In the US and a number of European countries, demand is rapidly increasing for the updated 2017 BMW i3 electric vehicle. According to Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management at BMW AG, Development, sales figures received a major boost from the launch of the new 94 Ah battery.
August 2016 saw worldwide sales of the BMW i3 rise by over 70% compared to twelve months previously. The outoing BMW i3’s biggest flaw is its range. At 81 miles, it just wasn’t not enough to be competitive in a market where the Nissan Leaf can sport almost 100 miles. While we feel 81 miles is more than enough for the average driver, it doesn’t do a lot to help the ongoing issue of range anxiety. So BMW has set out to remedy this for 2017.
To do so, BMW has given its i3 a new, high-density battery that sports a 50 percent increase in capacity, from 22 to 33 kWh. With this new battery, the BMW i3’s range increases from 81 miles to 114 miles, putting it well over that 100-mile sweet spot.
The only real downside of the new battery is the fact that it takes a bit longer to charge, but that’s to be expected, as it is a larger density battery with a longer range. With a 240-volt fast-charger, the 2017 i3 can fully charge in 4.5 hours, compared to the 3.5 of the previous model. With a 50 kW fast charger, the 2017 BMW i3 will charge 80 percent in 40 minutes.
The 2017 BMW i3 starts at $44,595 for the BEV model and $48,445 for the REx.