Batteries are the Achilles’ heel for electric autos today – they are heavy, expensive, bulky and provide a small range while taking lots of time to recharge. But the technology continues its progress.
That means through continued research and development programs the engineers are delivering better and better batteries. One such move appears to be in the cards for the BMW i3 which is reportedly getting ready to receive a new lithium ion battery pack that will boost the range to 124 miles (200 km) from the current travelling distance of between 80 – 100 miles (128 – 160 km). According to insiders that are close to the German automaker, BMW is preparing an “optimised driveline” that would sum up all the efficiency breakthroughs developed since the model was introduced back in 2013.
The i3’s new lithium ion battery pack would actually have the same 22kWh (18.7kWh usable) capacity but would come with a higher power density that would deliver the range gains. Among the modifications are included an updated electronics system with new software running the battery cooling system and the electric motor. The update would reach the regular all-electric i3 and the i3 with Range Extender, which also employs a smallish two-cylinder petrol engine to recharge the batteries while driving. More interesting for the customers that have already bought the i3 is they wouldn’t need to give up their first purchase and would be able to receive the update as a retro-fit option.