For Automotive News, BMW CEO Harald Krueger confirmed a 50 percent increase in range to 120 miles from 81 for the 2017 i3 as well as unspecified design changes to the electric car.
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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.
Today, 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.
The larger capacity battery in the i3 will allow for extended driving and it will arrive this year.