The all-electric BMW i3 (model year 2017) is expected to receive better travel range by next year, Automotive News reports. The range increase will see the little i3 a 50% boost in range thanks to an improved battery.

Ian Robertson, BMW AG board member for sales and marketing explained at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, that the lithium-ion battery pack in the i3 will be enhanced, to offer a “much more usable range.” At the moment, the BMW i3 has a maximum range of 160 km or 130 km (depending on how one drives), without the optional range extender.

The 50% boost will see the i3 capable of a total distance of 195 km or a little more. As a comparison, the Nissan Leaf has a travel range of about 200 km (recently upped to 250 km) on a single charge. The Renault Zoe on the other hand, has a claimed range of 210 km (soon 240 km). The 2016 Chevrolet Bolt however, still has the best range – claimed to exceed 320 km.


Apart from that, the BMW i3 is expected to receive other improvements, though BMW has yet to reveal the specifics. A total of 24,057 i3 EVs have been sold worldwide in the year 2015. The number marks a 50% increase from 2014. In the US, a total of 11,024 i3s were delivered in 2015, compared to 2014, when only 6,092 were sold. Almost 60% sold had the optional range extender.

Previously, sources revealed that BMW will be introducing an “optimised driveline” that will see battery efficiency improved. Additionally, the existing 22 kWh lithium-ion battery will feature a higher power density to give it a further range boost. With the range extender and the new battery, a combined range of 300 km could very well be in sight.