50% More Juice - BMW i3 Receives Update Offering 300 KM Between Charges
|   Friday, May 27, 2016
BMW officially announced that the only fully electric model in its range, the i3, will receive in the second part of 2016 a technical update which will increase range by about 50 percent.

According to data provided by BMW, the maximum range announced for the i3 will increase from 190 to 300 km in the European NEDC cycle. The real average autonomy, which today is between 130 and 160 kilometers, will thus increase to 200 kilometers. The real range encompasses a normal driving style and varies from maximum range depending on the outside temperature and additional features activated in the car, like air conditioning, sound system, etc.


The most interesting aspect of the i3's update relates to the fact that the battery pack does not change its physical size with the increase in range, the progress being made solely by altering the cell density of the lithium-ion battery mounted under the floor of the car. The performance offered by the i3 remains unchanged even if the car's weight increased to 1,245 kg (+50 kg from the current i3).

BMW will keep in its range both versions of the i3 full-electric variant, the lower and the increased range models. These versions will be differentiated in the range by adding the battery capacity next to the official name. Thus, the current BMW i3 (60 Ah 18.8 kWh), with maximum range of 190 kilometers, will remain in the offer of the German brand alongside the new BMW i3 (94 Ah, 33 kWh), which will provide maximum autonomy of 300 kilometers.

Obviously, the additional petrol engine version (i3 Range Extender or i3 REx) also remains in the Bavarian lists, and will be available with both types of battery. Thus, both in the i3 (60 Ah) and i3 (94 Ah) versions, the addition of a two-cylinder engine transforms the equation of the i3's total autonomy by adding and extra 150 km to the mix.

An absolute novelty in the world of electric cars is that BMW gives the opportunity to customers who already have a BMW i3 electric in their garage to switch to the new version of the battery through a retrofit operation, after which the battery of 60 Ah will be replaced by the 94 Ah one. According to the press release of the Bavarian brand, the old batteries will be used as stationary energy storage units. The battery replacement price will be announced later.

Although the battery capacity of the i3 increases by 50 percent, a number of changes in the ability to supply electricity at the charging stations make the new version of the BMW capable of being charged in 3 hours from an AC outlet at medium speed. If the charge is done via special DC 50 kW socket, the new version of i3 can charge in just 40 minutes up to 80 percent. Charging times through a domestic socket grow up to 10 hours while the car can juices the 2.8 kWh socket from a domestic circuit without special modifications.

There are aesthetic and equipment changes along with the new BWM i3 (94). Thus, this improved version can be recognized by the Proton Blue exterior hue that will be available exclusively on the updated version, while the interior receives new options for wood and leather inserts in the cabin.
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