Rumor has it that BMW is working on a new, longer range i3 for debut in late 2018.
BMW i3 Carbon Edition
200 miles of electric range is expected and it should go on sale globally before 2018 comes to a close.
"According to a source, BMW is likely preparing another tech update in late 2018 which will bring the capacity of the battery expressed in ampere hour (Ah) to 120. The pure electric driving range will be further increased by at least 60 percent."
This battery update falls in line with previous expectations, so we think there's merit to the rumor. BMW started with the 60 Ah cell in the i3, then jumped to the 94 Ah cell when it became available and will next progress to the 120 Ah cell, which will be in full-scale production prior to the arrival of the longer range i3 late next year.
If you look at Samsung's lineup of batteries (see image below from 2016 Beijing Motor Show) the progression is exactly as expected:
Note: 120 Ah Cell is located on far right o0f image, but labelling is not visible at this angle.
"Last summer, BMW introduced their first major update to their first electric vehicle. The tech-refreshed i3 features a 94 Ah battery pack which has increased the operating range measured, under the official NEDC test cycle, by more than 50 percent, from 190 kilometers (118 miles) to more than 300 kilometers (186 miles), while real-world driving range is increased to a maximum 200 kilometers (124 miles) on a single battery charge, even in adverse weather conditions with corresponding air conditioning or heating requirements."
This new rumored update to 120 Ah cells could bump range by perhaps 60% or so, bringing real-world driving range to almost 200 miles, if the source is accurate with this part of the claim:
"...pure electric driving range will be further increased by at least 60 percent."
We'll surely receive more information of the 2019 BMW i3 in the coming months, so stay tuned for more info.