BMW to extend i3's electric range in 2016 update

BMW i3 in london
23 Nov, 2015 10:30am Lawrence Allan

BMW confirms plans to increase the battery range of its i3 at the start of next year, with around 130 miles of electric driving expected

BMW's i3 has been out since 2013, yet is still considered one of the most cutting-edge electric cars on the road. Now, the Nissan Leaf rival is set to take you further on a charge, thanks to battery tweaks to increase driving range.

Although a BMW spokesperson confirmed the full details will be announced "by the end of the year", it's unknown exactly how they will do this. It's thought that the existing lithium-ion battery pack will either increase in capacity or become more dense, thanks to improved tech.

BMW i3 rear 3/4

The current i3's battery pack has a capacity of 22kWh and promises a range on full charge of just under 100 miles. That's significantly less than the newly updated Nissan Leaf, which offers a 30kWh pack and claims a range of 155 miles. It's thought that BMW wants to bring its electric car more into line with the Leaf.

BMW i3 review

It's also predicted that both the Range Extender and battery-only i3 will receive the tweaks. It's not clear yet whether it will take longer to charge, yet we expect the BMW to retain the option of an 80 per cent fast charge. We also don't know if the update will bring along a price increase, but we will find out in due course.

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