BMW i3 range, battery & charging

A 2016 battery upgrade gave the BMW i3 longer legs, and it has a decently usable range

New higher-density battery technology has enabled BMW to improve the range for the latest version of the i3, without modifying the car’s basic layout or reducing accommodation for passengers or luggage.

BMW i3 range

Now with a 33kWh lithium-ion battery stashed under the floor, the latest version of the standard 168bhp i3 can drive between 145 and 158 miles on a full charge, measured under the latest testing procedure. BMW reckons a more realistic real-life range is around 125 miles.

Compared to the standard i3, the i3s with its more potent 182bhp motor has a slightly lower ‘official’ range of between 146 and 152 miles. However, BMW suggests the real-world range is likely to be all-but-identical to the standard i3's, at circa 125 miles.

Charge time

Using a standard three-pin plug and regular domestic wall socket, it’ll take up to 15 hours to fully charge the BMW i3 battery from empty. However, fit an 11kW wallbox and invest in a Type 2 fast-charging cable, and you can reduce the time to around three hours at home. BMW reckons rapid chargers of the kind found on motorways can give you an 80% charge in 42 minutes.

Battery warranty

BMW offers an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on its battery pack.