In the second half of this year, BMW will unveil a facelift of the i3 electric car which will focus on technology updates versus design changes. According to sources, BMW will extend the i3 line-up from two models to four.
So far, the i3 is sold as a fully electric car and one with a Range Extender, both using the same 18.8 kWh lithium-ion battery. BMW has always touted that the two models are perfect for typical big-city commuters fitting the typical urban driving profile – 20 to 30 miles of daily driving.
However, heavy commuters are not being forgotten. A larger capacity battery in the i3 will allow for extended driving and it will arrive this year. Instead of opting for a battery replacement, BMW will extend the i3 lineup to offer two additional models – one fully electric with the new battery and the other a REx version with the same technology.
It’s expected that the new models will come with a four digit surcharge.
The current model consists of 8 x 2.7 kWh packs cells – each containing 12 x 3.75 volt, 60 Ah actual cells – wired in series for a nominal capacity of 21.8 kWh, 360 volts, of which 18.8 kWh are usable. The new battery is expected to have a 94Ah battery and the higher energy density will give the i3 an expected range of 120 miles.
The actual rating will be issued by EPA after testing. EPA currently rates the i3 BEV at 81 miles.
Stay tuned for further updates!