The all-new 100kWh, denser and safer battery proves to be a big range provider.
For the BMW i3, the jury is somewhat still out. The futuristic, all-electric city slicker is one of those cars whose value you cannot fully grasp. When it was released, the BMW i3 produced kind of an underwhelming feeling. But, at the same time, it was one of the most highly-coveted pieces of EVs money can buy. Just like with its bigger sibling - the BMW i8 - some boxes were clearly not ticked. While the all-electric configuration and performance were touted as the biggest drawbacks of what is actually a solid all-around car, for the i3, the range was the biggest drawback.
When released, the small electric car from the Bavarian car maker featured a somewhat tiny 33kWh battery which provides 114 miles of driving range, according to the EPA. Good for the town, bad for pretty much everything else. Naturally, BMW tried to combat that with the REx version which employed a petrol powerplant that provided more juice for the batteries. However, range clearly was too low.
Hence, in order to prove what this modular platform can do, a German energy storage company Lion Smart just revealed their own battery pack for the i3. While still in development, this "Light Battery" pack concept uses a modular design meant to reduce costs and improve safety. For the BMW i3, however, that means the German company crammed a high-density 100kWh battery pack into the BMW i3. In turn, that results in a range of about 435 miles (700 kilometers).
While it's still unclear whether that's based on the NEDC or WLTP cycle, or the company's own internal testing, this is an impressive uptake over the OEM range provided by this vehicle. To make matters even more compelling, that's the same range that BMW expects from their own iNext EV, slated for a 2022 debut. In reality, it seems that BMW - alongside other German car makers - produced impressive modular technology for their new cars. However, they lack in the battery departments.
You can learn all about the BMW i3 they've used and the Lion Light battery technology in the video below. Some impressive engineering & design ideas are implemented to make this battery pack, allowing it to be completely flexible in terms of capacity, voltage and physical dimensions.