The BMW i3 is not exactly the most popular electric vehicle out there. If some people got over its peculiar design – which I love, by the way – others consider its range to be too short to make it a viable option. Even though your daily chores will most likely never require more than the 100 miles the i3 offers with a full battery, some still like to complain. Well, to offer more than you ever though you needed in an i3, the guys from Lion Smart managed to create a concept which can travel up to 435 miles on a single charge.
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The trickery comes in the shape of a new battery with a capacity of 100 kWh. That would immediately make you think about cutting up the floorboard of the i3 to make sure it fits inside but the guys from the German energy storage company claim their design has the same footprint as the OEM battery it replaces. Basically, they can store more energy within the same space, which definitely seems like the way to go these days.
Their pack is also lithium-ion made and according to them it will allow the i3 to travel up to 435 miles (about 700 km) on a single charge. There’s no word about what kind of testing procedure was used to get these results (WLTP or NEDC) and no word on how long it would take to recharge it, since the i3 can only take up about 16A with its standard charging port. However, their battery pack uses a fuse for each battery cell so that if one of them fails, only that bit is disconnected from the system to make sure the rest of the cells aren’t affected.
This looks like the perfect solution for what people always thought they want from their electric vehicles: more range. The thing is, while 435 miles seem like a lot, the bigger issue, which isn’t addressed here, is how long it takes to recharge it. Range isn’t necessarily the issue with EVs but it’s the charging time. If you could charge your car using a normal socket in 10 minutes, nobody would care that you’re limited to 100 miles on every charge, you’d be good to go in minutes. Nevertheless, what the guys from Lion Smart achieved here is impressive.