BMW i3 range will be increased in 2016 with a new battery

BMW i | October 22nd, 2015 by 18
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BMW CEO Harald Krueger says the BMW i3 will get a “battery facelift” in 2016. In an interview with Die Zeit, BMW’s chief says the …

BMW CEO Harald Krueger says the BMW i3 will get a “battery facelift” in 2016. In an interview with Die Zeit, BMW’s chief says the i3 will take advantage next year of new battery technology.

“Battery cell technology continues to evolve,” Krueger said. “The range of the i3 will be increased in 2016. A further technological improvement is to be expected in three or four years: Then you’ll be able to go twice as far on a single charge without any further increase in the weight of the battery.”

Our sources say the i3 will get a new battery with higher capacity and more efficient which will lead to a higher driving range. The i3 currently has a driving range of 81 miles – 72 mile when fitted with the range extender.

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Same sources say BMW has yet to determine whether customers will be able to swap their current i3 battery pack – at a cost – or the two i3 models will be sold concurrently as Tesla does with its Model S vehicles. When pressed on the issue of battery swapping, Krueger said “We are currently looking into that.”

BMW is expected to launch the updated i3 in the second half of 2016.

18 responses to “BMW i3 range will be increased in 2016 with a new battery”

  1. Matt Stokes says:

    It needs to get more colours and lose the blue highlights as well!

  2. Daniel Johnson says:

    This is cool. I wonder with an increased battery range if they will be able to unlock that extra 0.5 gallon in the fuel tank of the REX model and get it close to 200 miles, while maintaining the ability to qualify for the tax break.

  3. CDspeed says:

    I think Nissan takes your old battery as trade toward the purchase of a new one when it’s needed. It would be nice if BMW did the same if you were just upgrading.

  4. Pixelbase Electric says:

    Retrofits and trade-in values will be an interesting one for BMW to ponder. Whilst dealerships would love the customer comeback and contact, my guess is BMW themselves will opt for the “separate model” route and offer the larger battery as an option. Most REx customers will pass on a larger battery, I guess, since they already have a decent range with higher electric miles than most BEV drivers (especially if the BEV is a household’s second car).

    Generally, BMW had to up the ante here, mainly because of the range improvements in the next generation of the Leaf. Having said that, I think the range increase for the next i3 battery will be between 10-20%, not more.

  5. arretjenoff says:

    sure Ii want to retrofit my 2013 i3 no doubt about that BMW!!!

  6. Matthew Kennedy says:

    As long as they don’t lose the current miles per kWh or if possible improve it then I’m not fussed. I’m not struggling with the current range but then I live in the UK where we don’t drive far day to day, my local shops are less than 2 miles city is 20 miles and that’s all I need,

  7. steven75 says:


  8. Peder Norby says:

    They have two routes to go if they want to give the existing BMW BEV i3’s the same range as the new batteries.
    Route one is what Nissan did, the whole pack comes out and a new pack with better pouches goes in.
    Route two might be easier. Existing pack stays in and a small addition of batteries is put where the rex resides. If it’s a similar weight as the rex it’s already been crash tested and should work as far as safety is concerned.
    Of course this would not help the existing rex drivers.

    • Matt Stokes says:

      Check out at around 1 minute in

    • Horatiu B. says:

      Interesting. They def have some tough decisions to make.

    • Raphael Sturm says:

      I guess they won’t go for an extra battery in the front, they just want to upgrade the cells, not redesign the whole car. An extra battery in the front might even be less retrofittable. You would need extra isolation, cables connecting the existing battery with the new one (at least the new one with the DCDC converter), a new controller, for both packs and so on. A whole new battery could be implemented within minutes. Now compare the labour costs of both solutions. If they change something in the base architecture, retrofitting it into existing cars will be extremely cost intensive.

  9. Sheryl Crow says:

    We have had our i3 for 2 years now and we LOVE it !! Getting a new one next year with the better battery.

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