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2019 BMW i3 gets 30 percent bigger battery, 153-mile range

The battery is available on both the standard i3 and the sportier i3s.


The BMW i3 has been on sale since 2014, and in that time, BMW has seen fit to expand its battery size and, by proxy, its range. For the 2019 model year, it's getting yet another battery upgrade, and it's a big one.

The 2019 BMW i3 will come with a 42.2-kWh battery (120 amp-hours), which should permit for up to 153 miles of all-electric driving. This is a roughly 30 percent improvement over the previous 94-Ah battery, which allowed for 115 miles of range. The i3's first battery was just 60 Ah, offering a range of just 81 miles. Oh, how far we've come.

BMW will offer the battery in both variants of the i3. The standard i3 uses a 170-horsepower electric motor, powerful enough to get the little EV to 60 mph in just 7.2 seconds. The i3s, on the other hand, is the sportier trim, offering a 181-hp electric motor and a 6.8-second sprint to 60.

You'll never hear me complain when another shade of brown paint is available.


BMW also offers the i3 with a range-extending gas engine that helps alleviate range anxiety. BMW didn't say how much range to expect from the extended i3 with its new battery, but the automaker said that it should be "similarly improved." The most recent iteration of the range extender added 66 miles of range, according to the EPA. Adding 66 miles to the new i3 battery's estimated range would mean a 2019 i3 with the range extender could drive as far as 219 miles.

The 2019 i3 also features a few upgrades beyond the battery. A new exterior color, Jucaro beige metallic, replaces the eye-catching protonic blue metallic of years past. The Mega World trim now gets an optional interior decked out in brown trim, grey vinyl and brown cloth. LED headlights with cornering lights and automatic high beams are now available, and BMW's iDrive 6.0 infotainment system now comes on every vehicle with navigation. The i3 also adds a Wi-Fi hotspot and wireless phone charging tray for the first time.

Production of the 2019 i3 begins in November 2018, but an on-sale date has not yet been announced. Pricing will likely arrive closer to the on-sale date, as well. 

2018 BMW i3s: Want to know how BMW's sporty EV fares? Read our review.

2018 BMW X2: Want a smaller BMW with a gas engine? Check out the X2.