2016 BMW i3 94Ah Range Extender review
New 94Ah battery improves on the Range Extender i3’s already impressive range, while its long list of strengths remains
We’ve already experienced BMW’s revised i3. Then we were sampling the electric car in Munich, but now we’re in the UK driving on a mix of urban and country roads. To recap, the new ‘94Ah’ part of the name refers to a brand-new battery developed by BMW and made up of cells manufactured by Samsung. This lithium ion battery pack, which is mounted under the cabin floor, is the same size as the previous one but its energy density has been improved by an impressive 50%. BMW claims the resulting 33kWh capacity significantly improves the i3’s electric range, boosting it from 118 miles to 195 miles.The i3’s charging system has been upgraded along with the battery pack. A specialist DC charger can be used to charge the new battery to 80% of its capacity in around 40 minutes. A standard Type 2 charging cable is also provided should a DC point not be available. In Germany we focused on the purely electric model, but here we’re driving the Range Extender, which, you may remember, uses a 650cc two-cylinder petrol engine as a generator in order to provide back-up charging for the improved battery. Together, they provide the Range Extender with an official 231 miles of range.