Upcoming BMW i3 120Ah Rumored To Go 350 KM (217 Miles) Per Charge


The BMW i3 and i3s models are set to get a range bump before the year ends

In a report published by BMW Blog, the world’s most prominent authority on the Bavarian car maker, the BMW i3 and i3s models are set to get a range update in the forthcoming months. Currently, intensive preparations are underway for the launch of the BMW i3 120Ah, promising a reported standard range – according to NEDC – of over 350 kilometers or 217 miles.

The vehicle is slated to be launched in early 2019 for select markets, with a complete rollout worldwide scheduled in the upcoming year. While the BMW i3 is still primarily a city car, the upgrade in range will most certainly take away the range anxiety for most owners. BMW Blog also expects the new bigger battery to be available as an option upon launch but becoming standard in various i3 models over time.

To be fair, the NEDC testing cycle is less than optimal go gauging the proper range or fuel consumption for most vehicles. Hence, it’s being replaced by the much more real-world friendly WLTP. If we used the BMW iX3 as a showcase, the range numbers differ quite a bit. The upcoming iX3 is rated by NEDC at 500 kilometers, while the WLTP indicated a total range of 400 kilometers for the same vehicle. While the data is inconclusive, we can probably expect around 10-15% less range with the WLTP cycle – but to be sure, we’ll all have to wait for the official figures.

When BMW launched the i3 back in 2013, the vehicle took the automotive world by storm. Its quirky looks and (for that time) impressive range, coupled with extensive use of CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) materials, made the i3 one of the most coveted city slickers that money could buy. With the upcoming upgrade, the BMW i3 would be on track to quickly become one of the most compelling arguments for an all-electric vehicle. Substantial range, paired with the impressive build quality and the premium brand, especially for the Chinese market, would all make it one of the primary choices for most upbeat owners. Hopefully, BMW can deliver the upgraded range and get back into the EV race with a potent competitor real soon.

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80 Comments on "Upcoming BMW i3 120Ah Rumored To Go 350 KM (217 Miles) Per Charge"

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And the new i8 is rumored to go 19 miles in battery only range, up from 18 miles.

Take two thirds off the NEDC range and you’ll get something more real world range. So this equates to around 145 miles or range in real world conditions.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

So less than a 2019 Leaf………..LMAO

Yes, thanks for that insight. Taking a third off of a good simple way of calculating real world range from NEDC. It’s range of around 150 miles makes it one year behind the 2018 Nissan LEAF, not the 2019, which will be around 225 miles range.

More like 160-170 and on Eco plus 180-190

Two third is greatly exaggerated. I took the Model S 100D to compare :
USA site EPA = 539 km (335 Miles)
FR site NEDC = 632 km (393 Miles)
I let you draw your own conclusions about the “real world”.

For the regular i3 :
EPA = 183 km (114 Miles)
NEDC= 230 km (143 miles)
About 1/5 of discrepancy!

I agree, it seems more like 20% off (maybe 25% to be conservative) is a better metric than a full third.

Well said. Maybe 1/3rd is actually too much.

It is why I’m curious to begin to see the WLTP (in Europe) and EPA (in USA) ranges for the same new cars (Jaguar I-Pace, Tesla Model 3,) when WLTP will became mandatory in Europe.

I wish BMW would just talk about kWh like everyone else…

Gross or usable kWh? I think most EV manufacturers state gross kWh in their marketing even though usable kWh is the more important value for owners.

The 120 Ah i3 battery pack should have a gross capacity of ~43 kWh. I don’t think the usable capacity has been stated yet.

Useful figure is range, battery capacity really doesn’t matter.

I am assuming they are using the Samsung SDI 125Ah cells, which are the same size and weight as the old 94Ah ones. The 94Ah i3 is rated at 114 miles on the EPA cycle, which is much more realistic than WTLP or NEDC. Based on that, a 120Ah *usable* battery should be able to get about 144.78 miles. Round up, and you get 145 miles. The old 33kWh/94Ah pack, was about 351v, assuming 33,000Wh/94Ah = 351. So 351v * 120Ah = 42,120Wh or 42.1kWh. On a 50kW fast charger, the 42.1kWh battery should charge to 85% in 40 minutes. A 62.5kW charger drops the 0 to 85% time to 30 minutes. A 70kW charger brings 0 to 85% time to 26 minutes. A 100kW charger brings a 0 to 85% time of 20 minutes. Lastly a 150kW charger brings a 0 t0 85% time of 10 minutes. Of course, this is assuming that the i3 can take the current that these chargers can put out(they should, I have seen off-the-shelf prismatic cells that can charge at 3C up to 85%), and that the voltage is high enough(351v nominal voltage, so it’s unlikely the i3 would ever see high enough… Read more »

“which is much more realistic than WTLP or NEDC”

Don’t lump WLTP with NEDC together. WLTP is much better and representative of real-world conditions.

It is still quite optimistic, compared to EPA ratings.

The 2018 Leaf is 151 on EPA, 168 on WLTP, and 235 (as I recall) on NEDC. Tells you all you need to know really.

Thanks to post that. Quiet interesting. All in miles, obviously.

Range extender with hold mode here in the states?

Not sure. I don’t actually have an i3.
AFAIK some people have used software to enable hold mode on the US i3.

The i3 uses BEV cells, not PHEV cells, i.e. they are optimised for maximal capacity rather than higher charge rates. 3C is extremely unlikely.

“When BMW launched the i3 back in 2013, the vehicle took the automotive world by storm.”

Really? Please.

Probably it was a stormy day when they launched it :).

Well, it’s built of carbon fiber and light weight materials. STILL the only premium BEV on the market (until I-Pace arrives). It’s the most fun BEV to drive (yes, I own a Model S P85 too) and it looks really cool. On a side note, it’s a city car so I don’t really understand why they give it an even bigger battery.

It is far from “Premium”, I owned one and can attest to that.

Those stupid doors for the back seats…. you need to take of your seatbelt and then the passenger needs to reach on the inside to open the door. Well done BMW…

I love them. I only drive myself and that’s it. Reminds me of my Honda Element

Honda should turn the BEV into a range extender 100 miles Ev and 150 miles on gas no detente on peddle full electric like the volt

Love those back door. I can fit huge items in the back seat through the side door without even holding them down. Also I’ve gone almost a hundred fifty miles on my 33 kwh battery while on a hwy trip.

Was that with battery only?

Yes. Mine is a BEV. Done on 97% charge. 150 miles was definitely doable.

It is functionally better than a 2 door. Many prefer 2 doors but want easy access to back seats and the i3 is great for that. No, it is not as easy to access the rear seats as a 4 door.

I find it easier to get in and out of the back than a comparably-sized 4-door. Had a GTI before the i3 and the coach doors are better unless you’re parked close to something.

Great with child seats. Easy to take the kids out.

Agreed. Back doors are one of its best features.

Plus no child lock necessary on the doors to the back.

*forward facing child seats. It’s terrible with rear-facing convertible seats.

I own an i3 and have a 20 month old, so I would know.

Great, but now start over with a new design. Who the heck approved that knowing what Tesla had?

The i3 is an compact urban luxury car. There is no Tesla equivalent. Only MINI makes a similar car.

It’s not a luxury car.

Since when does Tesla have a luxury hatchback?

Model S is a hatchback 😉

The goals for the Model S differed from the i3 and vice versa. The comparison is erroneous.

Does BMW know anything about the battery packs of other EV models that are already on the market?

The BMW i3 would be a great EV if it just had a 64 kWh battery pack.

No it wouldn’t. A 64 kWh battery pack with today’s battery cell energy densities would make an i3 much too heavy. An i3 is designed to be a nimble urban/suburban car, not a heavy highway cruiser like any Tesla.

Weight’s the enemy here. We’ll get efficiencies to the point where somebody with a 120 KW-hour battery pack looks as silly as somebody bragging about their 60 gallon gas tank.

A BMW getting 6+ miles per KW-hour on a 50 KW-hour battery pack keeps weight and bulk down, while giving great packaging at a good price.

I would love a 60 gallon gas tank. Would be amazing for towing. My current 36 gallon tank gets me around 300 miles per fillup.

Efficiency values won’t go up significantly. The drivetrains are already pretty close to 100%; and there is only so much you can do to reduce rolling resistance and air drag.

There is ALWAYS room for improvement.
Side mirrors replaced with side cameras, lighter but more energy dense battery packs, and further weight reductions overall of at least 50kg should give the i3 an epa range of 250+ miles next decade.

Yes, you can save a few percent here and there — but it’s no replacement for bigger batteries.

You mean with the i3’s cell’s energy densities, not “today’s”.

Those SDI cells are 175 Wh per kg. Total weight of all 96 cells is 192kg, not including case, cooling, electronics, etc.

60 kWh of Tesla cells would weigh under 200 kg. 60 kWh of Leaf cells would weigh 268 kg, which is only about 150lbs extra weight.

That’s less than the REX weighs, so even BMW doesn’t think it’s “much too heavy”.

Yes we need a new 50kwh battery pack at around 100kg in it for i3 to more easily hit the 200+ mile range

I don’t think you’re paying attention. The current cells weigh 192kg, and the full pack much more.

It does NOT need a 50kWh pack weighing only 100kg. That’s waaaay in the future. It needs 50 kWh of cells weighing 250kg, which is doable today.

BMW uses single 60/90/120AH cells in battery pack. They are way more reliable than stripped Tesla notebook cells. So i3 owner can expect to reuse it’s old battery pack in garage with sun and wind installation and Tesla owner not.



Efficiency is the wave of the future here, so I’m glad BMW, Nissan and Hyundai are showing some leadership, even as “The Big T” doubles down on 6000# cars and 200 KW-hour battery packs.

What Tesla weighs 6000 pounds? AFAIK the heaviest Model X is only 5500 pounds.
Even Roadster should weight less than Model 3.

With the extra drive unit and the giant battery, I’m pretty sure the New Roadster will weigh somewhat more than Model 3.

Model 3 LR RWD has the best highway efficiency as far as I’m aware, (slightly) surpassing even the IONIQ.

WTF are they doing talking about NEDC for a new car?
Still, that did seem out of whack with the existing cars so that explains it.
Too little, too late.

?? 120 KWH battery on an I3 only gives 217 MPC, while an 85 kwh battery on MS/MX give more than 230 MPC. The I3 is smaller than the TM3, so Why is the German car so horrible on range?

Because it’s not a 120kWh battery. It is 120Ah. Units are important. It is approximately 43kWh.

Learn how to read

OK, you travel east from Denver to say Limon Colorado. Where do you charge? Or east from Austin to say Columbus Texas. Where do you charge?

It’s a city car.

Then why a big battery or a range extender?

To appease range anxiety, mostly.

Any of the millions of electrical outlets along the route…check PlugShare app. Many folk open up their garage level 2 charging stations free for short range bevs such as yours

Would anyone have any idea if this new battery could be put into a older model car as a range upgrade?

The reason why I ask is that a lot of the 2014 cars are still going for $15,000 dollars which might make it worth while to upgrade the range from a first generation battery to the state of the art battery.

Stop with the Amp hour rating…everyone uses KWH….get with the program.

Will i3 go with the same design and motor. What about the price?
Will it stick with the same $43K price tag.

Meanwhile a new 2022 i3 is being designed , where the charging rate ( currently at 50KWH max) will be adjusted and increased matching the higher capacity of the new battery. The rex start at 75% will be adjusted to 85% in 2024.
The current 94h battery , which can support higher charge will get the update in 2020 to 65KWH

Did you read that somewhere, or are you just daydreaming?…

Last time I heard, it was questionable whether the i3 will survive at all when BMW introduces their next generation platform…

Are they upgrading the Rex too? It would be crazy good to have 150 ev miles and also get an extender.

Less or no need for a fossil fools extender if your range is much better, you can quick charge much faster and there are many more charging options

No REX anymore availble for I3 (starting with 120Ah battery version / end of 2018)

kilometre is written all lowercase “km”, not “KM”, which looks like a brand of canned beans.

Sign me up!!!

I hope they will increase the charge power to 100 kW, it’s more important than the actual driving range.