Official: 2017 BMW i3 Gets 33 kWh Battery, Range Increases To 114 Miles

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 116

2017 BMW i3 Gets New 94 Ah Cells, Good For 33 kWh Of Energy And ~114 Miles Of Range

2017 BMW i3 Gets New 94 Ah Cells, Good For 33 kWh Of Energy And ~114 Miles Of Range

 

Precisely as we had predicted some 5 months ago, BMW revealed today that the refreshed 2017 BMW i3 will get 94 Ah cells, which will bump battery capacity up to 33 kWh (from 22 kWh today) and will increase range substantially to “up to 114 miles,” according to BMW.

The 114-mile range is listed for the BEV version of the i3.  BMW didn’t mention a range figure for the 2017 i3 REx, but did say that the REx version will get the 33 kWh battery pack too.

2017 BMW i3 Cutaway

2017 BMW i3 Cutaway

Per the press release:

Visually The 2017 BMW i3 (shown here in black) Is Unchanged

Visually The 2017 BMW i3 (shown here in black) Is Unchanged

Today BMW announced that BMW i will offer a new model range of its compact electric car, the BMW i3 and from the 2017 model year will be offering a new version with more than 50% increased battery capacity.

The 2017 BMW i3 (94 Ah) has a capacity of 33 kilowatt hours (kWh) thanks to the higher energy density of the lithium ion cells. The BMW i team worked to ensure that the battery dimensions remain unchanged while still offering a significant range increase. Even in everyday conditions 2, the new Battery Electric BMW i3, in varying weather conditions and with the air conditioning or heating turned on, a range of up to 114 miles combined1 (hwy/city) is possible as shown by independent BMW testing cycles3.

The driving performance figures of the 170 hp AC synchronous electric motor remain virtually unchanged. The motor propels the BMW i3 from 0 to 60 mph in just over 7 seconds. This makes the BMW i3 both the sportiest and most efficient electric vehicle in its segment with an expected EPA electricity consumption of 27 kWh/100mi.

In addition to the Battery Electric BMW i3, the Range Extender model will also feature the 94 Ah battery. When equipped with the Range Extender, if the driver requires additional range, the 2-cylinder gasoline engine is switched on once the battery is depleted to 6.5% state of charge and keeps the charge level of the battery constant while driving and provides an additional range thanks to a 25% larger fuel tank (2.4 gallons). With the introduction of the BMW i3 (94 Ah), BMW i now also offers a new BMW Home Charger Connect, a residential charging station designed for comfortable and fast home charging featuring additional connected functions.

Basically, BMW listened to what i3 owners asked for. More specifically, most i3 owners wanted a bigger battery for more range and REx owners wanted more fuel capacity. BMW provides both with the upcoming 2017 i3 and i3 REx.

Unknown at this time is pricing for the 2017 i3. BMW says “Pricing for the 2017 BMW i3 (94 Ah) will be released closer to market launch.

On pricing, we can note that the larger capacity BMW has also been confirmed for the UK, and is available for pre-order today – for an additional cost of £1350 (or $1,950 USD), which is pretty reasonable. That UK figure also includes DC fast charging – which is a £560 ($820 USD) option in the UK, but is standard in the US.

BMW Is Quite Pleased With New Color Option "Plotonic Blue"

BMW Is Quite Pleased With New Color Option “Protonic Blue”

Additionally, BMW has made available a new color and Deka interior:

New equipment on the BMW i3.

The BMW i3 (94 Ah) is now available in the exclusive Protonic Blue metallic exterior color, previously only available in the US on the BMW i8. The BMW i3 (94 Ah) customer can also choose from two non-metallic paint colors (Capparis White and Fluid Black) and, in addition to Protonic Blue, three metallic paintwork colors (Mineral Grey, Platinum Silver and Ionic Silver).

The Deka World is now part of the standard profile of the BMW i3 (94 Ah) and features a lightweight dark cloth fabric interior made from recycled materials. Other changes to the standard profile include the addition of the Universal Garage Door Opener, Advanced Real- Time Traffic Information, and Comfort Access.
As part of the Tera World, a Dark Oak Wood trim is also now included, with an alternative Light Eucalyptus Wood trim available as well. These trims are also available for ordering with the Giga World.

BMW i3 With Deka World Interior

BMW i3 With Deka World Interior

Lastly, and after much complaining from U.S., i3 buyers, the automaker has finally decided to offer the electric moonroof here in the U.S.:

The highly anticipated electric moonroof is also available for ordering for the first time in the US. This option features individual shades and adds to the great set of convenience features that the BMW i3 has to offer.

BMW has improved the i3 in all ways for 2017, but it still falls well short of the 200-mile range of the Chevrolet Bolt, so sales may not be boosted as much as BMW expects. We shall find out soon enough.

Press blast below:

Today BMW announced that BMW i will offer a new model range of its compact electric car, the BMW i3 and from the 2017 model year will be offering a new version with more than 50% increased battery capacity.

BMW i3 Protonic Blue

BMW i3 Protonic Blue

The 2017 BMW i3 (94 Ah) has a capacity of 33 kilowatt hours (kWh) thanks to the higher energy density of the lithium ion cells. The BMW i team worked to ensure that the battery dimensions remain unchanged while still offering a significant range increase. Even in everyday conditions 2, the new Battery Electric BMW i3, in varying weather conditions and with the air conditioning or heating turned on, a range of up to 114 miles combined1 (hwy/city) is possible as shown by independent BMW testing cycles3.

The driving performance figures of the 170 hp AC synchronous electric motor remain virtually unchanged. The motor propels the BMW i3 from 0 to 60 mph in just over 7 seconds. This makes the BMW i3 both the sportiest and most efficient electric vehicle in its segment with an expected EPA electricity consumption of 27 kWh/100mi.

In addition to the Battery Electric BMW i3, the Range Extender model will also feature the 94 Ah battery. When equipped with the Range Extender, if the driver requires additional range, the 2-cylinder gasoline engine is switched on once the battery is depleted to 6.5% state of charge and keeps the charge level of the battery constant while driving and provides an additional range thanks to a 25% larger fuel tank (2.4 gallons). With the introduction of the BMW i3 (94 Ah), BMW i now also offers a new BMW Home Charger Connect, a residential charging station designed for comfortable and fast home charging featuring additional connected functions. Pricing for the 2017 BMW i3 (94 Ah) will be released closer to market launch.

2017 BMW i3 Getting A DC Fast Charge

2017 BMW i3 Getting A DC Fast Charge

Higher storage density of the battery cells.
The BMW i3 (94 Ah) sets a new benchmark in its segment with 94 ampere hours (Ah) cell capacity, 33 kWh total battery energy, and an electric range of approximately 114 miles combined1 (hwy/city) on one full battery charge. Consuming only 27 kWh/100mi the BMW i3 is the most efficient car in its segment with the lowest electricity consumption costs of approximately 2.81 USD/100mi4.

The high-voltage battery of the BMW i3 consists of eight modules with twelve storage cells each and its capacity has increased by more than 50% without any changes in exterior dimensions. By optimizing the cell-internal packages with more electrolyte and adapting the active material, BMW and Samsung SDI have succeeded in increasing cell capacity to 94 Ah and overall battery energy to 33 kWh of which 27.2 kWh can be effectively used. The previous battery of the BMW i3 (60 Ah) produced 22 kWh (gross)/19 kWh (net).

New 2017 BMW i3 In Protonic Blue Out For A Spin

New 2017 BMW i3 In Protonic Blue Out For A Spin

The lithium ion cells used, set themselves apart in the competitive field by achieving a special balance between high energy density, cycle stability and safety in the case of an accident. The high-voltage battery also has an advanced thermal management system that keeps the battery operating in the optimal temperature range, which further enhances performance. For example, the coolant of the air conditioning system is responsible for cooling the high-voltage battery very effectively, while a heating system can also be used to warm the battery to ensure the optimal operating temperature before starting off. Customers receive an 8-year/100,000-mile High-voltage Battery Warranty.

The BMW i3 – a benchmark in terms of sustainability.
During the development phase of the BMW i3, the entire architecture of the electric drivetrain was designed with the next technological steps as well as serviceability in mind. For example, if necessary a single battery module can be exchanged which distinguishes the BMW i3 from other competitive offers and represents an integral component of the holistic BMW i concept of sustainability. From the production stand point, sustainability is achieved to a large extent through the CO2 free electricity supply of the BMW i production sites in Leipzig (assembly) and Moses Lake (CFRP production) as well as through the use of 70 percent less water in the production process compared to conventional automobiles.

Optimized performance delivery, more efficient drive.
The BMW i3 is by far the lightest car in its segment. Despite the slight weight increase, at 2,961 lbs (BEV), and 3,234 lbs (REX), the BMW i3 (94 Ah) is characterized by driving performance, which is subjectively as agile as the 60 Ah model variant. The BMW i3 (94 Ah) is also powered by the same 3 phase AC synchronous electric motor developed in-house by the BMW Group. The motor generates an output of 170 hp and delivers 184 lb-ft of torque which is available as soon as the electric motor begins to turn. The BMW i3 (94 Ah) accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just over 7 seconds. The impressive electric motor, small turning circle of 32.3 feet, – a major benefit to driving in the city – BMW’s near-perfect 50- 50 weight distribution, precise electric power steering and the stable suspension set-up help to make the i3 as satisfying to drive as every other BMW.

The sporty character of the BMW i3’s electric motor is also clearly noticeable by its performance figure of 5.1 seconds accelerating from 50 to 75 mph. This is a decisive factor for enabling fast and safe passing maneuvers, and is normally only achieved by combustion engine powered cars with considerably higher outputs. The BMW i3 (94 Ah) is close to the level of cars such as the (320 hp) BMW 340i. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via the single-speed transmission, which the BMW i3 uses to accelerate without torque interruption to its electronically limited top speed of 93 mph.

The electric consumption of the BMW i3 (94 Ah) has also been reduced by a large number of detail improvements including revised electric motor management as well as advanced low-resistance tires with optimized compound.

Charging times.
The 7.4 kW charging electronics of the BMW i3 (94 Ah) can charge the 33 kWh battery in approximately 4.5 hours using a Level 2 charger, which is slightly more than the approximately 3.5 hours required to charge the battery on a BMW i3 (60 Ah). Standard equipment of the BMW i3 includes the occasional use cable for connecting it to a domestic power socket. Core elements such as range, hallmark BMW agility thanks to low weight and overnight battery charging remain in place.

The BMW i3 is equipped with the future-proof 50 kW direct current (DC) fast charging technology. When the BMW i3 (94 Ah) is connected to a DC fast charging station, the battery cells are charged up to a minimum of 80 percent of their capacity in less than 40 minutes. In the BMW i3 (60 Ah) this takes around 25 minutes. This means that the BMW i3 (94 Ah) achieves a charging speed of 2.5 mi/min which corresponds to 24 minutes charging time per 62 miles of range.

Range Extender for even greater range.
BMW i also offers a Range Extender for the BMW i3 (94 Ah).The range of the BMW i3 is extended by a 650 cc 2-cylinder gasoline engine which is located adjacent to the electric drive above the rear axle. The Range Extender engine delivers a maximum output of 38 hp and powers a generator in order to produce electricity, working on a required-based and highly efficient principle. For those occasional times where additional range is required, as soon as the charging level of the lithium ion batteries drops to a specified level, the Range Extender kicks in to keep the charging level constant effectively extending the range. Fitting the car with the Range Extender has no influence on the available luggage volume: the luggage compartment volume remains unchanged at 15.1 ft3 and can be extended to 36.9 ft3 with the rear seats folded down. The BMW i3 (94 Ah) now features a 2.4 gallon fuel tank improving the range from the previous model.

The BMW i3 (94 Ah) with Range Extender weighs approximately an extra 270 lb compared to the Battery Electric BMW i3 but is also characterized by a high level of agility and offers impressive performance figures. It accelerates from zero to 60 mph in just 8 seconds.

New equipment on the BMW i3.
The BMW i3 (94 Ah) is now available in the exclusive Protonic Blue metallic exterior color, previously only available in the US on the BMW i8. The BMW i3 (94 Ah) customer can also choose from two non-metallic paint colors (Capparis White and Fluid Black) and, in addition to Protonic Blue, three metallic paintwork colors (Mineral Grey, Platinum Silver and Ionic Silver).

The Deka World is now part of the standard profile of the BMW i3 (94 Ah) and features a lightweight dark cloth fabric interior made from recycled materials. Other changes to the standard profile include the addition of the Universal Garage Door Opener, Advanced Real- Time Traffic Information, and Comfort Access.
As part of the Tera World, a Dark Oak Wood trim is also now included, with an alternative Light Eucalyptus Wood trim available as well. These trims are also available for ordering with the Giga World.

The highly anticipated electric moonroof is also available for ordering for the first time in the US. This option features individual shades and adds to the great set of convenience features that the BMW i3 has to offer.

Standard profile and equipment for the BMW i3 (94 Ah) includes: Automatic climate control, Dynamic Cruise Control, LED Headlights, HD Radio, DC Fast Charging, Navigation Business System, BMW Assist and BMW Teleservices. Other standard features include: the iDrive operation system, the BMW i RemoteApp functionalities, the Driving Dynamic Control switch, hands-free telephone operation, leather steering wheel and Park Distance Control (PDC).

BMW i3 – a success story.
The BMW Group took on a pioneering role when it founded the BMW i brand and decided to develop an independent vehicle structure and passenger cells made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) as well as BMW eDrive technology for a purely electric drive. The BMW i3, which was designed for local emissions-free urban mobility, as well as the trail- blazing BMW i8 Plug-in-Hybrid sports car combined with sustainability-oriented premium character. Since the November 2013 launch, the BMW i3 has already established itself at the top of its segment. The most important single market for the purely electric five door BMW i3 is the U.S. More than 80 percent of buyers deciding on a BMW i3 worldwide are new customers for the BMW Group. The BMW i3 and the BMW i8 received a large number of awards for innovations in the areas of lightweight construction, drive, sustainability, driving performance and design. This makes BMW i the brand to win the most awards in the world during its market launch phase.

Comfortable home charging: the new BMW Home Charger Connect.
In late 2016, BMW i will be offering the new BMW Home Charger Connect, a residential charging station designed for comfortable and fast home charging.
The new BMW Home Charger Connect, with a more compact, sleeker design, charges the battery of the BMW i3 (94 Ah) in approximately four hours and 30 minutes. The charging process starts automatically as soon as the car and charging cable are connected. The BMW Home Charger Connect is operated using an LED interface.

The BMW Home Charger Connect comes standard with WiFi and will feature innovative charging services which can be accessed remotely. This charger helps preserve vehicle range as it can precondition the vehicle battery when connected.

On the go: convenient public charging with ChargeNow.
ChargeNow is designed to optimize the public charging experience for BMW i customers, for easy access to public charging options. Thanks to ChargeNow’s partnerships with leading public EV charging network providers, BMW i drivers enjoy convenient access to public chargers along the way. Learn more at www.chargenowusa.com.

ChargeNow DC Fast5: Eligible BMW i3 drivers can recharge for no charge.
Offered by BMW in cooperation with EVgo, ChargeNow DC Fast allows eligible BMW i3 drivers in participating markets to enjoy 24 months of no cost charging sessions for the BMW i3 at participating EVgo Stations. Enrolled BMW i3 customers can use the ChargeNow card for unlimited 30 minute, DC Fast Combo charging sessions and Unlimited 1 hour, Level 2 charging sessions.

The BMW i3 is equipped with the future-proof 50 kW direct current (DC) Fast charging technology. When the BMW i3 (94 Ah) is connected to a DC Fast charging station, the battery cells are charged up to 80 percent of their capacity in less than 40 minutes. In the BMW i3 (60 Ah) this takes approximately 25 minutes.

ConnectedDrive: Setting standards through Connectivity.
The optional Navigation System Professional provides BMW ConnectedDrive Services especially developed for BMW i. The range assistant follows the planned and currently driven route. If the destination selected in the navigation system is beyond the car’s range, the driver receives the suggestion to shift to the ECO PRO or ECO PRO+ mode. Additionally, the system calculates a more efficient alternative route. Should it be necessary to recharge at a public charging station, the driver is shown all the available stations along the planned route.

A dynamic range map is another central element of the connected navigation unit. Apart from the current charging status of the battery, the driving style, the activated electric comfort functions and the selected driving mode, the topographic features, the current traffic situation and the outside temperature are all taken into consideration. The Advanced Real Time Traffic Information (ARTTI) data is used for this purpose. The data is provided by the BMW ConnectedDrive Server.

The BMW i3 also sets standards when it comes to connecting driver and car. The BMW i Remote App provides useful vehicle-related mobility planning data available on the customer’s smartphone. Apart from pedestrian navigation; navigating your way to your destination from the parking space and back, BMW ConnectedDrive offers a so-called intermodal routing system and for the first time in combination with the Navigation System Professional. This also incorporates public transport connections such as subway stops if this means you can reach your destination quicker. From the actual trip in the BMW i3, looking for a parking space, changing onto a metro and or a walking route, the BMW i ConnectedDrive services take the customer to his destination efficiently.

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116 responses to "Official: 2017 BMW i3 Gets 33 kWh Battery, Range Increases To 114 Miles"

  1. ClarksonCote says:

    BMW should ditch the BEVx posturing, and implement a mode that lets driver turn the gas engine on to assist before the battery is fully depleted, in the USA.

    This would be similar to the Volt’s Mountain Mode, but is a much greater necessity in the BMW i3, since unlike the Volt, the i3 does not have an adequately sized engine to provide full power in 98% of driving conditions.

    Granted, I know BMW only claims the range extender is to avoid a stranded car, but with this kind of functionality it would be more enticing to make frequent long trips in an i3.

    1. evcarnut says:

      Watch 0ut ! They’re going to sell like hot cakes Now!!!…………. L M A 0………

      1. Riko says:

        The Chevy Bolt and the Tesla Model III will make this overpriced Bavarian snail obsolete. The key is having 200 mile plus EV range at a price under $40K before Federal tax credit of $7.5K.

    2. Phr≡d says:

      @Clarkson:
      ” i3 does not have an adequately sized engine to provide full power in 98% of driving conditions”
      seriously? I must have missed a memo, thought it was severe extended-grade that caused a problem. Regardless, there is only so much BMW can Do if they want to keep their CARB credits and stickers – just do the firmware-correction and put past to any possibility of of grade-induced slow-down.

      1. Goaterguy says:

        Or buy a Volt and avoid the problem all together.

        1. Stimpy says:

          But then you’d have HALF the EV range, tiny rear seats, much less interior space, and FWD.

          Everything is a trade-off.

          1. Riko says:

            Hi Stimpy. You forgot to mention that with the tiny rear seats in the new Volt that there is no headroom at all for adults…must avoid potholes or your rear passengers will smack their heads on the glass hatch.

      2. ClarksonCote says:

        “thought it was severe extended-grade that caused a problem.”

        You’re describing the very limited instances in which a Volt would have reduced propulsion, and why it has a “Mountain Mode” to overcome this.

        The BMW i3 has reduced propulsion far more often than just “severe grades” because of the small size of its engine and assocated output power. It’s simple physics.

    3. Nix says:

      Clarkson, some of that problem should get better with this battery upgrade. The BEVx regulation requires that the REX only come on after the battery drops to 6.5% of the effective battery capacity.

      The new battery’s effective capacity is 27.2 kWh, leaving 1.768 kWh when the REX comes on.

      The previous battery’s effective capacity was 19 kWh, leaving just 1.235 kWh left.

      And while .5 additional kWh doesn’t sound like much, it will give the REX more time to keep up while operating in charge depleting mode.

      If it still isn’t enough, there is still the option to hack the computer to activate the European hold mode.

      http://insideevs.com/bmw-i3-rex-guide-to-reduced-power-operation-range-expectations/

      1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        And the REX range is limited to the AER of the car, which means that the i3 REX can have a bigger gas tank.

      2. ClarksonCote says:

        True, that will help slightly.

    4. wavelet says:

      “with this kind of functionality it would be more enticing to make frequent long trips in an i3”
      Not the purpose of the car, as has been discussed endlessly.

      Sure, if you’re an activist EV fan you can make some long trips just to prove a point, but it’s not a reasonable solution for this. Even if DCFC infrastructure was dense enough, it would mean way too many stops for virtually all drivers.

      200mi AER is pretty much a minimum for long-distance trips.
      Think a typical vacation trip: Fully loaded car with 4 people + luggage, highway speeds, maybe winter temps and a car’s that’s a few years old, so no longer has 100% of original capacity.

    5. BMW can’t make the gasoline tank bigger, nor can they use a “mountain mode” and also get California Air Resources Board (CARB) credit for Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV).

      Currently, the BMW i3 hybrid is the ONLY gasoline car on planet earth that earns this credit (a total of 3 credits for a “100 mile” car).

      Each credit is worth approximately $4000 on the open market, therefore it would cost them about $12,000 per car in the USA.

      BMW is more interested in the money than a proper car.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        “BMW is more interested in the money than a proper car.”

        I think that sums it up well, and unfortunately, sacrifices the potential utility of the car a great deal.

  2. Paul says:

    All they need now is to made it ride better on bad roads.

    1. offib says:

      It’s a BMW, not a Citroën! haha!

    2. floydboy says:

      I imagine with such narrow tires, the tire sidewalls must be pretty stiff. Something akin to run-flats, which tend to give a ‘busy’ ride on rougher surfaces.

  3. ydnas7 says:

    Is that just 7% more range than the current leaf?

    1. Terawatt says:

      Slightly less. 7 miles more from 107 isn’t quite 7%.

    2. Someone out there says:

      And it costs $10k more…

      1. RexxSee says:

        Still no real competition on from the established ICE car makers..

        1. Dan says:

          Or anybody else, for that matter. The only car available that has greater range costs twice as much.

  4. Rich says:

    BMW is moving the i series in the right direction. Hopefully, it’ will be enough for them to keep the i series alive for another year, while they try to increase range again.

    Increasing the sticker price seems Insane to me, but we’ll see how this plays out.

    1. Rich says:

      Increase in sticker price referenced in a previous IEVs article.
      http://insideevs.com/confirmed-2017-bmw-i3-gets-50-range-increase-arrives-in-july/

    2. evcarnut says:

      I predict that it will “Flop”……Oh.., but, if it costs more…. it must be better…

      1. Mister G says:

        Yes it will flop…why buy/lease a 114 mile range EV when there are 200 mile options?

        1. alohart says:

          For those who don’t need more than 114 miles range, don’t want to drive a heavy car to achieve the additional unneeded range, appreciate the light rust-free construction of the i3, appreciate the nice airy interior of the i3, etc., why buy something that does not meet one’s needs and desires? Look at all the different types of vehicles on the road. Not everyone wants the same car, so there are a variety on the roads.

          1. Mister G says:

            We shall see if i3 outsells Bolt and Model 3…my money is on Bolt and Model 3(literally) killing 114 mile i3.

            1. alohart says:

              By the time the Model 3 is available in significant numbers, the i3 will almost certainly have had another battery pack upgrade. Samsung has already announced an increased capacity battery cell that the i3 could use.

              The Bolt will be more immediate competition, but the i3’s advantages over the Bolt is many ways will appeal to enough people to maintain i3 sales.

        2. 3laine says:

          Where can I buy a Bolt or Model 3 in July when this becomes available?

          1. Mister G says:

            July 2016? What’s your source?

  5. carcus says:

    Thoughts on sustainability:

    33 Kwh is “right-sized” for the i3 Rex.

    33 Kwh i3 Rex might be considered “crusher proof”. (and perhaps the greenest car on the road):

    *Composite body — won’t rust, should last for 50 years.
    *647cc rex + generator, only runs for a couple thousand miles a year — should last for 50 years
    *33 kwh battery — at a likely future replacement cost of, say $200/kwh, then the $6,600 pack replacement cost (every 8, 10, 12+ years?) is manageable with the added bonus that a marginal battery pack can be supplemented (limped along) with the Rex until it’s a “good time” to replace the battery. Underbody mount minimizes labor costs.

    So, .. … the sustainability concerns of the car buying public might be best served burning appox 50 gallons a year or so in a decades lasting i3 Rex vs. sending a fully highway capable BEV to the crusher at year 8,10,12 (?)

    1. Stimpacker says:

      Have you ever worked on old 2-stroke engines? Such a pain in the butt to get them running reliably. The ethanol-laced gas here in CA only makes it worse.

      1. David Murray says:

        It may be a 2 cylinder, but there is no way it is a 2-stroke.

      2. carcus says:

        I have, and I am always fighting the ethanol in my motorcycles. But we are talking about a 4 stroke water cooled engine. Same as is in the BMW C650GT. I don’t have a picture of the engine, so you’ll just have to imagine what is hidden in between the rider’s legs:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_C600_Sport_and_C650GT#/media/File:Paris_-_Salon_de_la_moto_2011_-_BMW_-_C_650_GT_et_h%C3%B4tesse_-_001.jpg

      3. mhpr262 says:

        BMW is not usin a two-stroke. They are using the twin-cylinder engine from their 650ccm premium scooter (made by KYMCO in Taiwan though, to be precise). Fully electronic motormanagement, injection, catalyzer.

    2. Rich says:

      Agreed. With the additional electric range, the i3 REX model is a good offering. I think the majority of people will balk at a $55K price tag. A BMW badge doesn’t make it worth $20K more.
      On the BEV side, hopefully BMW can bolster the i3’s range to 200+ miles by 2017/2018.

    3. RussB says:

      Composite body – you don’t want it to last 50 years, because that means you will be stuck with this technology for that long. You need to build in some obsolescence to enable you to keep up with the technology curve. And “crusher-proof” is all too apt – that CFRP is not recyclable.
      Plus, the CFRP is not “CO2-free” – every electron they buy from the Moses Lake dam means another electron that someone else on the grid has to buy from somewhere else. This is not “sustainable”, it is “passing the buck”.

  6. drpawansharma says:

    Meh! While i appreciate the range bump,the needle has shifted to 200 Miles now. Anything less is just so old fashioned.

    1. alohart says:

      Not for those of us who don’t need and will never need a heavy EV with a 200 mile range.

      1. Chris O says:

        Yes those people now have the option to shell out an extra $6K compared to Model 3 for about half the range and no factory quick charge infrastructure support. They’ll get a smaller less attractive car into the bargain. Should sell like hotcakes.

        1. Don’t forget the optional BMW motorcycle engine that burns gasoline… the Tesla Model 3 folks will all be canceling orders soon to get some of that action.

          1. alohart says:

            Those who don’t want a heavy steel less-efficient 4-door sedan might prefer a light rust-free more efficient i3 over a Model 3. I haven’t owned a 4-door sedan in 50 years and don’t want one now. I’m sure I’m not alone.

            1. I suspect that the number of people who would actually chose a composite “rust free” body over a steel or aluminum one is VERY small.

              Most consumers keep a new car 3-5 years, therefore any car of any material will last in most markets… even steel ones.

              I’ve had a house near the ocean, and I’ve seen the vehicles that are completely rotted out, even in California where cars last for decades. It’s a small market here.

              Hawaii, maybe. The northeast US, sure.

              1. The four door sedan… ya, I think that’s a mistake.

                1. carcus says:

                  The concept of “new age personal transportation” evolving into a “too expensive to crush” (i.e replace every 10 years) is not without precedent. General aviation in the United States has already taken this course.

                  In the “early days” of general aviation, most planes went to the boneyard on about the same timeline as cars, but starting in the 70’s (when insurance/liability drove prices through the roof) — they all started getting refurbed. High costs and rust-proof construction drove/allowed the trend, which continues today.

                  With high battery costs, autonomous costs, and environmental costs, it’s not impossible to imagine cars evolving into the same 50+ year useful lifespan.

          2. Speculawyer says:

            Lol! Good one.

  7. Larry says:

    So what would be a realistic discount to justify taking one of the 22 kWh crippled Rex models off their hands?

    1. Andrew K says:

      It probably won’t be “worth it”. It would be better to get one fresh off lease with a warranty because the 33kwh is going to drive down used prices like the 2013 Leaf upgrades did.

      1. Larry says:

        The concept of purchasing any new EV is probably insanity, but I’m not into buying used. I would plan on keeping any car purchased new until it has been run to the end of its lifespan so that the depreciation would be moot.

  8. Jeffrey Songster says:

    Looks like moves in the right direction… hope they revved the general car… seems like lots of little tweaks were needed. Glad to see they are still in it. Now they need to get the price down and get ready to get a 200 miler ready too.

  9. JakeY says:

    It is funny that they advertise the tank size increasing to 2.4 gallons. In reality, it was always 2.4 gallons, they just software limited it to 1.9 gallons for the CARB BEVx shenanigan.

    http://insideevs.com/u-s-bmw-i3-rex-actually-has-2-4-gallon-gas-tank-but-clever-software-limits-fueling-to-1-9-gallons/

    What actually happened is with the bigger pack, the EV range will be more than gasoline range even with 2.4 gallons, so they unlocked it.

  10. SparkEV says:

    Efficient, powerful, enough range for intercity (in CA anyway), it’s almost perfect if not for high price. It’s sad that it may not do well due to Bolt.

  11. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “…the refreshed 2017 BMW i3 will get 94 Ah cells, which will bump battery capacity up to 33 kWh (from 22 kWh today) and will increase range substantially to ‘up to 114 miles,’ according to BMW.”

    Am I missing something here?

    A 50% increase in battery capacity from using higher energy density cells should result in a more-or-less 50% increase in electric range.

    So why is the EV range only increasing from 81 miles to 114?

    1. Carcus says:

      The original 22 kWh pack weighs 506 lbs … Half again is about a 253 pound increase. Close to the same weight as the Rex (264 lbs) which dropped i3 electric range by 9 miles (81 to 72).

    2. Tman says:

      Maybe because they’re using 82% of the pack instead of 85% in the 22kWh version.

      22kWh version – 18.8kWh usable
      33kWh version – 27.2kWh usable

      18.8kWh – 27.2kWh = 45% increase
      81miles – 114miles = 41% increase, still does not add up.

      Another thing to note is the weight gain.

      22kWh BEV – 1195kg(2635)lbs
      22kWh REX – 1315kg(2899)lbs

      33kWh BEV – 1343kg(2961)lbs = +148kg(326)lbs
      33kWh REX – 1467kg(3234)lbs = +152kg(335)lbs

      Looks like they added more stuff to the update maybe to improve NVH. The carbon fiber construction doesn’t look as lightweight as it used to. For comparison the much roomier all steel Chevy Bolt is 1624kg(3580)lbs. that’s a 147kg(346)lbs advantage for the i3 REX. Interesting times.

      1. alohart says:

        The 2017 BEV weighs more than the 2016 REx!! I’m very disappointed by the significantly increased weight which will hurt efficiency, performance, and cargo weight capacity unless the suspension and maybe tires have been beefed up (even more weight). Certainly the 94 aH battery cells can’t weigh 50% more than the 60 aH cells because much of the cell’s weight is due to electrochemically inactive stuff that should not have changed. So what caused the added weight? I’ll stick with our light, nimble 2014 BEV.

        1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

          The cells are likely heavier, even if the density/kWh has increased.

      2. Manuel says:

        The numbers of the 33 kWh version are wrong.

        These are the correct weights:

        33 kWh BEV: 1245 kg (22 kWh BEV: 1195 kg)
        33 kWh REX: 1365 kg (22 kWh REX: 1315 kg)

        So the weight gain is exactly 50 kg for BEV and REX.

        1. alohart says:

          If true, that’s very reasonable. BMW needs to proofread its press releases before releasing them if they’re incorrect.

      3. Mike says:

        I wonder if you’re comparing the “right” weights. If you check BMWs site, the i3 BEV is listed as weighing 2634/2799 for “DIN/EU”.

        2799 gives it +162lbs, a more reasonable number.

        1. Pajda says:

          That’s it. On BMW webpage there was listed an unladen weight till now. But with this new version they switched to DIN weight. So the diference is 40kg only.

      4. Andrew K says:

        It’s interesting to note that even at ~3200lbs the REX33 weighs about as much as a modern Golf, 3 Series, Impreza, or ATS. All that while having this heavy drivetrain to lug around isn’t too bad.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Thanks to all who responded.

      Actually, my post was the result of me not thinking it through properly. 150% of 81 is 121.5, and 114 miles isn’t that far off the mark. With the law of diminishing returns, it shouldn’t be expected that BMW would quite achieve a 50% increase.

      1. alohart says:

        If the only difference was increased battery pack capacity without increased weight, 121 miles should have been the new range. A German press release reportedly states that the battery pack weight increased by only 50 kg (110 lb), yet that car’s weight increased by 150 kg (330 lb). German i3’s will reportedly include DC and 3-phase AC charging as standard which would increase the weight a bit, but certainly not 100 kg (220 lb). Was the suspension beefed up to accommodate the greater weight without reducing the gross vehicle weight (i.e., the cargo weight limit)? What explains the additional 100 kg. over the increased battery pack weight?

  12. Jasleinstein says:

    When BMW launched the i3 they stated 90 miles per charge. In fact on cool days we might get 60 on warm days 70. So now they call the new range 114 which means 70 to 80 miles. psssst. Now if they could only find someone to write decent software and create better plastic for the locks, covers, doors etc.

    1. alohart says:

      Your experience doesn’t match mine. I routinely get 105 miles of range (5.6 mi/kWh) with our BEV on warm days (in Honolulu, we don’t have cool days 🙂 I would expect to get ~150 miles range on a 2017 BEV if its disappointingly heavier weight doesn’t decrease its efficiency too much. But everyone’s driving conditions differ, so YMMV.

    2. jelloslug says:

      I can get over 80 on just about any day. I got 98 miles at just above freezing once.

      1. Nix says:

        Jello — How would you describe your driving style? Do you do a lot of regen, or do you do a lot of gliding?

        Honestly curious, since I’d like to know how to get the best range out of an i3, and it sounds like you are doing quite well at it.

  13. chris says:

    In the EU they launched the i3 with 118miles BEV range.

    The messaging, and brochure then changed over the course of 2014/15 with “up to 80 miles”.

    Samsung SDI was just not working fast enough on those cell improvements – maybe harsh (although totally in line with their own prediction on their timeline shown on their website).

  14. Martin says:

    Thoughts and infos i found elsewhere:

    – It’s a 50kg (30lbs) weight gain.

    – In Europe the new i3 also gets an 11kw charger now standard. Apparently they also tweaked the engine electronics so the new i3 is actually even more efficient than before.

    – They’re also leaving a lot more battery buffer than before which, as we all know, increases battery life further.

    – Crazy thing about europe, and yes i know how real it is, the official range figure is now 300km per charge and more than 420km with the range extender which makes it basically road trip capable if you also count in that the range extender now leaves more battery power to spare for uphill legs etc.

    1. alohart says:

      50 kg would be 110, not 30 lb. I read that this is the weight increase of just the battery pack, yet the car’s weight has increased by 130 kg (330 lb), so what explains the remaining 100 kg (220 lb)?

      1. Manuel says:

        The numbers in the article are simply wrong. The weight gain is 50 kg.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          It’s BMW USA on the weight rating for US:

          http://www.bmwusanews.com/newsrelease.do?id=2617&mid=

  15. Paul says:

    With 27.2kWh usable it will have 0.2 kWh more then the Kia Soul EV, which gives me a true 200 km range in summer with a max. speed of 100 km/h.

    The Kia has less range problems in winter then what BMW drivers seem to experience, so I guess for all-year-round-driving the Soul is still the range winner (apart from Tesla).

  16. GSP says:

    I think BMW has done a great job with several meaningful improvements that increase usability.

    I think they are working hard to sell as many as they can. The PR does show that they haven’t quite fully understood electric propulsion yet:

    “The motor generates an output of 170 hp and delivers 184 lb-ft of torque which is available as soon as the electric motor begins to turn.”

    Of course, as with any EV, there is no need for the motor to turn at all to produce it’s rated torque output. Still some leftover ICE thinking.

    GSP

    1. mr. M says:

      There is no way to measure torque at 0 rpm….

      1. Of course there is. Torque is twisting force. It doesn’t have to turn to be measured.

      2. mustang_sallad says:

        tell that to my torque wrench.

        1. The torque wrench that can measure torque (twisting force) without moving the bolt or nut?

          Maybe you need a new torque wrench?

  17. Seth says:

    Move the inverter and charger over to the right of the motor in the rear and lower the trunk floor by 15 cm for extra boot space.

    Win.

    1. Aaron says:

      That would mean two different installations for the BEV vs. the REx version of the car. You’re talking about moving the inverter over to where the REx would be.

      Since this car was NOT “born electric” but rather “born as a half-assed hybrid”, those kinds of compromises must be made.

  18. mhpr262 says:

    The should offer the option to put an extra battery pack in the space used by the gas engine and gas tank. I bet a lot of people would choose that option. Tesla and their ill-fated 40kwh Model S version show that people want as much range as they can possibly get, even if they have to pay more.

    1. Apkungen says:

      They should just add a 10gallon gas tank instead. Doesn’t take up much space. 120 miles ev range plus another 300miles when you can’t charge would be awesome. Every car on the road should have that drive train.

      1. Aaron says:

        BMW doesn’t rate their REx engine for that much run time. They want it as an emergency backup, rather than a run-time component of the drivetrain. The Volt’s ICE was designed to work directly as part of the powertrain, and can even drive the wheels (whereas BMW’s ICE cannot).

      2. Cerio says:

        Make up your mind. Either your want a battery-electric car or you want an ICE car. An i3 with Rex make sense only for very(!) few people. Wanting the gas tank even bigger so you carry around 200 useless kilograms thru every acceleration and deceleration during the first 100 miles tells me that you are an ICE person. Admit it and live on happily.
        The option of a second battery good for another 100 miles in the space of REX-engine and tank makes much more sense for people who are actually interested in sustainable transportation. As is the DC fast charger as a standard.

        Others (like you) might find the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid ideal to their philosophy.

        1. The combination of ubiquitous fast charging and long-ish range EVs is what will get us of oil. Of course, those fast charging stations need to be fast and trouble free, too.

          Clinging to gasoline wasn’t any different than clinging to buggy whips and horses from 100 years ago.

        2. David Murray says:

          I have to say that’s a pretty dumb argument. You complain that a Rex user carries around all of this extra weight they don’t use. yet, adding a larger battery would be even MORE weight carried around that is not used.

          I prefer the Rex design. It gives the ultimate flexibility. And something a lot of people don’t think about is battery replacements. My Volt may need a new battery in 10-15 years. That battery should be a lot cheaper than a 90Kwh battery in a Tesla. And the ICE components will have hardly been used.

          1. JakeY says:

            “adding a larger battery would be even MORE weight carried around that is not used.”
            Actually this is not true for a battery. The extra capacity of a battery is always “used” in the following ways:
            1) It reduces wear on the battery (lower cycles per mile, smaller SOC range for same trip, lower charge/discharge C-rate).
            2) Allows greater output power (kW).
            3) Allows quicker charging (kW).

            Whereas a larger gas tank doesn’t really have any benefits if you don’t use it.

      3. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        Second drivetrain or generator doesn’t leave much space. Or small generator can’t sustain highway speeds in less than perfect conditions.
        Range extenders like below may evolve into something more practical:
        http://serenergy.com/applications/mobility/#toggle-id-3
        Only if it can be made to run on ethanol, not toxic methanol.

    2. Nix says:

      mhpr —

      Are you willing to pay an extra $15,000 dollars for a larger gas tank?

      Because that is the maximum penalty that BMW could have to pay for each BMW i3 REX that has a gas tank larger than their current gas tank that doesn’t earn them the same ZEV credits as a pure EV.

  19. Apkungen says:

    I think range will be even more than 117 miles for many. The 30kwh leaf gives you 107miles epa. This one is 3kwh larger which should give another 15miles plus the i3 is a smaller car and i think the most efficient in the epa cycle tests. At least 5% more efficient then the leaf. I think almost 130miles will be the official epa rating.

    1. Using my standard 62mph/100km range test, I estimate:

      4.5 miles per kWh with 29kWh usable when new = 130 miles

      Longer range, in fact, than the current BMW i3 hybrid with the gasoline motorcycle engine fully depleted, also.

      1. For the new LEAF with “30kWh battery, I estimate:

        3.9 miles per kWh * 26.5kWh = 103 miles

      2. alohart says:

        Some sources have reported the 2017 i3’s usable battery pack capacity as 27.2 kWh, or 122 miles in your constant speed highway test. Today’s BMW press releases contain so many inconsistencies that it’s difficult to know what is correct.

      3. SparkEV says:

        You tested SparkEV at 100 km/h to average 5 mi/kWh. You expect new BMW i3 to be 10% worse? I hope not.

  20. LOL says:

    Bolt will easily outdo this new i3. Once it is rolled out later this year ,the first batch to be sent to Europe. Guess the ratio will be 5:1, in Bolt’s favor. Until Model 3 comes Bolt stands fair chances of being the unbeatable champion. Wonder in what European countries Bolt will initially be on sale ..

    1. alohart says:

      What do you figure the ratio of Chevrolet to BMW sales is in the U.S.? Chevrolet makes cars for the masses whereas BMW doesn’t. Although the Bolt hasn’t been independently tested yet, I’m confident that its front wheel drive configuration with a twist beam rear suspension and considerably more weight will result in a considerably worse driving experience compared with the i3’s rear wheel drive and multilink rear suspension and much lighter weight. Most people probably don’t care, but those who tend to buy BMW’s do.

  21. Tobie says:

    If BMW can’t do it someone in the aftermarket needs to step in and provide a upgraded fuel capacity option. With 5 or 7 gallons on board the i3 would be significantly more competitive against something like the Volt.

    1. No, I don’t believe the gasoline tank size is the only issue. There just isn’t enough power to fully handle real mountains like we have in the western USA.

      Perhaps an 800cc motor might help, instead of the 650cc. (BMW has both on the motorcycles).

      The Volt hybrid is an entirely different and far more capable long distance gasoline car that can operate as an electric for 38-53 miles.

      The BMW i3 hybrid is very compromised in basic performance.

      1. a-kindred-soul says:

        It seems the Rex does its job rather well in Europe, where it has a 21% bigger tank and the ICE can start running earlier then at a nearly empty battery, so there are no problems taking the motorway up into the Alps. It’s the Californian rules that cripple the i3.

        1. Spider-Dan says:

          Don’t forget that BMW is the one who lobbied for those “Californian rules” to be created, and BMW is the only manufacturer that makes (or has even announced) a car that meets those requirements.

  22. Chris B says:

    Agree that BMW missed a huge marketing opportunity here to increase the size of the tank just another gallon or so to hit the magic “200” mile range number. They could have touted the daily “all electric” experience while still offering longer distance travel. They could have positioned their 200 mile solution as being even more flexible than the Bolt and Model 3…and declared it to be available much sooner than the other two. Opportunity lost…

    1. There is absolutely NO WAY that BMW will compromise the ZEV status of their gasoline burning hybrid by making the gasoline tank bigger. NO WAY.

      The BMW i3 hybrid “REx” is the only gasoline burning car to receive the very necessary and valuable ZEV credits.

      Since hybrids inhibit the deployment of ubiquitous fast charger (my humble opinion), I would remove the i3 hybrid from the ZEV credit list. Then, BMW can put a 20 gallon gasoline tank, if they want, plus mountain mode, and all the other features that hybrid owners want.

      1. Chris B says:

        Tony, what is the specific restriction on the Beverly credit? I thought it was that the car could not have more gas range than electric? If I am right, then they could have increased the size of the tank by a single gallon or so, achieved 93 miles of gas range, 107 miles on battery and hit the magic 200 miles figure. Is the Bevx classification tighter than that? Does it restrict the total gas miles, etc?

    2. Speculawyer says:

      The i3 definitely has problems with mountains. But most of the time it works fine. This can be fixed by having a ‘mountain mode’ that saves the battery power until you hit the slopes. They could also have CCS stations at the base of all big inclines and have the vehicle flash a message to the drive when they approach the incline that they need to charge up.

      Yeah, those are kinda klunky solutions but the issue doesn’t affect most driving.

  23. ct200h says:

    I have a 2014 i3 rex. The improvemnt to the 2017 range is meaningful , I would likely go to a 2017 BEV i3 to simplify things and get rid of the ice rex. and its associated CEL’s
    I also like the fact that they added standard features of comfort access and the homelink opener and real time traffic. For the price they should have made a backup camera standard for 2017. Its expected at this price and needed on the i3 as rear visibilty when backing is poor. My lease is up in December and i know ill test drive and be tempted by the 2017 I3. But I will also be shopping CPO model S !

    1. Larry says:

      Too bad it’s not mandated by NHTSA until May, 2018!

  24. jelloslug says:

    I will probably lease one to fill the gap between my current i3 that goes back in a few months and my already ordered Model 3

  25. Alex says:

    Congrats BMW, only gasoline manufactur next to Renault-Nissan really wants to sell the EVs they offer. Or where will be the Bolt offered in Africa, China, Japan, Australia, UK, NO!

  26. jimstack007 says:

    BWM will now be almost as good as our KIA SOUL EV. AT over $10K most in price.

  27. David Murray says:

    Except the i3 can run circles around a Kia Soul EV with it’s pitiful sized electric motor.

    1. Rick Danger says:

      You are even more delusional than usual.
      Sorry, but the Tesla Model ≡ is going to chew this ugly, pitiful, overpriced 114 mile runabout up and spit it all over the sidewalk.

      1. alohart says:

        By the time the Model 3 is available is significant numbers, the i3 will almost certainly have had another battery pack capacity upgrade. Samsung has already announced more energy-dense battery cells.

        Look at all the different vehicle types on the road. Not everyone wants a heavy, steel 4-door sedan. The future i3 will do just fine as will the Model 3.

  28. Bill Howland says:

    I have yet to have this adequately explained to me:

    1). Let’s say California’s HOBBLED I3 Rex is a given and don’t change a thing about.

    2). NY state, for instance, supposedly is a CARB state, but doesn’t have to blindly follow every edict by them, so I’m told. Why couldn’t BMW import an I3 with a larger gas tank in Non-California states? Or is the ‘Carb state consortium’ a ball of wax they couldn’t negotiate easily?