In-depth reviews

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

Overall rating

3.0 out of 5

Range, battery & charging rating

3.0 out of 5

Price
£32,900 - £36,895
Fuel Type:
Electric
RangeWallbox charge time   Rapid charge time
175-189 miles6hrs (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.

Charge time

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.

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