BMW i3 With 120Ah Battery Coming In Late 2018

DEC 25 2017 BY MARK KANE 107

BMW i3 & i3s

Expect a big range bump.

About one year from now, in late 2018, BMW is expected to begin sales of i3 / i3s models with an upgraded battery and range, using all-new 120 Ah cells. The news was confirmed by BMWBlog sources.

BMW i3s interior

The rumors of switching to 120 Ah appeared first some four months ago, and were reinforced by our very own Tom Moloughney’s report this fall.

“As we’ve reported before – and confirmed by new sources today – a new i3 with a 120Ah battery capacity will be out next year”

BMW introduced the i3 in late 2013, equipped with a 21.6 kWh battery (the capacity of lithium-ion battery cells was at 60 Ah). In 2016, BMW offered the 33.2 kWh battery (using the 94 Ah cells).

The new 120 Ah cells would store twice the energy of the 2013 BMW i3 – 43.2 kWh. All the numbers are total capacity (the usable amount is slightly lower).

With a 43.2 kWh battery pack, the i3 should be ready to go 150–155 miles (240-250 km) under the EPA cycle, compared to 114 miles (183 km) in the case of 33.2 kWh and 81 miles (130 km) for the 21.6 kWh battery.

Source: BMWBlog

Categories: BMW

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107 Comments on "BMW i3 With 120Ah Battery Coming In Late 2018"

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It will be interesting to see if the price changes. New leaf got a big range bump and the price dropped a bit.

A 160 mile i3 with a non California-gimped ReX is still the sweet spot. The flexibility and choice offered by a ReX solution is very underrated. It’s a brilliant way to get around inadequate infrastructure when you don’t have the luxury of time for stopping for an hour to juice up every time you run out and yet allowing you to drive electric 99% of the time. I love my current 22kw ReX and would love to trade up next year.

I agree. It would be good if BMW increase the REx range as well. I understand it was artificially limited to the same range as the battery only range due to California rules. Since the battery range is bigger, it would make sense to boost the REx too. I get the imrpession that wasn’t done for the 90AH update, which is a shame.

REx in principle gives road-trip flexibility until ranges and QC infrastructure progresses a bit more. However –

– Personally I don’t see too much flexibility in a cramped 4-seater with suicide back doors at a price that’s 1.5x-2x that of a typical full-size ICE, even after incentives. Currently the i3 can never be a lower/middle-class family’s only or even main vehicle. And if you need another car anyway for hauling/convenience needs, why bother with REx? Instead you can find the cheapest 70-mile BEV, and whenever the trip is at risk of running out of range, just use the other car.

The 238-mile Bolt with QC is right now a far more flexible household option, all things considered. The Model 3’s 220-mile version, once it arrives, would cost less than the i3 and has the best road-trip QC infrastructure. Again, ordinary families *do* need to stop after 150-200 miles for a meal/coffee/etc. anyway.

Likely even the 150-mile Leaf is a more flexible option for ordinary people than the i3.

How about an i3Rex UK owner driving from London to Brussels using plugs when available and petrol otherwise? Flexible enough for you? In the US on 2016 BMW reported that 90% of i3Rex owners did not use the engine at all that year! Many happy i3 owners enjoy their rides! Thanks


Sure you can do what you said. Nobody is saying the i3 can’t. It’s a terrible family BEV. Plenty of better, cheaper options.

Your logic is the same as that of my friend who squeezed a baby seat into her Mini Cooper and said it’s a family car. Nobody said it isn’t, just that it’s poorly suited.

Got to say that I have the 2016 i3 Rex and 3 days of my week involves a 95 mile commute thus requiring the engine. Electricity here in Los Angeles county has a premium charge between the hours of 2 and 8 p, so in order to not leave the battery fully drained for a couple of hours I use the engine to leave about 18% charge in the battery.

Moderl 3 base is probably good for no more than 150 miles range to play it safe. Extended range version would be for road trips, can drive 200 miles between charges with plenty of reserve, plus it charges 50% faster than the base model. Point is, to be good on the road you really need to pay $44k+ for Model 3. Volt or Clarity PHEV are more cost effective highway/long range EVs.

The kicker is, by late 2018 the Model 3 long range AWD vehicle will cost the same amount as a base BMW i3 with Range extender. The Model 3 will have a greater range, better handling, more room, better performance, better looking, and All Wheel drive.
I’m thrilled BMW is continuing to increase range, but they’re not keeping pace with the competition.

As someone who has driven multiple Tesla’s including the 60kwh, I can confidently say that the base Model 3 will be able to road trip.

We just got a Clarity Plug in and it’s been great, 3000 miles, and we’ve only used gas once, on a longer road trip, and even then with the combo of leaving home with a full charge and charging at the Hotel, we were electric 48% of the trip.

Your problem might be in thinking of the i3 as a lower class/middle class vehicle – BMW never tried to be that. That’s not the segment they sell in. Flexibility on the other hand – it has loads of it.

Rubbish. The i3 is far from cramped. It’s very roomy for 4 and very comfortable to drive long distances. Sure it doesn’t have tons of luggage room if you are 4 but it’s fine if you are 2 or 3. We have an Odyssey ICE too but far prefer to take the i3 if we can. The REX provides that versatility so we can take it on 500km drives or to the cottage where there are no charge stations. It’s far faster to gas up than to wait for a DCFC too. I’m not saying that the same drive concept in a larger car or SUV wouldn’t be welcome but the i3 does what it’s supposed to do well. It is more expensive than say a Bolt but it is more luxurious inside and has some good technology and handling. BMW’s market is not making cut rate cars.

u got it figured out ! Leased a kia soul ev for $ 188 a month Thats total includes down payment. not much range but great price, very safe and 15,000 miles a year. i also never pay for a charge only go to free stations. i drive 40 – 50 miles a day. have an ice kia soul for da longer trips. at $ 2.30 per gallon for gas makes no sense to buy an EV ! *NONE* Not sure why i continued my ev journey but its cool and for me I actually make money driving the EV instead of the ice car. Understand ? had a coda for 4 years excellent ev but no warranty and not safe. drove that ev for 51,000 miles. purchased for $ 12,000 includes federal rebate, same as above made money driving that ev

Hardly cramped, more room in it than a 3 series. Designed for tall Germans. It would be cramped if 6 people tried to fit into it.

That why I bought a 2017 Volt! More features, handles better and can beat any car off the line with NO range anxiety!! 400+ Miles 🙂

AS someone that has driven both, in no way does that torque-steer FWD car handle better than the RWD i3.


Spot on Dan I have the 22 Kwh Rex here in the UK and it will do all I ask without stopping for 30 mins to charge.All I ever want is 42kwh plus Rex….job done!

So the i3 will be catching up to at least the new Leaf, if not the Model 3.

Yeah… I always smile when I see people commenting the opposite.. that the LEAF is the one lagging and behind the times!! Their leading!!!

@Brandon as a loyal Leaf driver for nearly 5.5 years, I like to remain reality-based.

Since a year ago when the Bolt started selling, one cannot say with a straight face that the Leaf is “leading”.

That said, the i3 is certainly behind the times right now… BMW also need to start offering BEV/REx in larger vehicles, and possibly also inch towards the midmarket in their prices. Unlike the ICE domain, here the “cool car” crown is already claimed by Tesla, so BMW have to work a bit harder.

Technically the LEAF might not have been the very first long range EV to market, but I look at it this way: the Bolt was only available nationwide a few months before the next gen Nissan LEAF will be. And, it’s pretty much first just to be first, IMO. Not to actually sell a lot. It’s price is definitely one factor against it.

@sola or the Bolt

German’s late to the party as usual….

What’s the rush? Leaf should last you ten years before you might want a bmw replacement.

Speaking of prices,I expect prices on all non-Tesla models to drop a ton in about a year, after the Model 3 backlog gets more under control. The other companies will have to make much better products or lower their prices if they expect to sell any cars. 2019 model year EVs will have reduced sticker prices across the board or sales will suffer.

With regards to US sales, Tesla and GM will see their credit cut in half late next year and then in half again 6 months after that. Nissan may see their credit cut around the middle of 2019. So it is really just GM and Tesla that will be impacted by the credit running out next year. I don’t think the competition will have to adjust their prices at all.
Which is why the credit will probably go away at the end of next year for everyone. Why punish the two trailblazers and reward the laggards? The credit has done its job. When it disappears at the beginning of 2019, if it disappears, the GM offerings will drop by nearly the amount of the lost credit, because GM is using the credit to allow it to use an artificially high sales price to pay back their early investment in electric cars. Tesla won’t need to drop their prices because of their cachet. Nissan, Ford, Chrysler and Toyota will be able to reduce their prices to stay competitive as well.

I worded that poorly. I should have said “I don’t think the competition will have to adjust their prices IF THEY STILL HAVE THE TAX CREDIT AND TESLA AND GM DON’T.”
Now if the credit goes away for everyone, THEN we will see price reductions. I hope it does go away for everyone at the beginning of 2019. It has done its job.

Its tax reform not tax cuts, bssss please. It is what it is a increase of wealth to the 1%

The Nissan Leaf will be available with a 60 kWh battery pack.

But still people will be buying the i3.


There are suckers who like the BMW brand for some reason…

I guess you have never driven an I3, I can certainly understand why someone would pick the I3 over any of the other EVs. With 500lbs less weight and 50% more hp than the Leaf it’s performance is really stunning, and I have come to believe EVs should be RWD, even with traction control my Leaf would chirp the tires in a corner, I guess because of all that torque. Yes the I3 is a goofy looking little car but it’s an absolute dream to drive, a great commuter car.

All true, from what I’ve heard. But please take note, that most ordinary people’s driving takes place in one of the following scenarios:

– Commuting to work, which can often be in traffic jams where the “performance” that matters is not wasting fuel while crawling, and having good brakes 🙂
– Even under smooth commute, most people are too preoccupied with, you know, the getting to work/home and the related tasks, than to focus on “driving performance”
– Hauling kids and merchandise around in afternoon, evening, weekend, where the “performance” of being able to get in and out of all seats easily, and cramming stuff in the back, is far more important than the “performance” of rounding corners at top speed 🙂

But yea, if you’re a true car fan and have both the extra $$ and extra time to spare on just enjoying driving, then the i3 is far nicer than a Leaf or a Bolt.

The i3 is super practical for hauling stuff. Kids, I’ll give you that with the suicide doors. But if you don’t have kids, or they’re older and you don’t drive them as much, the i3 is great. And in traffic is when that performance really comes into play. Zip zip amongst lanes!

Front facing car seats are EASIER to use in i3 than other small cars. Kids not using car seats love to sit in the back of the i3, they just need to know how to open the front door to get out – a snap by using the seat lever first.

The i3 performance is actually BEST in traffic. It’s a small, darty, precise car with max torque at all speeds.

It is probably the most enjoyable car at any price to drive in traffic. I had one as a daily commuter for 2 years and I miss it!

Own both the Leaf and I3

Agree with:
Dave K…Yes the I3 is a goofy looking little car but it’s an absolute dream to drive, a great commuter car.
Disagree with:
– Commuting to work …..Stop and go cruise control on the I3 makes it a dream.
– Even under smooth commute….Quiet no fuss drivetrain of I3 makes it easy to tune out the surroundings
– Hauling kids and merchandise around ……Hatchback functionality with the back seats down makes this my default car for home depot trips.
“performance” of rounding corners at top speed
Lets just say I have driven at 95mph speed with nary a quiver or hesitation from the car.

Leaf uses the obsolete Chademo charging and still have a very weak 6kw AC charging , i3 uses CCS DC charging system and the AC charging is 3 phase 11kw. Also Leaf cell life is very short and there are a lot of cars with low range due cell degradation. To me Leaf is the worst possible electric car to buy because have cell degradation and illogic charging option.

How do you know what the degradation rate of the battery will be?

I’ve driven my Leaf 33,000 miles in three years, with NO battery degradation. There are thousands of Leaf owners out there with the same story. It’s an amazing car, and was absolutely the car that started the EV revolution. I hope the newer BMWs increase their range, but until then, I’ll buy my next EV from someone else… maybe the Volvo XC40 EV?

I’m sure you’ve had some degradation happen, it’s just not noticed in your daily driving. In general the capacity loss is more easily noticed in driving range once the battery is 15-20% degraded.
Btw, most new lithium ion batteries used in EVs nowadays only degrade at somewhere around 1% per year, so that’s a good thing.

I’d buy an EV that offered a stable package, that wasn’t going to become obsolete by virtue of oddly fast range increases.

BMW should just jump the shark and hit 200 miles of range. These changes seem like a game, when cheaper cars are already there.

I agree. The LEAF has been very poor for battery life. Until they add thermal control I would never lease or own one.


Not sure what planet you are on?

Obsolete Chademo charging?

Now that’s funny!

The Leaf is the only production car left in the US that uses Chademo.

He’s correct: It’s a ticking clock until those are replaced with CCS.

Really? Is range the only thing that matters? Odd.

Different people like different cars, nothing wrong with that. I love my i3 60 Ah, lots of fun to drive. Saved me a lot of petrol and money. Waiting for a new i3 94 Ah. 120 Ah would be even better, but 94 Ah will give me a lot of flexibility compared to 60 Ah. Love the whole concept, with minimum environmental footprint. And carbon fiber is just so cool. And it doesn’t rust.
The new Leaf will be a winner, for sure. A bit more main stream and no nonsense than the i3, but there is place for both. I’m very pleased each time a electric car passes me when I’m out running. My lungs says “thank you!”

Easy to forget the lungs of #drccobaltkids though. I’m with you in lighter is more frugal though.

The Nissan Altima will be on the market and yet there will still be people buying a BMW 3 series. I hear even the Audi A4 will still be on the market. Unbelievable!

Nope, not everyone wants to lug around a massive and slow to charge battery pack. Not everyone needs more than 5, miles a day.

Hopefully the tires get bigger too.

I test drive an is, the tire was really inadequately narrow. It gave me a bumpy ride like I was on a moped.

Bumpy rides correspond to sidewall height, tire pressure, suspension firmness, and wheelbase (length) – nothing to do with the width of tire at all.

And narrow tires are better than wide ones in snow and rain – everything else being equal i3 drivers can sail past “sports” cars on the highway in heavy rain. Less chance of hydroplaning.

Yep. Some tires that don’t behave like ice skates in the snow would be nice.

Rally driver use small tires if they drive through snow since they offer the most grip.

Your point makes no sense. Just try the i3 on snow. It behaves really good.

I agree. It is too little, too late.

The i3 is excellent in the snow.

Too little, too late.

Stick a fork in it!

There are always people believing they need a range of 300 km. Strange. Probably due to a bad analysis of driving habits…..

I need 300km.. I have a Bolt and just as a recent example after driving around the city, a brief (inadequate charge at home) then another drive into the city I still had to sit for 30min to get a little extra juice to get home that night. Winter weather, highway driving, not charging to 100% before I left home in the morning (car is usually set to Hill top start mode which = about 90%), and two unavailable EVSE’s on my planned route all conspired to leave me about 20km short of range on the way home. I should have been able to do that day on a single charge and with a bit better luck on the public chargers it wouldn’t have been a problem that I left home with less than 100% SOC. Could I have done that day with 20kWh less battery capacity, sure but would have been painful to the point where I would have taken the ICE car instead which is not what I want to do. I’ve had an EV for almost a year now, and for my driving I would feel a real pinch having to make do with 33% less range… Read more »

My driving habit analysis said that i need once a month 200 km range. With 180km on highway and want to go 120kph.

Additionally i need three to four times a year 250km highway +some on and off. Due to small Kids i dont want to stop en route since it would mean at least one hour children crying instead of sleeping. Stopping = wakeup. Meaning at least 60kwh are required.

I know my driving habits, my available money and my needed trunk size. Awefully there exist no BEV in the Market for me today. We only own 1 car as family, so nö Second car that can be replaced. My actual car is ~4,5m long with a trunk that is 20% bigger than the leaf. A adult can sit comfortable in the Second row. And in the front row you can still sit very comfortable with a big backpack in front of your legs. Never saw a better car. I am dearly waiting for skoda going electric.

Need v want. If everyone needs 1000km range how big and heavy is the car? How much tyre wear, PMs how much resources dug up in the rainforests of DRC? Without compromises the planet suffers.

Bolt set the standards…238miles. wish BMW targeted that

The Model 3 has 75 miles more range is better looking and has real seats for $10K more. For $5k less it will be better looking and have better seats and the same range

RWD and not having hard plastic interiors are enough for me to pick the i3 over the Bolt, etc. FYI, at the LA auto show, the i3 still had a crowd around it. No one was looking at the Bolt. Of course the high price of the i3 will keep it more exclusive in comparison

Why would there be a crowd? You can just go to a dealer and test drive. Given their ~3k sales/month in the US – GM is doing okay.

The vast majority of the cars at these shows are available to purchase at dealer lots so your argument holds no weight. Have you ever been to an auto show? Why did GM bring a base Bolt when all the others like Ionic, Prime, i3 put their best foot forward?
And to say that 3000 units a month is some kind of great achievement for the first affordable long range ev is just nuts. Considering the problems the Model 3 is having it’s a big surprise the Bolt sales are this low….then again, it’s a GM car, i would not trust it much either.

That’s exactly what I saw at the show too. I could not believe GM brought a base Bolt to show off…what losers. No one was looking at it but then again, GM did not have that many people looking around any of their models. As a brand, Benz had the biggest crowds and as individual model, Model 3 was the most looked at.

Only 150 miles, when will it reach the 220 miles like Model 3 and when will it have long range version like 310 miles.

Or BMW continues to use REX for the range beyond 150 miles. Anything is fine as long as they provide a way to travel 300 miles.

When,when,when?, The usual answer:

By end 2018/early 2019 there should be a lot more ~200mi mid-priced BEVs available… Incl. the Model 3, GM Bolt & Bolt-based CUV, 48kWh VW e-Golf (MkVIII), Hyundai 200mi IONIQ and the LEAF.
True, AER isn’t the only metric, but still, an expensive 150mi BEV launched then would be rather underwhelming.

If BMW were wise, they’d offer the 120Ah version as an upper trim at the present price point while keeping the 94Ah version as a base trim at a lower price point.

Please stop using BMWs silly Ampere hours. kWh is the only interesting measurement. If you want to have Ah too then just put it into a parenthesis.


Indeed that was my first gut reaction to the title too.
Let BMW stuff their ampere-hours units where the sun don’t shine, and let insideevs use proper human-readable capacity units in story titles 🙂

Exactly. It’s seems like there is always one company that wants to measure thing differently than everyone else.

… especially in the title -> 120Ah battery (not e.g. “battery with 120Ah cells”)…

The Zoe with 41kWh is available for roughly a year now when BMW is announcing slightly more in the i3…
What’s the price difference?!


A battery pack containing 120 Ah cells all connected in series also has a 120 Ah capacity, so the title is correct.

“Ah” isn’t a measurement for energy storage capacity, so you’re wrong.

I didn’t mention “energy” because current isn’t energy, so you are correct that Ah isn’t a measure of energy capacity, and I didn’t claim that it was.

Ah describes the ability of a battery cell to deliver a certain current for a certain time period. What phrase would you use to describe Ah? I think it’s some sort of capacity.

Most EV’s that use Li-ion battery cells connected in a single series chain have 96 cells in their battery packs. This configuration operates over a similar voltage range for all of these EV’s. So it would be valid to compare the energy capacities of these battery packs by comparing their Ah capacities since their voltage ranges are similar.

This is particularly true when comparing various i3 battery packs. E.g., a 120 Ah i3 battery pack has twice the energy capacity as a 60 Ah i3 battery pack.

Tesla hasn’t even mentioned the energy capacities of the Model 3’s 2 battery pack options, so maybe using kWh to describe battery pack energy capacities is becoming less popular.

It’s like 2h a day sitting in a macdonalds or waiting a bit longer for a chef to make an overpriced but nice meal.

Ah, kWhr, Xhr, UhRThr, XXBShrs, all this is confusing to most folks. Miles range is all that matters. Please stop with all the other acronyms if you want to get “normal” people on board with EVs. Pet peeve of mine.

No it is not. It is very simple and exact.
Miles is a ridiculous measurement since it varies a lot depending on circumstances.

And if people don’t know it we should strive for knowledge not ignorance.

Everyone also learns about basic things like kWh in elementary school and everyone that gets an electricity bill is also familiar with this.

Exactly. Hair dryers are measured in kW. Cars can as well. Our electric bill shows up in kWh. It’s not some alien techs concept.

Nope, energy consumption is the comparator that matters most. The reason so many ice cars have poor fuel consumption is because people only think about how far it goes on a tank not how many gallons they waste getting there. Let’s say an F250 gets 10mpg but has a 45gallon tank so range is 450miles. An audi a2 gets 100mpg but has a 4.5 gallon tank and goes 450 miles. Without education folk won’t know how much energy is being needlessly burnt, how much they are being fleeced or what damage they are doing to the planet.

Absolutely agree!

To talk Ah, especially in the title is simply to act as an enabler for BMW’s pathetic attempt to muddy the waters over battery capacity.

BTW, a percentage increase in cell Ah does NOT translate directly to pack kWh unless we are sure the number of cells and the nominal cell voltage are unchanged.
Further, it does not translate directly to range increase unless the cell mass is also unchanged.

I’ve seen neither of these “no-change” parameters discussed anywhere yet. Are the cells even the same size?

Rant ends here.

The number of cells are unchanged! It’s the same battery pack.

New leaf and i3 yawn….. Can go by a new 2018 Bolt right now with 238 mile range and mostly discounted by > 4000$ before federal and local incentives. Please don’t give me the new leaf cost less. Of course it does. lets see how much the yet to be release and available Leaf with 60 kWh will actually cost. By nest year GM will be able to out do whatever price the 60 kWh leaf will go for. Seriously this new i3 range is already obsolete. Funny to see Germans as laggards. Props to GM and LG.

I like that BMW add the option to upgrade the battery, they properly will do the same with the new 42kw option.
And it seems like you can use the old 21 KW for a powerwall for your house!

A 150 mile i3 would be excellent. Good enough for 95% of your trips. And if they would just increase the irex fuel capacity, longer trips off 300miles + could be made more reliably than just about any other BEV out there. And about triple the AER of the next closest plug in hybrid (Volt). If you live in an area with crappy, unmaintained roads, a soft riding LEAF may be better. But on smoother rosds, the BMW more than makes up for it with excellent feedback. Practcality? Sat in the back of the Bolt and i3 at the LA autoshow. Had less headroom with the Bolt and the side roof area was closer to my head. Felt like being in a cramped small aircraft. Explains why the crash dummy left paint marks from its head on the headliner.(As the roof folded) . None of this was a problem in the i3. And a bigger 375lb man that sat in my i3 couldn’t squeeze in Bolt. And how about the fact that the i3 has an effortlessly smaller turning radius than the LEAF, Bolt,M3,etc. Practical things I notice all the time. And yes,the active cruise control available on the i3… Read more »

I own a 2015 i3 and BMW needs to have a 250 make car otherwise they will continue to play catch-up with the others. You can say 150 miles is good enough for most trips if it is a $30k car before tax incentives. As we get closer to 2019 and beyond no one should have to worry about being able to take that day trip in their new car. Especially if you aren’t really building the infrastructure to make slightly longer drives a real thing.

Seems like BMW is afraid of stealing 3 series sales. Meanwhile Tesla is happily going to do it for them with the model 3.

That’s what I get when I read these threads, and the BMW fans rationalize mediocre range as adequate for this more expensive car. It just doesn’t make sense. Yes, when you’re anywhere near 100 miles, more range is just about all that matters. Especially when you don’t have a charging network anything like Tesla’s.

Well I will only lease a high tech/EV car anyways, as I know 3 years from now, things will only be more advanced. But as it is, I drove 3000 miles in the last 2 months in my 2015 i3 BEV. My 2017 i3 will easily do 40 miles more on a charge than my 2015. I feel like I barely even drive the car on a 12000 mi/yr lease. That is only about 33/mi day, and people are so worried about 100’s of miles of range on a charge? As it is, I would have no problem putting 25000 mi/yr (68 mi/yr) on my range restricted i3 BEV. Don’t forget I already drove almost 150 miles on it on less than a full charge averaging almost 50 mph for the round trip. The 2017 really does give you a nice buffer.

BMW has successfully moved onto plugins and they are selling in 1,000’s every month.

And i3 is their only BEV and even in this, there is REX version which still has the initial 114 mile AER.

So BMW will do only gradual improvements like they moved from 84 to 114 and then to 150 and milk as much sales from the current design of i3.

Even beyond 2020, they may just stick with i3 alone as BEV (with REX option) and move other vehicles just to plugin. As long as they sell many, its good. This month they have already sold 10,000 units in the first 18 days which is really a record.

Living in New Orleans, with a hurricane evacuation every 7 years on average, REx is the only viable option. Evacuate with one 2.5 gallon gas can (preferably mil spec).

EVs will be ideal for the hours of stop & go driving usually endured. Battery + 2.4 gallon gas tank + 2.5 gal. gas can can get me to an open gas station even under adverse conditions (heavy load, stop & go, some air conditioning, rain).

Recharging by 120 V simply takes too long and the few other chargers will be overwhelmed with demand.

I suspect this analysis is true for other areas subject to occasional hurricane evacuations.

Spot on practical analysis. Current charging infrastructure, Tesla or not, could not handle an emergency influx of EV drivers needing to charge at once. An i3 Rex could adapt, without being limited to 50 miles AER like the Volt in daily usage scenarios.

And the gas infrastructure can handle an emergency? After 100 years of development, the gas infrastructure is still crumbling at every emergency just like you seen during these past hurricanes.

Not true, at least in New Orleans.

As a hurricane approachs, local refineries divert pipeline exports to the local market. At selected stations on evac routes, tank trucks are parked & refill underground tanks as they are depleted (Louisiana practice, Texas has not figured this out. Not sure @ Florida).

By the time one gets to Jackson MS, Metidian MS or Baton Rouge, LA gas stations are open & operating in my experience.

BMW like all the other incumbents are still merely preparing for the age of the electric car. The i3 is an innovative car with great engineering, and it has the tech and the entertainment properties it needs to carry the badge ahead. Sure, a lot of us would rather see a grounds-up electric version of the 3-series and 5-series – but it wouldn’t necessarily be a very good business for BMW at this point since EVs aren’t actually generating a lot of profits for their manufacturers.

Nissan has invested a bit more than other incumbents in positioning themselves, but even there EVs still are not a big part of their business. It’s an important part because EVs will be their business in the future.

Many are moaning about BMW being laggards here, but the truth is the i3 is the most innovative EV out there from any incumbent manufacturer. It’s not hard for BMW to choose a bigger pack and deliver more range when they think that will be more profitable. The Bolt is great for EV early adopters, but it isn’t obvious it does GM any more good than the i3 does BMW.

The i3 is the best car in the universe. No matter how old a model it gets. If they do not change it then it will be compared with Model 6 too and next model of leaf too Simply put , their exists some BMW fanboys. The Vot has a big engine , still it has a Mountain mode. The i3 in Europe has Hold mode. But based on BMW customer focus , and brain wave , they removed this feature shamelessly and sold a incomplete car as a complete car in hilly areas like CA at a price which can definitely go up the hill. May be its the high BMW standards Now u have a Rex which is for Real emergency slow drive . and BMW prices it so much higher And BMW fan boys think this incomplete car is better than a Volt. Realy! As a owner of a i3 I do not understand why they forgot to put a cushion on the middle rear seat. It has the space , and their is no battery their. May be the car frame cannot take teh weight ? I also agree, REX is a wonderful concept ( after… Read more »

Does anyone know if you will be able to exchange out the 2014 Rex battery with this new 120Ah battery in late 2018? If so, would anyone know how much that would cost?

Gotta love these discussions. I3, Leaf and Model 3 are really not comparable IMO. IN reality, we should leave the Model 3 out of then equation, unless you have already ordered a Model 3 you won’t be driving one in the next 24 months, if ever anyway! Let’s see wait and see what happens in the next 2 years. Range will increase my 50% in the next two years and in 4 years all the the sleeping Germans (BMW. VW, Audi, Porsche and Mercedes will not only have promised but have 20-30 diffferent EV models produced and available on the showroom floor… Prices? I don’t think they will be cheap but they will more than likely make a 2nd car unnecessary and hence judtify their price. Those you don’t want to price can still go for the more affordable Kia, GM. Fiat etc… Tesla? Let”s see what happens, but unless they solve their issues fast and come up offer more variety of vehicular before the established automakers do and they will for sure, I think others will be taking over then EV lead.

Sorry, nope. Still not enough range. Because of the feeble range of the i3, I had to get myself a Tesla that offers 238 miles of range, plus a superior charging network that is more reliable and charges much MUCH faster. I prefer the size of the i3, so it will stick around as a fun grocery getter. But it isn’t good enough for any real distance. Not even with the lawn tractor REX in the back.

I’m on my 2nd i3 lease and the newer battery and range increase will be great. If there was a significant performance increase as well to at least the 0-60 (under 5 seconds wishful thinking?) than I’d consider the upgrade over the Model 3 which I have reserved as well.

What if I asked, “which is better, a Porsche Boxster or a Honda Accord?”. I think we can all agree that it’s a stupid question. Yet when it comes to EVs, many enthusiasts will pitch their arguments for why X is better than Y even though X and Y have completely different functions. I love my 2015 i3 BEV but I certainly wouldn’t wish it on everyone. I use it as a city car in a smallish city, charging it two or three times a week. I like it for the tech, the seat height, spirited driving, cabin finishing and BMW refinement generally. I like the door design because I rarely have anyone in the back seat and it allows the front door to be large, facilitating entry/egress. On the other hand it would be a poor choice for drivers who have a large family, want to use it for road trips, and so on.

Have ’15 hacked i3 Rex. Great auto with superb fit and finish. Tested a few others and found not many we’re actually available, Tesla says it has a model 3 but in reality they do not, see production hell. The i3 has been a superb commuter and I use the Rex almost weekly. And have found the charging network to be pathetic, a lot of gaps & down stations. I have access to vehicles from Rover, Mercedes, Ford, and BMW and to be honest if I am taking a short drive >150 miles the i3 is the most fun and my first choice. Have also noticed that the critical comments usually come from those only willing to buy the cheapest auto available and that is ok…. But driving is still fun for me and so are there vehicles. Long live the road trip! By the way My little Rex i3 has taken me as far as 600 miles one way 🙂

Good news, confusing article. Why go to lengths to keep referring to Ah and kWh and range with the previous models? They all refers to the range unfortunately I only recognise the Miles/km. Besides, it’s not like a piece of equipment you can take it out to replace for upgrade, please just focus on the actual practical range is good enough for me :).