Rumours surrounding the BMW i3 receiving a battery upgrade have been circulating for some time and have now been amplified. Apparently BMW has been preparing intensively to introduce a 120 Ah battery by the end of 2018 or, early 2019.
The NEDC range for the new battery would upgrade the i3 to a 350 km range, according to a report by the BMW blog. A year ago, they already predicted that the company was planning to use battery cells with a 120 Ah capacity by the end of 2018 (we reported).
The total capacity of the battery would rise to about 42 kWh and allow for a significantly higher range. In everyday life – and we are talking from experience as our editor-in-chief drives an i3 – the 94 Ah cells last for about 200 kilometres realistically, while the NEDC indicates 300 km. An upgrade to 120 Ah would thus result in about 400 km in NEDC terms and in 260 to 300 km in real-life.
In terms of market entry, the report states that the new 120 Ah batteries will receive similar treatment to the 94 Ah batteries – at first the bigger battery will be available as an upgrade, before it eventually replaces the smaller version as serial components.
The market entry of the i3 was about five years ago. At the last IAA, the Bavarians also presented a successor model, flanked by the new Performance variant i3s. The global market rollout for the newly fitted i3 and the i3S started last November.