2017 BMW i3 With New, Longer Range 33 kWh Batteries (94 Ah) Have Arrived In The US

1 year ago by Michael Beinenson 46

Look who has arrived at US dealers this week...Its the 2017 33kWh/94 Ab BMW i3!

Look who has arrived at US dealers this week…Its the 2017 33kWh (94 Ah) BMW i3!

The sticker, it's always about the sticker (click to enlarge)

The sticker, it’s always about the sticker (click to enlarge)

When opportunity presented itself to replace my 22 kWh 2014 BMW i3 (60 Ah) BEV with a 33 kWh 2017 BMW ie (94 Ah) BEV, I jumped right on it (BEV meaning all-electric, no range extender).

Dealer allocations began to trickle down the system a few months ago, with actual deliveries scheduled to begin soon.

At the beginning of August the vehicle got to the US port, but has been sitting there for quite some time. Reason? Of course, the official EPA rating.

As you can see from the Monroney sticker (right), we are getting a good increase in range from 81 to 114 miles with a reduction in efficiency from 124 MPGe to 118 MPGe.

Why the drop? Well the battery capacity is certainly 50% bigger but the increase in weight does decrease the overall efficiency.

No longer just for Europeans, that there is a sunroof for the BMW i3 in America

No longer just for Europeans, that there is a sunroof for the BMW i3 in America

If you continue to read the window sticker, you will notice a few changes: Sunroof!!! Yes finally! Not sure why the rest of the world enjoyed this wonderful addition for the last two years but it is here now!

2017 BMw i3 -Ready to be delivered!

2017 BMW i3 -Ready to be delivered!

The remainder is very much the same. Price of course is now $54,195 fully loaded vs. $52,045 for 2016 model.

The jump is certainly in the battery cost, but also the sunroof. Therefore when the 2017 60 Ah BEVs will hit the stores (or bmwusa.com), we will probably see a modest price drop.

My personal theory on the overall delay is that we are missing the REx (Range Extender) Version from the equation. While Europeans have seen 2017 94 Ah REx models for sometime, they have not yet been certified in the US by the EPA.

One possible reason is the complicated dance with California’s CARB regulation. If you recall the 2014-2016 fuel tanks in US are capped using software at 1.9 gallons vs the full capacity of 2.4. This is done specifically to adhere to rules governing the tax credit in California, and allows the i3 REx to get the full $2,500 State Tax Credit.

With the battery now being 50% bigger, what will the new fuel tank capacity look in US? Perhaps it will be sorted out soon and we can see both the REx deliveries to occur and long overdue update at bmwusa.com.

Since BMW NA has been running 94 Ah commercials during the Olympics, perhaps it is time to finally let people get full specs on 2017 94 Ah models and get them ordered for a quick delivery!

2017 BMW i3 Equipped With 33 kWh Battery, Good For 114 Miles Of EPA Range

2017 BMW i3 Equipped With 33 kWh Battery, Good For 114 Miles Of EPA Range

 

A few other changes:

  • You can have a choice of either original or dark sustainable eucalyptus wood (assuming the dark wood is still that)
  • There used to be small arm rest next to the iController (totally useless) and they finally took it out.
  • If you remember from the first Demo cars, the Sunroof is actually two openings vs one big one across the front row.
  • I am sure we will find a few more.

Full review next week after Monday’s delivery.

Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone!

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46 responses to "2017 BMW i3 With New, Longer Range 33 kWh Batteries (94 Ah) Have Arrived In The US"

  1. So – it will be more than a Bolt EV, but with just over half the Range? Interesting! How long before the Bolt gets here – 3-4 Months? OK – they have a bit of time to set up a leading sales flow!!

    I wonder if BMW i3 BEV and Rex Drivers will consider the Bolt over the newer i3?

    1. Spoonman. says:

      Also, the i3 only has four seats.

    2. alohart says:

      As a current i3 BEV owner, I would have checked out the Bolt had it been available when I bought our i3. However, I rejected the Leaf partly because we don’t need 5-passenger capacity. We also don’t need the Bolt’s 200+ miles of range. Both of these features result in a considerably heavier, larger, and less efficient car.

      I’m also not fond of front wheel drive or a twist beam rear suspension, both of which are on our other car and the Bolt.

      Living in a city, I value the i3’s very tight turning circle which almost certainly won’t be matched by the Bolt.

      Living in a humid, salty area on the coast, I am not a fan of the Bolt’s mostly steel body. Our other car uses aluminum for its unibody and aluminum and thermoplastic for its body panels. Our i3 has an aluminum frame, CFRP passenger cell, and thermoplastic body panels, so no destructive corrosion is possible unlike with the Bolt.

      So even though the i3 costs considerably more to purchase than a Bolt, I’m pretty certain that I would have still purchased an i3 BEV. If 2017 i3 lease costs become as low as those on previous i3’s, leasing an i3 might not be any more expensive that leasing a Bolt.

      1. DonC says:

        So every advantage of the Bolt EV, like range, performance, space, and price, we shouldn’t care about, but if we live at the coast the steel/aluminum body is a show stopper. Seriously? I live less than a mile away from the ocean and have never seen a body rust. If it’s a problem you could take the difference in price and build a garage!

        At some point it’s just about a luxury logo. That’s OK but you might as well just own it.

        1. JIMIJON says:

          A fool & their money , Go separate ways…I wouldn’t want to crash in that “PLASTIC CAR”..Or any car for that matter!, But that one especially..Carbon Fibre Is way overrated …It Blows apart and Totals very quickly , Even when it’s not Obvious.,Plus, Insurance is Expensive…The Biggest thing here for me, is “THE SAFETY FACTOR”

          1. Stimpacker says:

            When that fool does need 5 passenger capacity or haul cargo or travel far, then he’ll rent an ICE.

            1. mx9000 says:

              UBER.

          2. ffbj says:

            You made up a pithy saying. The original reads: “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

            Referenced in the rather repetitive though seminal Badfinger song.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk57K4OGrAg

          3. Becker says:

            There isn’t enough to say about your level of ignorance.

          4. Yogurt says:

            “A fool & their money , Go separate ways…I wouldn’t want to crash in that “PLASTIC CAR”.
            The Biggest thing here for me, is “THE SAFETY FACTOR”
            It Blows apart and Totals very quickly”

            You shouldnt talk about fools when making statements like these…
            Carbonfiber is the safest material and it is why Indy and F1 car drivers can hit a wall at 200 mph and walk away…
            Yes it does blow apart when hitting a wall at 200 mph but that is called energy absorbition and that is why the deiver walks away…
            So if safety is your bigest factor you should run not walk to buy one today…
            Or buy a 6000 pound SUV so you can be safe and have a higher probability to kill the person you get in a wreck with…

          5. taliz says:

            LOL. F1 cars are all carbon fiber, and drivers crash at over 200mph regularly(latest was a week ago at SPA) and still walk from the wreck with no injuries.

          6. Stimpy says:

            Guys don’t dont worry about this resident troll. He doesn’t understand CFRP and apparently never will.

    3. Pete says:

      Come on, the i3 is 1100 lbs lighter. I love the driving feeling in city with the tyres, just more fun than other EVs.

      1. mx9000 says:

        I hope the Bolt drives well, even with the torture tube rear suspension.

    4. mememe says:

      Would I consider? sure, of course! Would I ever buy one? Highly unlikely. Before I got the i3, I did check out Volt – I even had points from GM Visa. If Bolt uses the same GM design team, I don’t think I can take it.

    5. HDRobbe says:

      A BMW will always be a BMW, and a Bolt will always be a Chevy…ijs

    6. yuval says:

      A no brainer. 33 kwh for 55k$ v 60 kwh for 40 K$ the rest is details. Gp Bolt

  2. JIMIJON says:

    W0W !!! WHAT A CAR !!!!!…l m f a o…..

    1. ELROY says:

      Did you read the above comment at all? I can confirm everything said by the above owner. There is so much more innovation and purpose in design with the i3. Compared to the Bolt with its simple rear suspension, the i3 has a sophisticated suspension. I counted 5 links on mine.

      This is also one of the reasons why the i3 can put its RWD power down with ease. No slipping no squealing. Even in the rain, the i3 is uncanny how it will shoot away from a stop light with no wheel spin. The Bolt with its FWD is totally different. C&D already reports it has inherent problems with traction and torque steer. The Bolt is rental car nice, or let’s just say it’s on par with the Cruze, Bolt, and various other GMs. There is a major statement, BMW was bold enough to make the i3 uniquely different from every other car in it’s lineup. Bold enough to make that kind of investment in the car, instead of having more than half the car made by its normal partner in Korea that makes many other cars. And yes, the Bolt will not be as nimble or easy to park as the i3, and probably more wasteful in its electrons than the i3, for those people who actually care about that kind of environmental stuff. Remember, if the battery is the most environmentally unfriendly part of a BEV, perhaps having bigger than you need isn’t always the best thing in the big picture.

      1. pjwood1 says:

        You could have 10 links. Those 155 tires are a cheap pair of speakers.

        1. mike w says:

          Those tires are an odd size and were hard to find when we shopped the i3 Rex. For many different reasons we got a 2016 Volt instead.

    2. Yogurt says:

      If you think all things are created equal the Chinese have a couple thousand different EVs to sell you…
      And good luck with that…

  3. David Murray says:

    I went to the BMW dealer in Arlington last night to try to buy one of these (for my wife) She had been thinking about a Bolt but decided she’d be fine with an i3.

    They are advertising leases for $199 a month on the Rex model (yes, with a hefty downpayment of several thousand) on their website.. but when we got there they had zero i3’s in stock, but said they had some 2017s that would be here in a week or two. So we tried to do a deal on one of those and couldn’t get anywhere even close to $199 a month. It was going to be nearly $600 a month with several thousand down. So we decided we’d go look for a used model.

    1. ELROY says:

      Yes, there were no 2016s,left. If they had enough supply, they would have sold thousands last month. The local dealership sold 11 in one day!

    2. SparkEV says:

      Do you mean used one with new battery or used with old battery? You often write about how Leaf range was inadequate, so old one wouldn’t work. Used new one isn’t likely to be cheap for many months, and not sure if used i3 can be leased.

      1. David Murray says:

        We would be buying the Rex version so the battery range would be fine. We have no plans to drive it across country or over mountain passes, so the Rex will work perfectly around town.

  4. Chris C. says:

    The wrist rest below the drive controller disappeared in 2015.

  5. William says:

    33 kWh is now the current (non tesla) driving range leader. BMW is on top among the Legacy Ice Manufactures. At least until the Bolt is on dealer lots and available for purchase.

  6. SparkEV says:

    SparkEV at 119 MPGe would be more efficient than the new i3, making it the most efficient freeway capable car in the “universe”. It’s too bad there’s only bit over 1 month of inventory left, and unlikely to continue production.

    Long live the king, at least for next few months.

    1. Elroy says:

      The i3 is quite a bit more spacious inside and the taller car. The Spark should be a little more efficient on the highway due to the poor aerodynamics of the i3. I believe the i3 is noticeably quicker 0-60 also. My friend has a couple i3’s, the older spark (the one I tested against) and he just got a newer Spark about 2 months ago. I can’t wait till I get to test side by side against the new “quicker” Spark.

  7. DangerHV says:

    Why are there no safety ratings on the sticker? I would be surprised if a car could be sold without this important info these days. ??

    1. Rhinoboy82 says:

      There are no ratings on the sticker because the NHTSA hasn’t tested the i3.

      As to why they haven’t tested it, you’d have to ask the NHTSA.

      Cars can’t be sold until the EPA gives the OK on fuel economy (and, presumably, emissions) but the same doesn’t hold for the safety ratings, crazy as that might be.

      1. DangerHV says:

        Thanks. Crazy is right.

  8. Tech01x says:

    So what’s BMW’s plan? Drop the price by $10,000 in a few short months to compete against the Bolt? Then drop it another $5,000 in 9 months to compete against the Model 3?

    The used BEV market is going to be interesting… a slew of the vehicles that are still selling for over $20k used will be pushed down towards $10k, towards where a 3 year old Leaf currently sits. Then the adoption levels and affect on the car buying public would be very interesting. Right now, BMW i3, Mercedes B250e, VW e-Golf, and a handful of others are still commanding too much in the used car market. I think those will crater soon.

    1. Counter-Strike Cat says:

      Why should _BMW_ compete with _Chevrolet_?

    2. Nix says:

      BMW doesn’t cut their 3-Series price to compete with the Malibu. Why should they cut the i3 price?

    3. Yogurt says:

      Comparing the price of Nissans and Chevys directly to BMWs is silly at best but I do think the i3 will need more range when the model 3 is out…

      The price of all used sub 100 mile EVs has been catering and will contine to do so as new EVs come out that are cheaper and or have longer range…

  9. Thanh Lim says:

    Nissan is getting crushed here. BMW is putting out all the stops and Nissan is milking it and not enough real upgrades to their product.

    1. Yogurt says:

      Nissan is rumored to be coming out with a facelifted 140 mile Leaf later this year…
      Hopefuly at a lower price…

  10. Four Electrics says:

    Finally, the sunroof!

    The i3 is a stunning car. Much higher build quality than my Model X, better dynamics for the city. For the the target market it works well. To keep the car light, I’m hoping for a hydrogen range extender by 2020. Battery technology has barely improved, and getting more battery range without weight will be difficult.

    1. Elroy says:

      Well said. Till you have driven one of these in a crowded city, you don’t realize how fun AND practical this car is.

    2. Mike says:

      Care to show us your model x? Not that i don’t believe you.

  11. Counter-Strike Cat says:

    The i3 comes with 3 years free annual inspections?

    1. mememe says:

      Dont know about the new one, but the old i3 is 4-year warranty, with safety inspection every two years. That said, i3 doesn’t have OTA software update, you will visit stealership more often than once every two-year.

      1. James Dethlefson says:

        And be prepared to let them keep it overnight. That’s what happened last time my i3 needed an update.

        1. Elroy says:

          Perhaps you won’t receive an OTA “hack” which people have shown can be done with the Tesla. BMW could easily have OTA software updates. They already download service info to advise the dealerships when your car is due for service, and what is due, etc. For better or worse, BMW is a little more cautious than some other manufacturers.