why not go the other way and halve the battery size and utilise the range extender engine a bit more. You'd end up with a cheaper, lighter i3 that would still have an adequate electric only range for all short journeys. If you're going to have a range extender petrol engine, then why not make use of it? Sure this would not be so efficient for the occasional long journey, but that would be offset by better performance / efficiency on shorter runs by virtue of the lighter weight.
Or BMW could go the whole hog and ditch the electric motor and batteries altogether. Just imagine a 1000kg carbon-fibre 4-seater with a 100 horsepower three cylinder petrol engine priced at around £20k and that proposition sounds attractive. But such a model could not be called an i3, nor would it attract the £5k subsidy...
winniethewoo 23 November 2015

There are lot of "analysts"

There are lot of "analysts" out there predicting battery pack costs will fall to around $100USD per kWh in the next 5 years making the 30kWh battery pack in the new Leaf around $3000USD. One guy is predicting $38USD per kWh, which would make a 30kWh Leaf battery $1140, but that seems like pie in the sky. Currently they are hovering around $200USD - $250USD per kWh depending on which source you believe.
Phil R 23 November 2015

A massive fall already...

winniethewoo wrote:

Currently they are hovering around $200USD - $250USD per kWh depending on which source you believe.

Given that they were around $1000 per kWh in 2008 it's a massive drop. Here's hoping it continues.