BMW i3 2019 120Ah

BMW has revealed the new i3 with improved battery and longer range. The range extender is no longer offered.

When the BMW i3 was first launched in 2013 it had a 60 Ah 22.6 kWh battery of which 18.8 was used. To prolong battery life BMW is never using full battery capacity in a charge cycle. The first version promised a range of 160 km. With new drive test cycle the EPA 130 km range is probably more appropriate.

In 2016 BMW revealed the second generation with a 94 Ah 33 kWh battery. Range was boosted with 42% to 185 km.

The new 2019 version that is now on sale comes with a 120 Ah 42.2 kWh battery. Range is now 246 km according to EPA – almost double compared to the first generation and 33% more than the second generation. It is now also clear that the range extender has been phased out and will no longer be an option for the new version.

It is important to understand the different range numbers that are used when advertising electric cars. Car manufacturers put a battery and an electric motor in the car. How far you get depends on temperature, road conditions, speed, driving style, etc. To translate capacity and efficiency into range for different cars there are drive cycle test.

The three most important test cycles are:

BMW has also declared that old generation i3 owners will not be able to replace their old batteries with the new 120 Ah. This is a pity since it would make sense for first generation i3 owners to spend money to more than double battery capacity and range. Yes, it would more than double since these cars are now getting old and batteries in them have somewhat reduced capacity, even if it is not a large issue.

Given the renewed design recently launched with the i3s, the new 2019 model does not come with any major design changes.

The cost of the 2019 version in Sweden is 419 000 SEK (40 600 EUR). You need to add 20 000 SEK (1900 EUR) for the sport package (i3s). In Sweden the state will pay a 60 000 SEK bonus (subsidy) to i3 buyers.

In Germany the price is somewhat lower and starts at 38 000 EUR.

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15 thoughts on “BMW i3 2019 120Ah

  1. As a 60Ah owner, a 120Ah upgrade would have been an interesting proposition as it would have meant I could keep the Solar Orange.

  2. Let’s hope they sort out Connected Drive so the cars can be reliably charged at the most cost effective time and when demand on the electrical infrastructure is at its lowest. For the past few months we have our car charged the Connected Drive dictates rather than what we choose and the Senior Tech’s have admitted they do not know how to sort this. Let’s also hope the charging facilities in the UK improve and become more reliable, because at this moment there is no way on this earth would I consider buying the BEV version rather than a REX. I think BMW has just added value to our REX in this move. Thank you.

  3. I must say as a i3 rex 60Ah owner I am very disappointed in how BMW is handling this.
    One of the selling points of the i3 was its modular build and ease of replacing batteries in the future. I guess my next electric will not be a BMW.

    1. Idem here. Totally disappointed, also by the excruciatingly slow move of BMW into EVs, in general. Doubtful if I will buy another BMW ever again. Hopefully, third party battery solutions will emerge in the future to do what BMW was supposed to do, but never delivered…

      1. Dear Gundars,

        I have personally decided that this i3 will be the last car I will ever own. Not because it is bad or because it is BMW but simply because I think I can live without a car. I know it is not the same for all.

        Regarding the “slow move of BMW into EVs” do you really think they are slower than others? I would have said the opposite.
        Regarding “no possibility to upgrade”, please read Zsolt’s message of 29 November below . I think he has a point!

    2. I agree I have a 2014 i3 and want to swap out the batteries and this is very disappointing. I too will be moving away from BMW on my next electric car purchase.

  4. The real kilometres are an important and interesting discussion. I have a one year old 94 Ah 33 kWh i3 and the longest trip I have made in France and Belgium on national roads was 280km and commonly reach in mixed driving 230km. I always use Eco-mode and only in emergency switch to Exo+.

  5. I was considering trading in my 1915 I3 REX early in 2019. However there is no way I will buy a non REX I3, and I will stop praising and recommending the I3 to other interested people.
    I have just returned from a day trip of over 300 km and return. I would not consider trying that without the REX for back-up. The charge stations can not be relied on to be working or available for a quick charge.

    1. Hi Geoff,

      I do appreciate your comment. I made the “leap of trust” by opting not to have the REX in mine and after the (mentally) wobbly beginning, I have actually learned how to use the car quite smoothly. Firstly, if you stay in your destination for about 3 hours or longer, it is already enough to get it back to a sufficient level. Secondly, in places like the Netherlands where the motorway network of fast charging is good and reliable, you can stop for half an hour and get going again: it is actually rarely required to top it up 100%!
      For your information, the consortium of European car manufacturers are rolling out a plan to increase the “Dutch type” of fast charging stations all over Europe by 2020. Which is actually pretty soon!

      1. I have the 94Ah i3s and have yet to have an issue charging in The Netherlands. The charging network is great and except in some of the more ‘remote’ areas you will always have options.

        The biggest problem at your destination is assholes in ICEs blocking the chargers. But since more and moreplaces are handing out fines for that it’s more and more rare to encounter.

        Luckily I lease this car or I would have been extremely pissed at BMW not offiering an upgrade to 120Ah or a possible later battery pack once this one is worn. It really makes no sense to me why they wouldn’t do that. Now they will have to keep producing older packs for 8 years after they sold the last model using it or keep them in stock because of the 8 year warranty. Wouldn’t it be much easier to only produce the latest battery pack?

        Also the margins on cars are really thin these days, if a pack wears out after 8 years or after the 100.000km limit, I don’t see why they couldn; sell a new battery with a margin similar to buying a new car.

        And this after boasting about how modular the car is and how friendly for the environment with all the recycled materials.

        Their strategy makes no sense at all.

  6. I fully understand BMW’s thinking in ditching the Range Extender option in Europe but I have just jumped in quick and bought a
    94ah REx as I have lost confidence in rapid charging on the motorway and fear that CCS chargers will increasingly become blocked by those stepping into an I-Pace, E-tron, Kona, ID etc. Even though I don’t use the REx very often it allows me to stick to my planned schedule come what may. Although I exchanged my old 60ah REx earlier than I planned I have really been surprised at the overall improvement with the LCI car and the handling of the s model puts even more fun into driving this fabulous little car. Sadly, I fear that there will be nothing to replace it.

  7. Where is the “no uprade option” info coming from, afaik so far it was possible to upgrade the batteries, at least the 60h to 94Ah, it was just to expensive and therefore mostly meaningless, but 60 to 120, or more is already compelling, I guess in a year or max two, we could have a “real car” with a battery which is nowaday standard in Bolt, new Leaf or Kona. At the moment it is perfect city car but by far not a all-around car.

  8. I have a brand new I3s since a few days. 120Ah sounded promising. But…
    After completely loading and heating, the car promises me 260 km. But after driving 500 meters, it drops to 160. I use the eco mode.
    One day I parked the car with 30kms in the battery. After my meeting, the car said to me I only had 2 km left… not enough to drive a charging point…
    I am very very disappointed.

  9. I have a 60ah i3 and I am sure about upgrading our old battery will be possible. If bmw dealer doesn’t do it, third mechanic trades will do it.
    But I am angry about original bmw wallbox chargers. I had the wallbox pro and was broken after 1 year. NOw i have the wallbox i connect and was broken again.

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