The 2017 model year of the Bavarian eco-friendly vehicle has an important upgrade under the carbon fiber body – a new 33 kWh battery pack that enables its range to surge to 114 miles.
The rumor mill saw this coming a mile away and now we have official confirmation that BMW has significantly upgraded the all-electric’s range, with the official readings telling us the battery’s density has increased from 60 ampere hours (Ah) to 94 Ah and the capacity has jumped from 22 to 33 kWh. The new battery pack has been developed together with South Korea’s Samsung and fits in the same slot thanks to the same physical dimensions. It will also be offered on both the all-electric and range-extended models.
According to BMW testing cycles, the range has jumped to up to 114 miles in the combined cycle, which is a major boost compared to the 22 kWh model’s EPA-certified 81 miles. According to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), BMW claims the new pack will last for 300 kilometers instead of the previous figure of 190 km. The range extended version also comes with its own specific updates, among them a 25% bigger fuel tank for some added kilometers compared to the battery-electric model. Now the BEV and REX versions do tip the scales a little harder – at 2,961 pounds and 3,234 lbs, respectively.
The all-electric will reach 60 mph (96 km/h) in seven seconds and the range extended will need about eight seconds. With a Level 2 charger the full recharge will last about 4.5 hours and using 50 kW direct current (DC) fast charging tech the 80 percent charge will take 40 minutes. BMW also allows previous i3 users to enjoy the upgrades as part of a retrofit program reaching select markets. In Germany the standard 60 Ah model will cost €34,950 BEV and €39,950 REX. The new 94 Ah version will go for €36,150 BEV / €41,150 REX.