Starting in July 2016, the 2017 BMW i3 will enter production. Aside from a few exterior tweaks and color changes, the main difference between the 2017 and current model i3 is the size of the battery pack.
Mystery sources are confirming the 2017 i3 will have an increase in the NEDC (European test cycle) range up from 200 km to 290 km. That would put the EPA rating at around 125 miles, which is a large increase over the 2016’s 81 mile all-electric range.
It’s likely the battery pack size will be larger than the Nissan LEAF’s 30 kWh pack, likely 34 kWh or larger. Back in 2015 at the North American International Auto Show, Samsung SDI announced 94 Ah cells will be succeeding the current battery cells. The current battery pack uses 96 cells, which would bring the total to 33.84 kWh.
Another interesting thought is that now with the larger battery pack, there is no need for a reduced gas-tank size on the i3 Rex models – the full gas tank can be useable and still meet the California CARB ratings.