Ever since BMW unveiled their i-platform and brought us the i3 and i8 we have loved to talk about these two cars. Every year they seem to get better and find improvements that we might not have expected. Eventually you can expect BMW to offer us a few more electrified models and some that will have ranges that will rival the offerings from Tesla and the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt, but until that time we get to enjoy what this luxury automaker offers us as the next step in their electric propulsion equation, which is better range and more power.
The 2017 version of the i3 will have a battery pack that offers fifty percent more capacity. This is an amazing achievement considering the battery pack isn’t going to increase in size but the batter will now be able to hold 94 Ah ampere hours) versus the previous capacity of 60 Ah. This capacity is increased from 22 kWh to 33 kWh and will give us a range in the all-electric form of about 114 miles which is 33 more miles than what we could previously enjoy on the BMW i3.
This range is not just achieved under perfect driving conditions with the exact amount of acceleration and braking, its achieved under a wide variety of driving conditions including different weather situations. Even though 114 miles doesn’t compare to the ranges offered by some of the previously mentioned models, this is typically more driving range than the average person needs in a day and is exactly what is desired to carry you throughout your daily tasks. In fact, if you work for a company that has a Level 2 charging station you could charge your battery from empty in about 4.5 hours so it would be fully charged before you headed out for the day.
This new battery pack is going to be offered on all i3 models whether they are the electric-only versions or the ones that have the gasoline range extender under the hood as well. While the charging time for this battery is an hour longer than the previous model, the added range is nothing to complain about and when using a DC fast charger your battery can be charged to about eighty percent of full in only forty minutes to give you most of the range you need and the ability to get back on the road after only a shortstop.
Because this new battery is denser than the previous one the weight of the vehicle increases by 270 pounds which slows the car down when accelerating to sixty mph making it an eight-second ride. This won’t really be a factor for most drivers of this car who are city dwellers that prefer a car that is of the luxury ilk to enjoy their driving and have the efficiency of an EV model that can handle every driving need they have. The pricing for this upgraded battery pack model has not been announced yet, but this added range certainly is worth a little more on the price tag.