BMW i3 rumored to get battery cell upgrade to push range over 200 miles

by Denis Gurskiy

Even 5 years after production started, the little BMW i3 is still getting some love from BMW and is rumored to get a new battery cell upgrade by the beginning of next year.

New came from German website Bimmer Today who stated the following about plans of a battery upgrade for the i3 (excuse the google translate, as the original is in German):

According to our information, intensive preparations are underway in the background for the debut of a BMW i3 120Ah , which promises even greater coverage with an even larger lithium-ion battery. The more powerful battery could increase the standard range according to NEDC to over 350 kilometers and thus also appease the last range doubters…

This won’t be the first upgrade to the battery cells that BMW has done to the i3. They previously worked with their battery cell provider Samsung SDI to make denser battery cells that fit in the same battery pack, pushing the 60 Ah cells to 94 Ah cells. The upgraded the battery from 22 kWh to 33 kWh.

It is important to note that in the quote, BMW is aiming for a 350 km (217 miles) range on the NEDC cycle. The NEDC test cycle is notorious for being lenient and not giving the best real world results, it is currently being phased out in favor of the WLTP.

As an example, the BMW iX3 recieved a range of 500 km (310 miles) on the NEDC cycle, but only 400 km (248 miles) on the WLTP cycle.

This would mean that the new 120 Ah BMW i3 would have a real world range of around 150 miles, up from the current range of 114 miles. This would put it in line with current Nissan Leaf.

Not many people use the i3 to make cross country road trips, so this will still be a nice range boost for those that rarely leave the city. Obviously, this pales in comparison to the electric vehicles that BMW will start releasing in the future such as the iX3 and iNEXT, but it is nice that BMW still pays attention to its first i-series car.

What do you guys think about this upgrade? Let us know down in the comments below.

Source: Bimmer Today

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