BMW recently announced that it will soon be upgrading the range of its BMW i3 and BMW i3 REx. The move comes in response to Chevrolet’s recent announcment that their Bolt will have a 200 mile range and will be released later next year, as well as Nissan’s announcement that the Leaf’s battery size will also be increasing. While the Leaf’s battery changes involve opting for a larger battery capable of 30 kilowat hours, BMW’s i3 updates will increase power density while keeping the smaller battery of 22 kwh.
While the i3 has had some minor upgrades over the past few years, most of them have been related to minor facelifts or special editions, as opposed to a major rework of a key component of the vehicle. The upgrade will affect models released in 2016, although the exact time frame for the upgrade is currently unknown.
BMW is excited that the battery will also be offered as a retrofit piece, in addition to its standard inclusion on all future i3 models and i3 RExs. The updated battery boasts a range that should translate to approximately 25% more miles. This boost means that with the extended range on i3 and i3 REx BMWs, the real world miles they can travel increases from 100 miles to 124 miles. The new Nissan Leaf also promises 125 miles of all-electric travel, when it is released in 2016.
Amidst such battery updates will also come some revolutionary software and electronics changes. These improved electronics promise to be some of the most advanced and up-to-date on the market, and affect features such as battery cooling and control of the BMW’s electric motor, as well as other elements of the vehicle’s software mapping. These updates promise to be some of the most exciting feature changes and upgrades to the i3 since its introduction in 2013.