BMW i3 Poised For 2nd Battery Upgrade. Hopefully A Naming Upgrade As Well…

2 months ago by Tom Moloughney 73

The 2018 BMW i3 Sport at the Frankfurt Auto Show. I had the opportunity to get an early preview of BMW’s cars at IAA last week.

Fresh off of the Frankfurt introduction of the new BMW i3 exterior refresh and new i3 Sport for 2018, BMWBLOG is now reporting that they have confirmation that 2018 will also bring a new, larger battery option to the i3, albeit later in the year.

In mid-2016, BMW introduced the current 33.84 kWh battery which was an upgrade from the 21.6 kWh battery previously available. That bumped the i3 BEV’s 81 mile range to 114 miles per charge. The new battery, which is being introduced sometime later in 2018, is rumored to have a total capacity of 43.2 kWh and offer an EPA range rating of 150 – 155 miles per charge.

Customers that opt for the range extended version of the 43.2 kWh i3 will have about 230 miles of total driving range without the need to stop to recharge or refuel. The increase in all electric range will place the i3 in a virtual tie with the new Nissan LEAF for the second longest EV range behind the Chevy Bolt, in the “everybody but Tesla” class of electric vehicles. That is of course, until Nissan launches the 60 kWh LEAF, which isn’t expected to be available until the 2019 model year LEAF is out. Audi and Jaguar are also expected to introduce their respective long-range EVs sometime in 2018, and they will also leapfrog the i3 and LEAF in range.

BMW i3 Battery pack

One thing I’d like to see BMW do when they introduce the new battery is stop referring to it by the amount of amp hours for each cell. It’s a completely useless metric, and one that only causes further confusion among potential buyers. No other automaker uses the amp hour (Ah) metric to identify their battery packs. It would almost be as if they started to distinguish their internal combustion engines by the bore & stroke instead of the traditionally-used displacement in liters. It just makes no sense.

Every electric car manufacturer today refers to their battery packs by the total amount of energy it can hold in kilowatt hour (kWh). However, for some reason, when BMW introduced the new battery option for the 2017 i3, they decided to use the Ah metric, and called it the “i3 94 Ah” instead of just the BMW i3, and then listed the battery pack as 33 kWh. They never called the original i3 the “i3 60 Ah”, so why change the designation when introducing the new pack?

Some critics claimed it was intentionally done to confuse buyers, and make the battery sound larger (94 is a bigger number than 33), and make it seem like it was comparable to Tesla’s battery offerings (75, 85, 90 & 100 kWh). Personally, I don’t agree with that assumption, I think it was just a case of BMW product planners wanting to distinguish the new battery as being better, and it was the first time they ever offered a new battery option, so they used the name that their supplier Samsung, uses without realizing the implications.

In any event, I’m happy to hear that BMW will be rolling out the second battery upgrade in two years. The i3 will then have used three different batteries in the first five years of availability, proving that BMW is continuously willing to improve the i3 as better battery technology becomes available.

An internet ad for a new BMW i3. There’s no indication of how large the battery is, only the amp hour rating for each battery cell (the i3 has 96 cells), which is totally useless to the consumer.

My advice to BMW product planners: Drop the Ah designation, please. It’s only confusing your customers, your client advisers and in some cases even journalists writing about the i3. Simply do what every other EV maker does, and call it by the total size of the battery pack, in kilowatt hour. It’s easy, most buyers understand it, and client advisers won’t have to attempt to explain energy density, voltage, cells, and modules to every potential customer that asks how the battery compares to the batteries of the other EVs on the market. EV terminology can be confusing enough for first time buyers, lets not trip over the easy stuff…

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73 responses to "BMW i3 Poised For 2nd Battery Upgrade. Hopefully A Naming Upgrade As Well…"

  1. WARREN says:

    Maybe I will wait on ordering an i3s. However if it’s like the previous upgrade, the 94ah i3s may be lighter and quicker if they don’t further increase HP with a heavier battery.

    1. Warren says:

      FYI, looking at my window sticker, I see no reference to 94Ah at all. I just says “33kWh high voltage lithium-ion battery pack with advanced active thermal management system”.

  2. Julio says:

    Great Tom!

    Ah has a meaning for 12V bateries in ICE, but for EVs the voltage is not standard, so it is meaningless

    1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

      “Ah has a meaning for 12V bateries in ICE”

      Umm…. all the 12V car batteries I have seen are in CA/CCA.

      1. Mikael says:

        You never have a 12 volt battery without Ah stated.

        I had to google CCA to even know what that was. 😛

        1. DJ says:

          Cold Cranking Amps!

    2. Tom Moloughney says:

      Exactly. It’s confusing their potential customers. I’ve witnessed this first hand as people have reached out to me for clarity.

      Lets see how they market it when the larger battery pack is available later in 2018. There’s no need to mention the amp hour rating of the cells. Just tell me how big the battery is, please. 🙂

      1. MTN Ranger says:

        That’s true. My electric mower is the only thing that I have that states the battery pack in Ah. Coincidentally, it uses Panasonic 18650 cells like Tesla does.

        1. WARREN says:

          So does my electric skate board, with a skate board type chassis, battery pack, lol.

      2. Djoni says:

        I totally agree, but I would add to mention the usable kWh, not the total of the battery, because that is also confusing.
        I don’t want a useless metric anymore than a useless number.

      3. Jeff Songster says:

        Just glad to hear they are offering a larger battery next year… super glad… and bonus points for offering battery upgrades. Nice car… I almost got one for my second EV. Kinda too bad they aren’t leap frogging above the BOLT especially considering what they charge for the carbon fiber wondercar.

  3. mx says:

    This is one of the most fun and underrated SUV’s out there.
    But, you need a good BMW salesperson to sell it to you. BMW has corporate discounts, along with taking off the federal tax credit off the lease cost. Find a salesperson who knows how to move these cars. ( Mike at Princeton BMW, NJ. )

    But, this is a great fun car, for city and suburban/country driving. The quietness of the battery in the floor, the torque of a small V8, and none of the noise or stink.

    With a sophisticated suspension, that’s better then 90% of the cars on the road. And the new i3s gives the car more traction in turns, making it competitive in Porsches in city/suburban/country drives. Of course, the Porsche will still win at Watkins Glen. But, I don’t drive there too often.

    Room for 4 adults, and no “Parking Anxiety” with this car, in cities. 99% of the time, the car leaving the parking spot will be larger than the i3.

    Recommend leasing, to get the latest safety systems for the next 10 years. The safety revolution is running it’s course too.

    1. alohart says:

      I hope that I haven’t purchased a SUV! I don’t think that most people would categorize an i3 as a SUV which to me describes a much larger vehicle. But almost 3 years experience with our 2014 i3 BEV leads me to agree generally with everything else you wrote.

      1. mx says:

        Early Morning, No Coffee….
        How did EV turn into SUV???

        But, it does sit nicely higher, with better visibility, like an SUV.

        1. Dan says:

          More or less same ride height as an X3. About the same space as an X1. It’s not a stretch (he he) to think of the i3 as a crossover ute.

    2. william edwards says:

      i3 is nowhere close to any SUV… ::sigh::

  4. mx says:

    The i3 is also very economic if you want it to be. You can easily get 4.6 miles per kWh in your driving if you put it into Eco-Pro mode, which is only a modest reduction in total power.

    Some guys are getting up to 6.2 m/kWh though.

    1. Tom Moloughney says:

      Agreed. I know i3 owners that routinely average in the mid to high 5’s for efficiency. Unfortunately, my right foot prevents me from doing that well. I only averaged about 4 miles per kWh on my i3.

  5. Q says:

    What is wrong with distinguishing between battery packs capacity by indicating, what Ah has a single cell used to build it?
    As long as this is referring to the same vehicle model is as good as Sport->Comfort->Executive ranking the equipment in car.
    What is really impressive and yet ignored in this article, is the fact that the cell supplier was able to double the cell capacity without changing the form factor which allowed BMW to use exactly the same manufacturing lines! (therefore no extra cost).
    This is something!

  6. franky_b says:

    BMWBLOg also mentionned this:

    “At the same time, the high loads will be more efficient in this battery pack, so it will have better discharging curve, therefore leading to a higher than 25 percent range increase.”

    So expect more then just 25% increase in range. These are all good news and Samsung SDI seems to meet its roadmap milestone.

  7. Stimpy says:

    While it’s great that they are improving the range, if the 150 mi variant came out THIS year, I would already consider it late to market. By 2018 it’s going to be woefully behind nearly all BEV competitors despite it’s significantly higher price.

    I know the car well (owned a 2014) and am very aware of the other positive aspects, but I simply wouldn’t expect most buyers to get past the uncompetitive price/mile-of-range metric. It’s hard for me even as a former owner! Especially given the limited availability of (relatively) slow CCS charging plugs.

  8. William says:

    If BMW can get some manufacturing cost reductions on the later 2018 i3, and lower the MSRP on the extended range REx version, I wonder how many Nissan Leaf 2019 (60 kWh) fence sitters, would pull the trigger, late in the 2018 Model year, on the 2018 i3 REx?

    Why wait a few more months, if it at all, for the 200+ mile 2019 Leaf (60kWh) to arrive, when the late 2018 BMW i3 REx could really be quite a compelling alternative. Just a little more cash per month (+$75.00 approx.) on a 30 or 36 month/36k mi. Lease payment, is probably all it would take to move a lot more BMW i3 REx.

  9. David Murray says:

    I’m not sure Kwh has any more meaning to the average car buy than Ah. Driving range is the number that counts. For all I care they could refer to the batteries as Size A, Size B, and Size C.

    The only metric that really counts is how far it will go.

    1. Tom Moloughney says:

      For many new buyers, kWh probably doesn’t have any more meaning, I agree. However, when the entire industry uses one measure, why introduce something else? The amp hour rating doesn’t tell you anything about the range or battery size. At least noting the pack size in kWh gives an indication of how far the car will go.

      Even if you are an EV novice, a little research will show you that most EVs go about 3.5 to 4 miles per kWh. So by knowing the pack size, even a novice can do a quick calculation to guess the approximate range. You can’t calculate anything by just knowing the amp hour rating. You’d need to know how many cells, and also the operating voltage of the pack to figure out the size. Nobody but the ultra EV geeks (like us here!) are interested in that kind of technical info. As you said, they just want to know how far the car will go. kWh tells them that, roughly, at least.

  10. Bacardi says:

    Problem with now changing, you’ve gone from:
    94Ah sedan
    to a 60KW sedan…Now you may further confuse people into thinking the previous 94Ah sedan has more capacity…

    1. Tom Moloughney says:

      Exactly my point. It’s confusing and it needn’t be.

    2. Rich says:

      Which brings us to the reason why BMW chose to list AH instead of kWh. IMO, it was a marketing tactic for comparison against Tesla. Model S 60, Model S P85, BMW i3 94. Frankly, I find this sleezy and that’s being nice.

  11. Big Solar says:

    I havent bought gas for over 5 years but very seriously considering a used 2014 Rex i3. I have a Leaf as my only car and it dosent have the options I want and I want to be able to make it to the auto train without stopping. Other than that the 75 mile AER is more than enough for my daily needs. hell, I may even go to the coast in the i3..Are there any issues with the little BMW gas motor or the Rex in general???? Anyone? Tom?? Bueller? anyone?

    1. Tom Moloughney says:

      There has been reports of people having issues, especially when they have used the REx regularly. However, the REx engine, and all of it’s related components have a 15 year, 150,000 mile warranty here in the US (if that’s where you are). That’s because it’s classified as a PZEV and the 150,000 mile warranty is required by law. That’s not for the battery or the rest of the vehicle, just the REx and related emission control components:

      1. william edwards says:

        Are you sure that there is a 15 year, 150,000 warranty EVERYWHERE in the U.S.? I thought this was just for CA emissions states?

      2. unlucky says:

        It’s only in CARB states. And that only is for emissions components. It doesn’t mean the REx is warranted against all breakage. It’s warranted to remain emissions compliant for 15 years.

        1. Tom Moloughney says:

          The REx is considered part of the emission controls, I have that directly from BMW. They will cover it under warranty.

          I wasn’t aware it was only covered in the CARB states, sorry for the misinformation. Here’s a list of the CARB states, by the way:

          Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

          1. Big Solar says:

            Thanks for all the info guys. I figured it would have issues since its German. Ugggh :/

          2. Astros says:

            I believe you mean Washington D.C., not Washington state.

          3. The Voice Of Reason says:

            Tom, I believe you were given some bad/wrong info by someone at BMW. It is actually the electric drive motor/unit, not the internal combustion engine, that is covered for 15-years/150,000-miles by the emissions warranty in CARB states.

            The extended CARB warranty for the electric drive motor in the PZEV Volt was discussed in Kdawg’s comment subthread in the link below.

            I personally have confirmed with my Chevy Volt service advisor that the extended CARB warranty applies only to the electric drive unit and not to the ICE range extender. I even read through the legalese in the warranty section of my Volt owner’s manual, and can confirm that the extended CARB emissions warranty covers the electric drive motor and not the ICE.

            Since the Volt and i3 are both PZEVs, then the same CARB emissions warranty should apply. The warranty section in the i3’s owner’s manual should specifically list what’s covered under the CARB emissions warranty, if you can get through the legalese.

            It should be noted that in Kdawg’s subthread linked above, there was a post that said the Federal emissions warranty that applies in non-CARB states covers the electric motor in the Volt (and other PZEV’s) for 8 years or 100,000 miles.

            One more caveat. Most, but not all, of the CARB states require/follow the enhanced 15-year/150,000 emissions warranty for PZEVs over the 8-year/100,000 mile Federal emissions warranty for PZEVs that covers the electric motors. I believe the CARB states with enhanced PZEV emissions warranties are as follows: CA, CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NJ, NY, RI, & VT.

            1. Tom Moloughney says:

              I actually had an issue with my REx when my car was out of warranty @ 60,000 miles. The issue was covered under warranty and I was told the reason was because of the 150,000 mile emissions controls warranty that is mandatory. I assumed it wasn’t going to be a warranty repair, but was happy when the dealer gave me the repair invoice and a $0 balance. 🙂

          4. unlucky says:

            The REx is part of the emissions system. If it goes out of emissions specs, they’ll fix it.

            But they aren’t going to fix it for breaking completely under an emissions warranty any more than they will fix the engine in ICE car if it breaks completely.

            If the engine goes out of spec in such a way that the emissions go up when operating, they have to fix it free. If the engine just breaks it’s covered under a powertrain warranty.

    2. James says:

      The Kymco scooter motor really baffles me. I have read false reports that BMW builds this little engine in Germany. In fact, it is produced in Taiwan by the well-known budget scooter company. I say no wonder people who rely on it are experiencing issues.

      Look at the price. This fellow who compares the handling to a Porsche is dillusional. I understand fandom, but gee whiz, folks, the i3 isn’t as good as these rose-colored glasses wearers say. I like how he lists the dealer and salesman…

      I really like the i8, even though from a practicality viewpoint it also makes no sense. Sports cars are emotional buys and they don’t need to make sense.

      On the other hand, BMW really asks far too much money for i3. Now they are forced to keep upping battery size just to barely keep up with a Nissan! – And i3 fans sound as if BMW is really onto something!

      We’ll see the MSRP then we can determine if BMW deserves anything more than the thought that they’re desperately trying to sell these things to pay off the R&D and all the expense the “new think” factory cost them.

      All this “Most efficient” Kool-Aid we hear from fans is a moot point because the car underperforms in every metric that counts in comparison to EVs that cost less. Just start with seating capacity and go from there.

      I’ve pointed out how Autocar raced an i3 against a $17,000 ICE hatchback and the little econocar beat the i3 by 8 seconds around a race track. Yet i3 folks still brag at how well i3 handles! I found i3 to feel zippy but very scarey when pushed hard. The ReX handles even worse when pushed hard, near it’s limits.

      1. Gennadiy says:

        I’d say if you end up running REX often, you got yourself a wrong car. i3 is best suited for the short distance city/ suburban driving with only occasional REX use. I live in a suburb of Baltimore- a fairly large city- ended up going through one tank in a year /12k miles. At this rate the engine will last forever.

        1. Big Solar says:

          did i see you friday at lunch time driving by the ball fields Ravens/Orioles? Grey i3?

    3. Fearnsy says:

      I heard reports that the early REX cars had a fault with the fuel tank. The fuel tank has to depressurize before you can open the filler cap but if the problem does occur you open the frunk and find the green gas flap pull button on the passenger side in back (shown in the manual). Disengage the button and gently pull on it until the filler cap releases.

  12. unlucky says:

    94Ah isn’t the rating of each cell. It’s the rating for the entire pack.

    It’s about a 350V pack and this says it’s 94Ah pack.

    350V * 94Ah is 32900VAh. A VA is a W, so that would make it a 32.9kWh pack.

    I know people are used to kWh. And I’m not saying BMW shouldn’t use it. But Ah is a valid way to measure packs and in fact it’s the best way to do it, as the voltage on the pack changes as it charges and discharges. Thus when doing the design work the pack is surely specified in Ah. Every pack is.

    But for marketing, perhaps you want kWh.

    Anyway, I think a naming upgrade isn’t really what this car needs. It needs an appearance upgrade. And a remove those goofy doors upgrade. And a make the car drive like a BMW upgrade. And a make the interior be luxurious to match the marque/price upgrade.

    1. Tom Moloughney says:

      It’s also the amp hour rating for each cell, regardless of the size of the pack:

      1. unlucky says:

        It’s the amp-hour rating for each cell if the cells are all in series.

        It’s the amp-hour rating of the pack regardless of the size or configuration of the pack.

    2. menorman says:

      I think the design is fine, but the price no longer is.

  13. John Ray says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but aren’t most consumer electronic device batteries rated in Ahrs. I get that you would need to know the pack voltage to get to kWh. But isn’t the Ahr rating really a better indicator of capacity.

    1. bogdan says:

      Ah has no meaning without the voltage.
      Smart phones have all the same voltage, well more or less. It’s actually between 3.6V and 3.8V.
      BEVs have mostly same voltage, but PHEVs have lower voltage.

      Stating the Ah is like saying, the BMW consumes 10 Liter gas per hour without mentioning the speed.

      So you will be confusing lots of people with this Ah nonesense. KWh is the unit for capacity.
      That’s exactly what BMW is trying to do here: lie, cheat, deceive and confuse the customer. This is the only way to make good profits and they are succefull too!

  14. protomech says:

    “Every electric car manufacturer today refers to their battery packs by the total amount of energy it can hold in kilowatt hour (kWh).”

    Tesla appears to be backing away from this, emphasizing range instead of battery capacity.

  15. menorman says:

    How about dropping the price?

  16. Courtney vegan says:

    For its current range and price,it’s a failure. Just because it has a BMW badge, does not mean they can price it like their ice cars. While I think the bolt bolt is fugly,and no leather delete on the fully loaded model,the range is impressive.

  17. Bacardi says:

    Actually other than Tesla, who actually puts a numbered badge (whether kWh or not) on their vehicles?

    1. Tom Moloughney says:

      I’m not talking about badges. iI’s about how the manufacturer distinguishes between battery sizes. Nissan, for instance had the original 24 kWh pack, they then marketed the new pack as the 30 kWh pack, now they are launching the 40 kWh LEAF, and added that a 60 kWh battery will be coming soon.

      1. unlucky says:

        How about just skip all that and rate/market the cars by the EPA range?

        1. Tom Moloughney says:

          That’s definitely part of the equation and I agree that information should be highly visible to to the consumer. But if the OEM wants to distinguish between battery packs I think offering the total size of the pack in kWh is a better metric than listing the Ah value… 🙂

  18. Marc Huaman says:

    Tom – add me to the list interested in dropping the “Ah”

    I’ve never been asked at a charging station what model I have – people ask me “What is that? How far does it go?”

    IMHO just have i3 and i3 rEx and nerds like me will dig into the rest. Even the kWh numbers can be confusing because the efficiency varies so much – not just driver to driver but EV to EV.

    I know – that’s a can of worms to open another time…

    1. Tom Moloughney says:

      Agreed. I think it’s best policy to give the consumer the EPA range rating as well as the most and least range they can expect (the bolt does this well), because the most important figure is the range. But if the manufacturer offers multiple battery pack sizes, and they want to distinguish between the different packs, I think offering the total pack’s capacity in kWH, as most OEMs do, is best policy. Nobody else lists the packs but their amp hour rating, so it’s only confusing to the consumer if one company uses a different metric than everybody else. That’s my point here.

  19. pete says:

    Honestly keep to kwh. It’s simpler. The epa rating underestimates how far a car will actually go, as many u.s. Drivers have found out. The nedc overestimates by around 15% as many European drivers have found out. Unless you drive on flat roads at 30 mph! So just using ‘range’ is misleading. Kwh makes it easier to compare battery capacity.

  20. Jason says:

    If this new pack is backward compatible with the original i3, like the current 2 pack types are, then that will be excellent. You might be able to pickup a cheap gen1 and replace the battery pack in an economical way.

    For all the carbon fibre (I assume they are still using that) and associated costs, it doesn’t seem to me that that i3 is getting that much more range than a non carbon fibre car. Maybe they should drop the carbon fibre and use traditional materials so the price can be reduced.

    Although, it is a BMW and that marquee commands a premium price where I live, so really no surprise. It’s not a Nissan!

    They’ve all got about a year or two to really pick up their EV game, and after that Tesla Model 3 becomes generally available, at similar price point, with much higher brand recognition and consumer lust. Everyone I know is aware of Tesla, they don’t really know what it is, but they all think it is something great. Mention any other EV and they have no idea. Even the Super Chargers are a talking point, “what are those red and white things?” Never get that about any other charger because they are to bland or hidden away.

  21. Thanh Lim says:

    It’s a heck of a lot better than the Nissan Leaf, that I own.

    I have the 2014, with over 62K miles on it. I just recently lost a bar on it.

    I really want to drive that car for multiple decades, if I can help it. (I had my Honda Accord for 20 years).

    I’d sure like to replace my battery with a much larger one when the time comes. BMW lets you do that, while Nissan says go buy a new car (at this time).

    So for folks complaining, you have it easy compared to us Leaf owners.

  22. James says:

    A true test would be to race an i3 with the 2018 1\2 battery pack against a Bolt EV, Ioniq EV and LEAF II with American suspension tuning around a nice road course, like Road Atlanta or Watkins Glen.

    The addition of a popular ICE hatch like a Golf (non-GTI) would set off the whole comparison for price vs. EV performance.

    I long for such test to quell all the claims you hear on threads like these.

    1. unlucky says:

      What would that be a true test of?

      I don’t drive Road Atlanta or Watkins Glen to work and I’m not accelerating flat-out and braking full force like you are on a racetrack.

      1. James says:

        A true test to confirm or deny the blissful, glowing accounts of i3 owners and admirers who gleefully eat up every word that emanates from

        If the i3 isn’t the fast performer they claim it is, then It’s just an electric car – an odd-looking box of an electric car that seats 4 and has awkward, extra cab pickup truck rear doors that trap people in the rear when in tight spaces and only open when the fronts are open and close in a dance that will confuse your rear passengers, especially kids.

        At over $52,000 U.S. for the ReX, and well over $40,000 for the EV you get a nice, trendy but stark interior and the electric range of a LEAF.

        If it were truly, The Ultimate Driving Machine, it may be worth the cost.

        1. C Gruer says:

          I detect ire and resentment in your post. Do you fume about two seater cars twice as much as four seat sedans? Not seating 5 is a design spec that makes the rear roomy and comfortable. Would it have been better to shoehorn a fake middle seat in the back like a Volt?

          BTW, BMW rarely sells at the sticker price, unlike Tesla – so comparing MSRP is misleading.

          1. James says:

            Is “resentment” your takeaway because I only ask for truth?

            Look, brand loyalty is a thing I understand.It’s something that isn’t always rational. I’m just commenting on responses like the ones above that paint i3 in a glowing light. Hey, I Don’t care what brand it is, To me, it’s an EV. In that respect, we EV fans like to and have every right to give our impression and opinions. Below, I list what I like about the car.

            As for negotiable price, there should be wiggle room. Yet I have never seen an i3 that wasn’t a used car sell off the lot for LEAF, Ioniq or Golf EV money.

            Tesla price metrics are hard to compare, as there are preorder and spec rollout issues abounding. You may agree with auto dealer associations that direct sales,are bad. I do not. As a former car salesman, I believe the horse trading system is extremely cumbersome and places many consumers at a tactical disadvantage.

        2. Gennadiy says:

          Yes, the door setup is inconvenient when parked in tight spaces, but is very good for in other respects. I like it because it makes buckling up the kids easier. No need to run around the rear doors.

  23. James says:

    There are a couple things I do like about the i3.

    It’s electric and even the ReX owners drive it mostly as an electric car.

    It’s interior does only seat 4 but that may work for some people. Especially as a commuter and not a family car per se. Nuts to those that call it a CUV though -they just don’t accurately define that category of car. GM stretches that term to It’s limits when they tag Bolt EV as a CUV, but calling i3 one is silly.

    i3’s interior does appeal to the designer in me. I like the simple, modern look of it and the lightweight seats are far better executed than Bolt’s controversial butt busters. Kudos to anyone for lightweighting seats, a great place to cut poundage.

    Rear wheel drive. Any rear drive car handles in a.more logical and predictable way than a FWD. i3’s skinny and tall wheels just cut back on that benefit a good deal.

    For simplicity and cost, I’m a rear wheel drive fan. If cost is no concern, AWD is my top preference.

  24. “Every electric car manufacturer today refers to their battery packs by the total amount of energy it can hold in kilowatt hour (kWh).”

    Err, no. Some of the biggest sellers refer to their battery packs by the usable amount of energy. Examples are Renault (ZE40), Kia (e.g. Soul EV) and, I think, Hyundai with the IONIQ.

    1. Tom Moloughney says:

      Yes, some manufacturers blur the line between total pack capacity and usable capacity. But the point is they use the amount of energy stored in the pack represented in kilowatt hour, they don’t use amp hour, or voltage in their marketing, as that only confuses the average consumer.

  25. Dinu Radian says:

    Is the higher capacity battery compatible with earlier models like 2014 I3?

    1. Tom Moloughney says:

      Yes. The Samsung cells are the exact same size as the original 60 Ah cells, and the current 94 Ah cells that they upgraded to in July 2016.

      There are twelve cells to a module, and eight modules in the i3. That has remained consistent while the energy density of Samsung’s cells have basically doubled in the past 5 years.

      1. EV says:

        Will the larger batteries not generate more heat when driven more continuously and charged more in one session ?
        As i understand , for getting the true benefits of the larger pack , the cooling capacity will also need to be increased proportionately , else it will reach a point , where it will become closer to a leaf.
        Capacity doubled form 2014 model , but cooling is the same…..

  26. BMW No More says:

    Was able to successfully return my 2015 using the lemon law.
    Literally , the car wanted to visit the dealer every week.
    I am surprised how a EV can have so many quality issues. So much more Happy with my Volt. works as it should

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