BMW NA testing 94 Ah retrofit on BMW i3 60 Ah in U.S. market

BMW i | June 1st, 2017 by 14
2017 BMW i3 test drive 13 750x500

When BMW released the newer 94 Ah battery for the BMW i3 in Europe, the Bavarian brand was offering European customers the option of retrofitting …

When BMW released the newer 94 Ah battery for the BMW i3 in Europe, the Bavarian brand was offering European customers the option of retrofitting their older, 60 Ah i3 with the newer battery. This is because BMW was able to create the newer battery without changing the size of it and being able to use the same mounts. The cost of doing so is around 7,000 Euros, which is only worth doing for a customer that wants the newer battery but doesn’t want to spend the extra money on an entirely new car.

As of right now, the program is only offered to European customers. In the US, if you want the newer 94 Ah battery, you’ll have to just buy the newer BMW i3. However, BMW North America has been working on bringing the same European program across the Atlantic.

2017 BMW i3 test drive 07 750x563

 

We heard rumors of BMW NA retrofitting some older i3s with the newer battery. Now, though, we’ve gotten confirmation from BMW NA that there was such a program being conducted. According to our sources, there’s been a pilot program where 10 off-lease BMW i3s were retrofitted with the 94 Ah battery. So BMW is clearly looking into bringing that program to American customers in the future. We don’t know for certain if it will come here but it’s clear BMW NA is toying with the idea.

If BMW does allow U.S. 60 Ah i3 customers to swap their battery out for the newer one, we don’t know how much it would cost. 7,000 Euros ($7,846 USD) isn’t exactly cheap and most i3 customers lease their cars. Though, it would be an interesting proposition for second-hand i3 owners. We’ve already discussed how the i3 has plummeted in value on the used market, with some examples being less than $15,000 with great mileage. So this program could allow customers to buy the i3 used and on the cheap, then upgrade to the newer battery and have almost a brand new car for significantly less than the new i3 costs. Not a bad idea for someone looking at i3s on the used market.

14 responses to “BMW NA testing 94 Ah retrofit on BMW i3 60 Ah in U.S. market”

  1. Hinu says:

    This needs to happen.

    But I understand that it makes more sense to do it now, especially when the 120 Ah pack is released. Then the cars will be older, there’ll be a much bigger reason for people to upgrade. Some will also have a pack that isn’t like new anymore. Though, having only 18.8 kWh isn’t something most people actually want. It was a tight squeeze for me too.

    Hope the price gets reduced significantly as well.

  2. Are You Not Entertained says:

    I own a 2014 BEV i3. I would do this swap if it cost about $7,000. However, if a newer model i3 comes out that has, say, 200 miles of range (BEV), then I’d just sell car and buy the newer model. But if there is no such 200-mile BEV coming soon, then a $7K one-time upgrade would be something I’d do.

  3. Brice says:

    Meanwhile, they stopped the retrofit program in Europe…

  4. electricnick says:

    Absolutely must happen, indeed. Please, make sooner than later. There’s a lot of waiting on either side and everyone wants to jump in.

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