When the BMW i3 went on sale back in 2013, it had a 22.6 kWh battery with a cell capacity of 60 Ah (ampere hours).
Three years later, its battery capacity was increased to 33 kWh and 94 Ah, and now, the best-selling electrically-powered car in the premium compact segment is available with a 42.2 kWh, 120 Ah battery.
Installed in the floor of the 2019 BMW i3, the high-voltage battery, which is being produced at the company’s plant in Dingolfing, has eight modules, each with twelve storage cells. It can be charged up to 80 percent in 15 hours using a conventional household socket, whereas with BMW’s i Wallbox it can achieve an 80 percent charge in 3.2 hours. At quick charging stations, it can reach that capacity in just 42 minutes.
As a result of the new battery, the range of the i3 has gone up to 359 km (223 mi) and 285-310 km (177-193 mi) in the NEDC and WLTP cycles, respectively, from 290-300 km (180-186 mi) and 235-255 km (146-158 mi).
The i3s version, on the other hand, has a range of 330-345 km (205-214 mi), up from 280 km (174 mi) in the NEDC, and 270-285 km (168-177 mi), compared to the previous 235-245 km (146-152 mi), according to WLTP. BMW estimates that, in everyday conditions, both versions of the EV have a range of 260 km (162 mi), a 60 km (37 mi) increase.
Performance wise, the 2019 i3 that’s powered by a 170 PS (168 hp / 125 kW) electric motor accelerates to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.3 seconds and the i3s, which uses a more powerful motor rated at 184 PS (181 hp / 135 kW), is 0.4 seconds faster.
In addition to the bigger battery, the 2019 i3 now comes with new exterior colors, a revised upholstery inside, an optimized menu display for the iDrive infotainment system, and wireless hotspot connectivity that supports up to 10 devices.
Finally, both versions can now be equipped with adaptive LED headlights, with matrix high beam, as an alternative to the standard LED units.
A ‘Sports Package’ will be available for the i3 as an optional extra. Said to be launched “in the future”, it will improve the driving dynamics thanks to a new sports suspension (a standard feature in the i3s), wider tracks, a 10 mm (0.39 in) lower ride height and 20-inch light alloy wheels in Jet Black or Bicolor finish.