The new BMW i3 now goes 314 kilometres on a single charge

Posted on: 2016-05-04

While the world’s concentration has been fixed on the Tesla Model 3, BMW has announced a new, bigger 94Ah battery for its i3. It’s got a higher power density, and thusly goes further on a charge.

BMW claims up to 314km of e-range - as long as you’re on the standard 19-inch wheels. Upgrade to 20s and the range drops to 296km, but given the current (sorry) i3 managed about 121-145km before requiring a plug socket, that’s one heck of an upgrade.
You can bet Chevy’s similarly-sized Bolt EV. with its projected 322km range, is looking over its shoulder too. Especially with the i3 sporting its natty new ‘Protonic Blue’ paintwork – a hue nicked straight from the i8 sports car.

It’s no slouch itself, the i3: with 168bhp and 249Nm available from standstill it’ll hit 100kmh in 7.3 seconds (a tenth slower than the old version with the smaller battery), and the way it leaps away from zip to 48kmh or so will leave just about every front-wheel drive hot hatch wheezing.

You can still buy a Range-Extender version of the i3, which twins a 647cc two-cylinder petrol engine with the electric motor so you’re never totally out of charge. It’s 120kg heavier, so 0-100kmh takes 8.1 seconds, but BMW claims a 444km combined range.

It doesn’t do much for the i3’s reputation as a costly little EV, however – at £30,980 after the UK government’s £4500 grant has been applied, it’s £3600 pricier than the all-electric version. Price and range will have been part of the reason i3 sales didn’t light up BMW’s spreadsheets last year, but could this 314km version be the car to change all that? Especially now you can spec it in blue…


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