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The tweaked BMW i3 gets all of the range

Bigger battery means almost 200 miles of range for the little i hatch

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EV tech has moved on a great deal since 2013, when BMW introduced its rather excellent i3. Back then, the 22.6kWh, 60Ah battery meant it could only do around 80 miles on a charge. Maybe 100, if you switched the air-con off and at no point exceeded 40mph.

Good enough by the standards of the day, but not really acceptable in 2018. Today’s Nissan Leaf has a 40kWh battery and a 168-mile range, remember.

Good news, then, that BMW has just given the i3 a bit of an update. Besides new optional equipment and interior/exterior colour schemes, it’s fitted a brand-new lithium-ion battery with more than double the usable energy capacity of the original, but the same physucal dimensions.

That means 192 miles of range from 42.2kWh, or 120Ah in the standard i3, and 177 miles for the quicker i3S – a massive increase over the 2013 originals, and a 30 per cent increase over the 33kW, 94Ah models introduced just last year.

Performance is more or less the same as last year’s cars, with the 170bhp car taking 7.3 seconds to reach 62mph, and the 184bhp i3S a spritely 6.9secs. The price for the former is just over £35K, while the latter is a little under £38K. A high-voltage, 50kW DC public charging station gives 80 per cent charge in 42 minutes. A 7kW wallbox will do the same in five hours, and a three-pin plug takes 15 hours.

We’re still fans. Are you?

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