BMW’s I subrange of vehicles is to be expanded with the addition of the i3 (94Ah). The 2017 BMW i3 (94 Ah) has a capacity of 33kWh thanks to the higher energy density of the lithium ion cells, an increase in battery capacity of 50%.
In addition to the 50% increase in battery capacity, BMW will also offer the i3 with a range extender option. This will see the addition of a two-cylinder gasoline engine which is switched on once the battery is depleted to 6.5% state of charge.
The revised i3’s 94 ampere hours (Ah) cell capacity and 33 kWh total battery energy have, according to BMW, set new benchmarks in its segment. The revised drivetrain helps deliver an electric range of approximately 114 miles on one full battery charge. Consuming only 27 kWh/100 miles, the BMW i3 is the most efficient car in its segment with the lowest electricity consumption costs of approximately US$2.81/100 miles.
The high-voltage battery of the BMW i3 consists of eight modules with twelve storage cells each and its capacity has increased by more than 50% without any changes in exterior dimensions. By revising the cell-internal packages with more electrolyte and adapting the active material, BMW and Samsung SDI succeeded in increasing cell capacity to 94 Ah and overall battery energy to 33 kWh of which 27.2 kWh can be effectively used. For comparison, the previous battery of the BMW i3 (60 Ah) produced 22 kWh (gross)/19 kWh (net).
The high-voltage battery has an advanced thermal management system that keeps the battery operating in the optimal temperature range, which further enhances performance. For example, the coolant of the air conditioning system is responsible for cooling the high-voltage battery very effectively, while a heating system can also be used to warm the battery to ensure the optimal operating temperature before starting off.
BMW i also offers a Range Extender for the BMW i3 (94 Ah).The range of the BMW i3 is extended by a 650 cc two-cylinder gasoline engine which is located adjacent to the electric drive above the rear axle. The Range Extender engine delivers a maximum output of 38 hp and powers a generator in order to produce electricity, working on a required-based and highly efficient principle. For those occasional times where additional range is required, as soon as the charging level of the lithium ion batteries drops to a specified level, the Range Extender kicks in to keep the charging level constant effectively extending the range. Fitting the car with the Range Extender has no influence on the available luggage volume. The BMW i3 (94 Ah) now features a 2.4-gallon fuel tank improving the range from the previous model.
The BMW i3 (94 Ah) with range extender weighs approximately an extra 270 lb compared to the battery electric i3.