11 October 2016

New battery means less petrol-boosted i3s

The arrival of a more powerful battery is likely to change the ratio of BMW i3 electric cars sold with the range-extender small petrol engine, writes Brian Byrne.

This was a view expressed by the company at the recent announcement of its partnership in Ireland with car sharing company GoCar, in which a fleet of ten i3s are located around Dublin for use by members.

With 43 i3s registered this year so far, and 35 last year, some 60pc of the cars were bought in the range-extender format, which currently adds around €7,000 to the price of the car.

BMW sells the i3 at a starting OTR price of €34,440 for the version with a 160km range, and €41,470 for the smaller battery version with the range extender. Prices are €1,860 in each case for the vehicles with the higher output battery.

The latest generation battery system offers a real-world range of around 200km on a charge, while the range-extender petrol engine extends total range to 332km before refuelling.

Pictured is Kevin Hennebry, Head of Marketing at BMW Group Ireland, with the latest version of the i3..

First deliveries of the i3 were made in Ireland in January 2014, and since then a total 95 units have been registered here.