BMW i3 range, battery & charging
A battery upgrade for 2019 gave the BMW i3 longer legs, with a real-world range of around 160 miles
|Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|175-189 miles||6hrs (7.4kW, 0-100%)||45mins (50kW, 0-80%)|
Thanks to higher-density battery technology, BMW was able to improve the range without having to modify the body or reducing interior space. Now, in terms of range, the i3 sits perfectly between the 159-mile range offered by the Volkswagen e-up! And the Vauxhall Corsa-e, which has a maximum range of 209 miles.
BMW i3 range
Now with a 42.2kWh lithium-ion battery stashed under the floor, the latest version of the standard 168bhp i3 can return up to 189 miles of range under official testing, while the corresponding figure for the 181bhp i3s is 175 miles. In the real world, you can expect to get around 160 miles in warmer temperatures, although that'll dip to some 140 miles or less in bad weather or with a lot of motorway miles.
Using a standard three-pin plug and regular domestic wall socket, it’ll take up to 20 hours to fully charge the BMW i3. However, fit a 7kW BMW i wallbox and you can reduce that to six hours. Plug into a 50kW rapid charger of the kind found in motorway services and you'll get an additional 100 miles of range in around 30 minutes.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe BMW i3 was one of the first electric cars to make everyday drivers sit up and take notice, with its cool style, good handling and practical range
- 2Range, battery & charging - currently readingA battery upgrade for 2019 gave the BMW i3 longer legs, with a real-world range of around 160 miles
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe BMW i3 is pricier than some less premium rivals, but day-to-day running costs are similarly low
- 4Performance, motor & driveGreat handling and nippy acceleration make the BMW i3 one of the best electric cars to drive, although ride comfort is particularly firm in the i3s
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortIt’s spacious for four people, but the BMW i3’s suspension makes things a little too bumpy on the move
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityCompact exterior dimensions belie the BMW i3’s roomy interior, but it only has seats for four
- 7Reliability & safety ratingCrash safety is good for occupants, and BMW ranks decently for reliability