BMW’s spring announcement on the next-generation battery for the BMW i3 gaining up to 50-percent more range will come through a new battery pack holding 50-percent more kilowatt hours.
BMW is releasing more details on changes coming up in the 2017 BMW i3. Buyers will have three options to choose starting this fall: a new i3 with a 33 kWh battery pack; a new REx i3 with the larger battery pack and range extender gasoline engine; or an i3 with the original 22-kWh battery pack.
In April, BMW announced a 50-percent range increase and promoted it through a marketing mailer. A 50-percent range increase would be 121 miles for the battery electric car, and 108 miles for the range-extended model. However, it would be less than a 50 percent range increase for the new i3, which is listed at 114 miles. It would be competitive with current EVs on the market such as the 107-mile 2016 Nissan Leaf, but will pale in comparison to the next-gen Leaf with a 60-kWh battery.
Prices for these 2017 models will start at $44,595 for the 33 kWh battery, $48,350 for the Rex 13, and $43,350 for the original 22 kWh battery pack. The 2017 BMW i3 is expected to go on sale in late summer or early fall.
All three versions of the 2017 i3 will have the same 170 horsepower electric motor rated at 184 lb-ft of torque. The all-battery versions can go from 0 to 60 times in just over seven seconds. The REx range-extender model will take about a second longer.
With the new model, BMW will be able to unlock the full capacity of the 2.4 gallon gas tank in the REx. In the US, the capacity of the fuel tank was previously limited electronically to 1.9 gallons.
The new i3 battery pack fits in the same space as the old one but uses new 94 amp-hour lithium ion cells. That offers higher energy density than the 60 amp-hour cells used previously.
The base i3 will continue to be offered in three trim levels—Mega World, Giga World, and Tera World. The i3 with the 33 kWh battery will be offered in new Deka World trim level standard.