BMW i4 range, battery & charging

Claimed range numbers are promising, but depending on how you drive, the real-world figures aren’t quite as good

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5

Range, battery & charging rating

4.0 out of 5

ModelRangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
eDrive40365 miles13hrs (0-100%, 7.4kW)31mins (10-80%, 205kW)
M50318 miles13hrs (0-100%, 7.4kW)31mins (10-80%, 205kW)

A big battery and fast charging speeds always add up to a good score in this section, so it’s not surprising that the i4 is one of the better choices for those prone to range anxiety. It’s not perfect, though; as always, the claimed maximum range is tricky to replicate in the real world, and not every public charging point out there right now can take full advantage of the i4’s fastest possible charging speed of 205kW.

BMW i4 range

Both the eDrive40 and top-of-the-range M50 versions of the i4 use an 81kWh battery, which provides enough power for ranges of 365 and 318 miles respectively. But when the tested an i4 eDrive40 it returned an average of 3.8 miles per kilowatt hour (mi/kWh), which equates to a real-world range of around 307 miles. Both very good figures in our opinion, however we've seen the Tesla Model 3 manage a much more impressive 4.4mi/kWh.

What's more, despite the claimed 318-mile range of the M50, at the start of a test drive, we had 90% charge and an indicated range of just 232 miles. After a 91-mile route on a variety of roads, the battery had depleted to 44% capacity, with 112 miles remaining.

Charge time

You can recharge the i4 at up to 205kW, if you can find a fast enough rapid charger. If you do, topping up the 81kWh battery from 10-80% will take around 30 minutes; you can add 102 miles of range to the eDrive40 in 10 minutes, or 87 miles to the M50 in the same time. More people are likely to charge at home, though, and the i4 is capable of AC charging at up to 11kW, which will replenish the battery in eight-and-a-half hours. Using a more common 7.4kW home wallbox, it'll take around 13 hours to fully replenish the battery.

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