BMW i3 (2013-2022) range, battery & charging
A battery upgrade that arrived in 2019 gave the BMW i3 longer legs, with a real-world range of around 160 miles
|Model||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|i3||189 miles||6hrs 15mins (7.4kW, 0-100%)||36mins (50kW, 10-80%)|
|i3s||175 miles||6hrs 15mins (7.4kW, 0-100%)||36mins (50kW, 10-80%)|
Thanks to improvements in battery technology, BMW was able to improve the i3's range without having to modify the body or reduce interior space when it upgraded the battery in 2019. Now, the car sits perfectly between the 159-mile range offered by the Volkswagen e-up! and the 220-odd miles of the Vauxhall Corsa-e. It offers far more miles between charges than the Mazda MX-30, Honda e and MINI Electric, which all top out at under 150 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 in 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, if you fit a domestic wallbox you can reduce that to six hours. Plug into a rapid charger of the kind found in many motorway service stations and you'll get an additional 100 miles of range in around half an hour.
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 styling, decent handling and useful range
- 2Range, battery & charging - currently readingA battery upgrade that arrived in 2019 gave the BMW i3 longer legs, with a real-world range of around 160 miles
- 3Running costs & insuranceWhen new, the BMW i3 was pricier to buy than some less premium rivals, but day-to-day running costs are as low as for any EV
- 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 typical UK road surfaces
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityCompact dimensions belie the BMW i3's roomy interior, but it only has seating for four
- 7Reliability & safety ratingCrash safety is good for occupants, and BMW ranks well for reliability in customer surveys