BMW i3 Samsung SDI 94 Ah Battery Rated For 524,000 Miles

MAY 28 2018 BY MARK KANE 36

Samsung SDI is presenting at the 2018 Energy Storage Europe in Germany its latest high-energy density 111 Ah battery cells for energy storage purposes along with its 94 Ah cells used in all-electric cars.

The 111 Ah stores more energy than the 94 Ah in the same form-factor, so one would ask why there is no 111 Ah version for cars – well, it’s expected that the 94 Ah will get an upgrade to 120 Ah soon.

Samsung SDI batteries

“Samsung SDI first unveiled its new high-capacity ESS product, E3 model, which 111Ah cell is used to enhance the energy density. E3 can store the same amount of energy with less number of cells, enabling the size of the ESS facility to be reduced. This feature will receive spotlights from the market because it means that it can save installation and management cost.”

Before that happens, let’s look at the specs of the 94 Ah cells, used in the BMW i3. These cells are considered to be among the longest life-cycle cells available.

Read Also – Samsung SDI Battery Tech On Display At NAIAS – 373-Mile Range, 20-Minute Charge

Samsung SDI expects up to 4,600 charging cycles at 25ºC to End-Of-Life (EOL), which in the case of batteries is the point when capacity decreases to 80% (battery still can be used, but is generally not desirable in cars any longer).

Since the BMW i3 (33 kWh) is rated at 114 miles (183 km), 4,600 cycles would be more than 524,000 miles (more than 843,000 km).

It’s one of the best results in the industry and it’s totally doable because the i3 pack is equipped with a thermal management system.

BMW i3 battery specs:

  • 33.2 kWh (27.2 kWh available)
  • 96 94 Ah, 3.68 V cells in series

Samsung SDI – 94 Ah battery cells (Source:

Samsung SDI – 94 Ah battery cells (Source:

Samsung SDI – 94 Ah battery cells (Source:


Categories: Battery Tech, BMW

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36 Comments on "BMW i3 Samsung SDI 94 Ah Battery Rated For 524,000 Miles"

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I assume this is a lab test, charging/disharging at optimal parameters. It is impressive, if you take good care of the battery (just be aware of what is optimal operation), it can give you a million km – I find it useful even at 80% or lower original capacity if that means 200km or more.
The drivetrains also should last for more than that without expensive maintenance.
The day to day cycle will probably affect the battery life a bit differently – regen is also “charging”, and you do it quite often.

I still remember when I was buying my first car and didn’t have too much money to spend, the older cars I was looking at (ICEs) had terrible transmissions, the engines needed super expensive repairs. 10 years from now buying a used EV will be a much better experience.

Spot on and just another reason why EVs will supersede LICE.

While it sounds great, it is just a baseless claim at this point. Vs Tesla’s packs are already on trend with 6 yrs data in, to do just this. Time to charge depends on having a charger big enough and people willing to pay big money to use it as that high peak power costs a lot/kwh. For instance my next EV can charge in just 12 minutes using Volt modules from just 140kw SC because my pack is only 32kwh yet will give 170+ mile range. Trying this at 350kw into a 100kwh pack is another unlikely story. To show how off the claims are a Volt module from it’s 16C output and excellent cooling could likely charge in just 6 minutes. The limiting factor isn’t the cells, it is the cooling and the rest of the system. I’ve been SC for 40+ yrs now and when you are doing things at these rates so often, bad things will happen. People think going to 350kw is going to be a cakewalk but that is a lot of energy and things will go badly wrong trying it in cars. That said hopefully the future will be similar size but far… Read more »

…and today that is why buying a used EV is like getting a new car…I had that experience in buying a CPO 2014 BEV i3 (15k MILES) and then traded in for a CPO 2014 TSLA S85 (42.5k MILES). The performance of both cars was and is excellent…like new.

Amazing results! Imagine using this battery to drive half million miles then with “only” 80% of capacity left it gets its second life as stationary storage.

My i3 hasn’t dropped even 0.1 kWh capacity in the last couple of years. I’m only a 5k a year driver. I would imagine that these batteries could theoretically last beyond the lifespans of a large number of low mileage drivers like me and never actually get to 80%!

Well it’s not like the carbon fiber is going to rust either, so you might be ‘stuck’ with that thing for awhile.

Lol…it has a frame too…and other metal parts…but it should last a while.

The frame is carbon fiber and aluminum. I realize that sales people blow smoke, but BMW presented the car to me as having no steel in the body or structure of the car (literally rust proof).

There’s a lot of aluminum in the suspension. But, not sure you can say 100% there’s no steel. Probably the shock will need replacement sooner or later.

Good to know since we have two BMW i3s… But ours are both the original 60ah battery capacity. And they are both Rex models. However, I think with the 94ah and especially with the upcoming 120ah cells, I would happily leave the Rex behind.

Calendar life >2.5 years. Certainly hope so!

That is at 60 deg C (140F) at 100% charge. Worst possible combination for lithium batteries and not reflective of real world usage.

the life will be 20-30 years . Liquid cooling is the key.

From 67 Ah to 78 Ah to 94 Ah to 111 Ah.
This is a big improvement and is crossing 100 Ah mark for the 1st time.
Good work Samsung.

Contrary to other reports, BMW is increasing the production of i models.
” The 2019 BMW i3 will have its battery upgraded from 33,4 to 42,6 kWh and the 2019 BMW i8 from 7,1 to 11,6 kWh.”
as per

But how are they going to sell i3 in the face of rising Model-3 is a ?

Strange thing cars. People buy different kinds depending on many factors including personal taste.

You are right, while I like to get a Tesla, I like the Bollinger even more if it becomes available here in Canada. And there are buyers for the electric Morgan that you really do not want to drive in cold weather.

BMW i3 still not as efficient as Model 3. Model 3 can get 220 miles out of 55 KWH, i3 gets only 109 miles out of 33 KWH, That’s only 180 miles out of 55 KWH if and when they get there.

Even if i3 were as efficient as TM3 and had the same range and the cost were the same, I would still prefer the Tesla. To me the i3 is just a strange looking vehicle, one that I would prefer not to drive. Personal preference is what it is, I know plenty of people love the i3.

That’s definitely its main weakness.

Who knows? The comfort of back seat riders may become an higher priority for you in which case you may find yourself choosing the i3. The M3 backseat passengers ride with their knees up in the air and zero thigh support.

Unlike Tesla, BMW i3 (and some other EVs including VW e-Golf ) blocked off the top and the bottom, as such the usable battery capacity is not 33 kWh. (p.s. Kilowatt hour is kWh, not KWH)

Stop picking, I am an electrical engineer. I have way more qualifications and experiences than you! I worked at car companies on production level. I know electrical circuit design, machine tools, robots, built cars, jet fighters, downhole oil exploration equipment.

Hey, if you’re going to troll, pick a different name!

The best part about the i3 versus M3 is that you can get an i3 RIGHT NOW instead of waiting on an indefinite list for 18 months. And the leases are dirt cheap, they’re basically a steal after incentives.

Because of the BMW brand. I know a dentist’s wife who is a shallow money grabber knows nothing better than a brand name. She thinks that makes her a better person. NOT! To me who knows inside out how a car is made. I looked into the components, the engineering, value..etc.

Dear Sir

Stating a 67 Ah or 78 Ah or 111 Ah for a capacity of a car battery means absolutely nothing.The energy stored in the car battery is the product of the Ah capacity of a single cell by the cell voltage by the number of cells.

For example Tesla Model 3 has 4 Ah batteries,(21700 size),thousands of them.

The total battery capacity of a Tesla model 3 battery will be around three times the BMW i3 battery,despite the fact that,as you state, the BMW i3 maybe will have a 111Ah battery.

The i3 is a great city car, for like actually driving into cities. I drive into Philadelphia, Downingtown and New Hope, Pennsylvania. This car has Zero Parking Anxiety. And it’s fast and nimble in cities, and on the country roads you drive to get there.

Also, efficiency. Don’t be fooled by the GOM, Guess-o-Meter. The car is capable of 5.5 miles per kWh driving in Eco-Pro+ mode. That’s great for cool morning commutes when you don’t need the AC on.

It’s fast and Efficient, and has a nice ride.

Mr. Musk, however has hinted at a smaller car that the Model 3 in about 3 -5 years(?). So, then things will get interesting.

At that energy density it’s a phev cell used in a bev, it better get way over 4500 cycles.

Why anybody buy this piece of junk? I tested drive one, The ride was so terrible.

In the “validation summary” chart under “self discharge” it indicates capacity retention of less than or = to 5% (actual 2%) at 30 days from full charge which would mean 98% charge lost. I assume this is a translation/language issue and they mean that the 5 and 2% are the amount LOST not the amount retained. Anybody sure about this who can confirm (or negate) my understanding?

For sure these 5000 full charge/discharge cycles look impressive ! But mind it’s set at 0.5C to 1C only. Means BMW i3 top 33kWh pack could only charge at 16.5kW up to 33kW to secure this great number of cycles ! Means > 2h to >1h required for full battery charges on this small pack. This is more than enough for sure in the home and Work place charger locations, where you stay >8h per 24h and typically only need to recharge every 24h what you consumed for your local commutes of the last 24h, in 90% of the cases. And for a 2nd EV car dedicated to Local Commutes only, which i3 has mainly been limited to so far, even with its interesting REX option. BUT this is nowhere closed to the Supercharges >120kW expected for few to many long motorway trips you need to do every year, on an all purposes / Long-Range EV. Tesla on current 100kWh packs matches that with 1.2C charges, and is planning for 200kWh on next gen Roadster2 that at same 1.2C could charge up to 240kW if enabled for that same as current models on future Supercharger v3. So question will be… Read more »

Using the 4600 ((charges) x 114 (miles) = 524,000 miles formula seems wishful thinking, as it awards the battery 100% charge/performance for every charge, from beginning to end of its life. Not going to happen.

GM batterys will do the same thing, there are Volts with 700,000 miles on them and still going find they also have temp control on battery as BMW i3 the key is how much battery the computer lets you use, and temp control of battery pack. The Chevy Bolts will be find also they have temp control on their packs. The electric motors are good for over 1,000,000 million miles. Electric vehicles are a no brainer. ICE have over 2,000 moving parts. Electric vehicles have 18 moving parts and no oil changes,and thats why I own a Bolt. And have a Volt

1,000,000 million miles. Thats a trillion miles, 0.17 light year, 300 times the distance to pluto. That’s serious durability!

Two comments to be made.

One is addressed to the people who prepared the battery specs, who should immediately see that 350kWH battery capacity quoted is rather funny (at least for such a small shell).

My other comment is that the specs presented (with pride !!),would attract TESLA people to make a comparison of the meagre performance of the battery,in all aspects.Volume/capacity,weight/volume,charge cycles etc.

And I dont believe it is cheaper .