BMW i3 gets a more powerful battery and reaches a range of 312 km

The BMW i3 is one of the few electric car vehicles for sale in many emerging countries, but it was getting dangerously behind the competition in Europe and the USA. While its 22 kWh battery could only sustain a range of 190 km, the Chevrolet Bolt/Opel Ampera-e and the future Tesla Model 3 all offer a 320 km range. This is probably why BMW decided to offer bigger batteries for the i3. With the new 33 kWh package, it can reach 312 km of range in good driving conditions and 200 km in bad weather and with the heater on, for example.

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The BMW i3 is 4 m long, 1.78 m wide, 1.58 m tall and it has a wheelbase of 2.57 m. In its 33 kWh version (also called 94 Ah), it weighs 1,245 kg, or 40 kg more than the weaker version, the 22 kWh (or 60 Ah). Performance is slightly worse for the bigger battery: o to 100 km/h in 7.3 s, while the 22 kWh version does the same in 7.2 s. Top speed is electronically limited to 150 km/h in order to preserve the battery charge. Both cars have the same power: 125 kW (170 cv).

With its range extender, a 647 cm³ 2-cilinder petrol unit, the i3 can have an additional 150 km of range, reaching a more than reasonable 462 km capability with both the batteries and the fuel tank fully loaded.  Prices in Europe are set in € 36,150 for the 33 kWh battery and € 41,150 for the i3 with the range extender (called REX). The 22 kWh battery costs € 34,950. The REX adds € 5,000 to the price, at € 39,950.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.