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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44 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.

    1. I bought Wifi 16A socket from Aliexpress to optimize charging outside of BMW Connected drive. It has also power meter, so you can compare car consuption vs net consuption. If you are interested, look for “Broadlink SP3S”.

  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.

    3. you can have the batteries upgraded, speak to your BMW Sales team.

      Bmw re-use / re-purpose all the old batteries from the upgrades.

  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.

    1. Roel, you need to go to garage because this is not normal.
      I have seen many many I3s but never encountered a problem like this, so it sure is a problem.
      With your warranty take it to dealer, this is absolutely unreliable.

    2. I have the same car, but nowhere near those kind of issues. Something must be wrong. Contact your dealer.

  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.

  10. Do a search for Lion Smart battery for i3, a german company offering 350 miles range with their smart “Light” battery.

    1. Further to my post about Lion Smart company and their 100Kw battery, looking deeper into their website 2 years ago they had 55Kw battery. Now I can only assume that even 2 years ago BMW thought this might be to expensive to put in an already expensive but fantastic little car. By the way I have a late 2014 i3 bev and it has exceeded all my expectations, when I charge overnight on off-peak electric here in the UK it costs me about £1-80 british pounds. This gives me an indicated 112 miles when climate is 16 deg C or above. Regards Richard. I hope someone will contact Lion Smart and find out if these larger batteries will become available, 55Kw, 60Kw would give approx greater than 200 miles which would be more than adequate.

      1. Thanks for all the good information, Richard!
        I have a leasing car, i3 from 2017 and I’m very happy with its performance. It is true, though, that winter (as well as extreme hot) weather reduces dramatically the range.
        Regarding the Lion Smart and BMW, I suppose the only criteria for them to move to a new supplier is not the cost; it must be a very complex decision beyond what the consumer upgrading his i3 has to consider.

  11. Hi guys,

    This guy in Norway have upgraded his 60ah battery to a used 94ah with pure success. Read his story underneath. Story is translated with Google translate. All price references is in Norwegian kroner:

    “My car has gone over 100 ‘km, is 4 years, and my wife has switched workplace within the boom in Oslo. The car no longer went back her job in the winter without charging, which was the requirement when it was bought. The alternative was to change the battery or car. The car is fully equipped and since I like both the color and the ability to test out a battery replacement, the choice was.

    I have not marked the shorter range with the old battery.
    Battery was purchased from hugger (Grønvold) and cost 35000. The new battery had gone 7000 km. Talk to the workshop before purchasing, they may not want to use batteries where the car is damaged.

    I considered switching myself, but after conversation with Bavaria Lillestrøm we agreed that they should do the job.
    Nor had they done this before, so it was tried out for them too. I have several vehicles so some time at the workshop went smoothly.

    The new battery must be opened to read various serial numbers. When opening the battery, have a new cover. In addition, they had to replace an Electronic Memory Management 61278648060 (see ETK.CC) in the battery. The greenhouse gas goes through the battery, so this must be emptied and filled too (NB does not use r134a, but r134yf). In addition, the car must be programmed.

    The workshop price was just under 25000. I got a little addition to the original price due to new EMM, but I didn’t pay for extra dismantling (think they took out the battery an extra time). Anyway, they will be able to give a more accurate price now that they have experience.

    Now I have not sold the old battery yet, it is out to 16000. That is, total remodeling comes at 45-50 ‘. Otherwise, the car is as before, except for longer range and therefore I only leave at home for the time being. Very happy.”

    1. hi, i am interested on this battery change. Could you give more information about that guy from Norway? thanks

  12. very disappointing that the battery in older i3 cannot be upgraded with the new BMW 120 Ah 🙁 I just hope that this will be possible from other companies in the near future. It does not make sense to replace the hole car to get a newer battery.

  13. Although many BMW dealers throughout EU area refuse to upgrade batteries, it seems possible in some countries, i.e. Norway. A bit far depending on where you live in EU. Does anyone have a list of countries where the upgrade is possible, even if by other company than BMW. I called Lion but they do not propose anything yet.

  14. Hi Jori and all, I used to have a Lexus RX450 hybrid, a lovely car but never reached the EU mpg. The best I ever got was 49.6 mpg driving carefully, not bad for a 3.5 litre V6, but not as as good as advertised. So already having an i3 (see above) decided to get a new i3S. Well I have had it 2 weeks, charge showing when I left the dealers 177 miles. On my 2014 i3 I get 11.8 kw/100km and on the new i3S if I add the miles done and what is left it comes to 211.5 miles range, 83.5 miles done, 128 left. The weather has been warm since May so that has been a help, but at the moment I am tickled pink with the range, will not hanker after a bigger battery from LionSmart after all. I will be interested to see if other i3S users fair as well. Best regards Richard.

    1. David, I also have an Audi who to my knowledge also only sell cars. However, I recently asked them to upgrade my engine to a better version, which they did… It is a matter of how much consideration you give to your customer.

      1. Fully agree… Suggesting BMW shouldn’t worry about batteries doesn’t recognise consumer needs at all in the electric era. It’s a/the fundamental part of the car

  15. If a replacement option is not given to old generation i3 owners, they would eventually replace their batteries with after market longer-range battery solutions, which would lead to security issues and incidences, jeopardizing BMWi’s image.

    1. I fully agree. My I3 has now only 100km range in the winter and I am already looking for 3rd parties. Unhappy with BMW.

  16. I have 6/2015 i3 60Ah, new the battery had 19,9 kWh , After 1.5 years snd 12.000 km eas still 19,3 kWh but now After 4,5 years and 60.000 km the battere capacity went down at 16,5 kWh….so in winter cannot sue the heater if I want to ho to work and come back home (95 km) . Do I Have to buy a new car after 60.000 km? Do I have to freeze ? And next year when I will have 15 kWh ? BMW warranty is max 100.000 km on the battery and 13,3 kWh …. no upgrade possible with 33kwh battery (it was possible till 06/2016) no upgrade with 44kwh , so ?? Do I have to buy a new battery 22kwh at payment? No I will buy another Brand and sell this nice car because BMW should give a solution to the range of 4-5 years old cars by replacing batteries with 22 or -33 or 44 kWh in order to have the range needed

  17. For those who are intrested on the site of Gründl die Welt der Wassersports is an advertisement of the Torqeedo Deepblue Hochvolt batterie. This is the BMW i3 battery of 120 Ah adjust for electric boating. It isn’t a cheap battery just over €25000,-
    We have an i3 we can do between 160-190 km with the 94 Ah battery

    1. Hello, I am very interested in a 94 upgrade for my I3 (Rex).
      How can we make this happen. 0041792172623

  18. Hi everybody, my name is Richard, ref 23rd September 2019 i3s. I have now had this car for 5 months and although the winter has been kind so far, with very few temperatures at night below freezing. This is when I charge my car on off peak electric from a standard 13 amp socket. I fully charged it this weekend (Nov 2019) and I have an indicated range of 188 miles, not bad considering night time temperatures of about 4-6 degrees C. I have been using the air con for heating and de-misting since the end of October and it has not caused any significant problems with range. One thing I notice when using a fast charger to top up, was the battery showed a lower capacity on driving away, but in using the heater in the car which must have sucked the heat out of the battery (due to fast charging generating heat), when I arrived home I had more miles than when I started.
    Update 3rd July 2020, recently did a long journey 70% motorway 30% side roads. Indicated milage was 172 miles, with 27 left in battery. Just last night topped up to full and have an indicated 226 miles of range. Consumption is 11.8kwh/100km.
    I am very pleased. I hear they may introduce an I3 with 55kw battery, have no more information except it was on the internet in the spring but have not seen it since.
    Regards allP

  19. Hi. Of course, changing the Bmw i3 battery from 60ah to 120ah is possible. In several places in Europe. The cheapest is in impexneth in the Netherlands, in addition, they have original 120ah batteries and not modified from several

    1. Hello Seba, can you please provide some more info about the “several places” and also about this “impexneth” because the web search reveals nothing. Thanks

  20. Would you all consider buying a 1-year old BMW i3 with 120Ah now that VW id3 is available with a much longe range? I like BMW and the i3 better that the id3, but I’m affraid to buy an obsolete model?

    1. Depends on your proposed use.

      I would expect the id3 to hold its value much better, and be better supported by the manufacturer.

      1. I agree that BMW support is frustrating..
        However, I3 is a mid range town car, really fun to drive. With 250km range, you might keep it for life.

        1. I have an i3 and a VW beetle- and love both. The VW from 1982 is not supported by Volkswagen so no spare parts available any more. So the perspective can change no matter which make…

    2. Unless you buy a classic car, whatever you buy today will be obsolete tomorrow, incl. the Id3.. The question is not so much about obsolescence tomorrow, more about what you want today.. My 5 year old I3 is obsolete but still love it today.

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