BMW updates the i3 and gives it more range
Recently, BMW’s CEO Harold Krueger mentioned that the upgraded 2016 BMW i3 had an increased range and power. This caught the EV world with a surprise. He said this in an interview with Die Zeit, raising concerns on how BMW would achieve this in such a short while. Can BMW achieve this while Samsung, the giant mobile and tech firm says that the 94 Ah cells under its Battery Technology Roadmap would not be available till late 2017? How effective would this battery pack be than the being used in the 2014 BMW i3? All these are some of the many questions asked in relation to this upgrade that many did not really see coming.
The new battery is said to have higher density, giving pure electric range of over 114 miles. This means that it will add 34 more miles to what the 2014 BMW i3 in the market is offering. The physical size of the new battery would be just the same as the old, fitting perfectly in the battery tray. However it will be heavier, but with better performance. In addition, 2017 i3 will undergo a facelift, silencing its critics who claim that the electric car has no sporty appeal synonymous with Bummers. This is set to project the sales of the upgraded BMW i3 highly in the US and European markets, competing with renown rivals such as Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3.
The current BMW i3 already has a lot of power but, an upgrade will see this increase by quite a big margin. According to a BMW Blog report, the upgraded BMW i3 would have its range increased from the current 80 miles to 120 miles. The increase in miles is set to counter competition that the current i3 is facing from Nissan Leaf with 155 miles. The 2017 i3 will have an output of 125 kilowatts or 170 horsepower. The torque on its rear mounted motor, 184 pounds per square feet remains unchanged. The acceleration, 0-60 mph will be in 7 seconds when on electric power alone.
According to BMW inside information, the new i3 will have Samsung’s 94AH battery cells. The production of this battery pack will start in July 2016. The battery size will be the same as that of the 2014 BMW i3.
However, the battery is said to be heavier but allowing approximately 90% of the pack as usable energy. This means that the total available energy 30kWh and the electric car can cover over 120 miles on pure electric energy. With this extended range, BMW is sure to add the capacity of its petrol tank from the current 1.9 gallon capacity to 2.4 gallons, although in the long run, this could affect the car’s boot space. In order to boost its range, the car will come with a 0.65 litre range extender two cylinder gas engine. This is to keep the car going further after turning on the 34 bhp generator when the battery has drained its power. Through this, i3 can attain close to 200 miles of range, being promised by the Chevy Volt.
It is expected that the upgraded battery will be charged to full capacity in under 4 hours, when using its 7.4 kilowatt charger that will be connected to a 240 volt Level 2 charging station. The direct charge of the car has a quick charging capability at 5 kilowatts, when the Combined Charging System standard plug is used. This allows the owner to charge the battery up to 80% in just 40 minutes.
External and Internal Upgrades
On its external facelift, BMW intends to add a Protonic Blue metallic paint synonymous with the i8 coupe. It will also have an electric sunroof. This will silence some of the EV’s critics.
The interior will have a dark cloth that has been recycled from other fabrics. In addition, it will have advanced real time traffic data, standard Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing owners monitor its charging behaviour remotely.
Closest Rivals and Price
Although the new i3 is set to make counter competition from its rivals’, its range compared to that of its rivals is still down. However, most of its competitors such as Tesla 3 are expected to be more expensive compared to what BMW i3 is offering. BMW i3’s competitive edge will be from its quirky interior, carbon fibre design and the superior driving dynamics that have improved dramatically despite having a heavier battery pack, giving competitors a run for their money.