BMW Adds New Features and Greater Range to i3 for 2017

By Paul Riegler on 3 May 2016
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A BMW i3 charging on the streets of Copenhagen.

A BMW i3 charging on the streets of Copenhagen.

BMW’s electric city car will get a significant boost in range for the upcoming model year.

On Monday, the automaker announced a new version of the i3 electric vehicle with a more powerful battery and larger fuel tank for the range extender. The vehicle’s electric range will increase from 80 miles (xx kilometers) 114 miles (xxx kilometers).

For 2017, the i3’s battery capacity jumps more than 50%, from 22 kWh to 33, with no change in the physical size of the battery pack thanks to the use of higher energy density lithium ion cells.

The fuel tank on the i3 Range Extender model, which uses a 650 cc two-cylinder gasoline engine to charge the battery for longer journeys, will see a capacity increase as well, from 1.9 to 2.4 gallons (xx to xx liters). This should result in an increase in the total range of an i3 with the Range Extender although BMW did not announce what this would be. The current Range extender model is capable of 150 miles (xxx kilometers) on a full charge

Charging will also be faster although a full charge will take 4.5 hours using a Level 2 charger even though the current, less powerful model only requires 3.5 hours. The new i3 will also charge to 80% of capacity within 40 minutes, an increase of 15 minutes from the current version.

BMW is also introducing a new color – Protonic Blue metallic – currently only available on the BMW i8, as well as two non-metallic colors, Capparis White and Fluid Black, increasing the number of options to six total. New standard equipment includes a universal garage door opener, advanced real-time traffic, and comfort keyless access. For the first time, the i3 will have an optional electric moonroof available as well.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)