Sometime in 2018, the all-electric BMW i3 will be getting a battery pack upgrade to 43.2 kilowatt-hours (kWh) — allowing for an EPA range rating of 150 to 155 miles per full charge — according to rumors circulating right now, including from a quite reliable source.
As it stands, the BMW i3 is still outfitted with the 33.6 kWh battery pack that it has had for a while now — which provides around 114 miles of range, leaving the model uncompetitive now that the Tesla Model 3 is coming to market, the Chevy Bolt is here, and the new Nissan LEAF is on the horizon.
As a reminder here, the refreshed exterior appearance of the BMW i3 was just recently unveiled, which should help the model sell somewhat better. But without a range upgrade, the model isn’t likely to be able to compete and keep even its moderate sales up (not outside of Germany, anyways).
Here’s more on the subject from perhaps the best BMW i3 sources around: “Fresh off of the Frankfurt introduction of the new BMW i3 exterior refresh and new i3 Sport for 2018, BMWBLOG is now reporting that they have confirmation that 2018 will also bring a new, larger battery option to the i3, albeit later in the year.
“In mid-2016, BMW introduced the current 33.6 kWh battery which was an upgrade from the 21.6 kWh battery previously available. That bumped the i3 BEV’s 81 mile range to 114 miles per charge. The new battery, which is being introduced sometime later in 2018, is rumored to have a total capacity of 43.2 kWh and offer an EPA range rating of 150 — 155 miles per charge.”
As noted in that coverage, that would mean that with the addition of a gas/petrol range extender the new i3 would be able to do some ~230 miles per full charge — making the model highly practical for most people, presuming that they don’t mind occasionally filling up the range-extending gas/petrol tank on a long trip or extremely busy day.
As a reminder, BMW has historically sourced its i3 batteries from Samsung SDI. That’s expected to remain the same, but we aren’t totally sure yet. For more stories on this beloved electric back sheep, roll through our BMW i3 archives.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
EV Obsession Daily!
Tesla Sales in 2023, 2024, and 2030
CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.