Could the BMW i3 Get a Bigger, Optional Battery in the Future?

BMW i3 Configurator 1 photo
Photo: BMWi3Blogspot
A recent report claims that a ‘slip’ on BMW’s Spanish website might point to a new, bigger battery for the i3, coming to European markets in the near future.
One sharp reader of the blog caught the website off-guard one day, while configuring an i3. On the list of optional features he seemingly found an item that said “Bateria de mayor potencia” that means “more powerful battery” in Spanish, according to our Google Translate friend.

What could this mean? We’ve seen such ‘accidents’ before, like the possible BMW 720i incident on the German website a while back that eventually turned out to be just a fluke. Even so, this whole incident does raise some interesting questions.

Could we really expect such an optional feature? In the battle with other manufacturers and other models, BMW might go this route, to keep the competition in check.

Mercedes-Benz already announced that they have a rival prepared, in the shape of the electric B-Class and that might be a problem for the Bavarians. For example, the Swabian alternative was already tested in the US and the EPA rating claims that it has a range of 85 miles, a touch more than what the pure-EV i3 can do, at 84 miles.

Furthermore, when it comes to electric cars, the king of the segment is the Tesla Model S that, in its most powerful version, can cover up to 265 miles, 3 times more than the BMW alternative.

Therefore, depending on the angle of approach, the i3 could use a bit more ‘juice’. Couple that with the statements from Munich that claim the battery cells are easy to replace and could be upgraded in the near future to offer better range, and you might expect this ‘mishap’ to actually be part of their plans over the next few years.

According to the source, one of their readers also had the chance to test drive a new MINI-E car at one of BMW’s technology centers that had a 200-mile (320 km) range, more than double what the ‘normal’ i3 can do.

If we’re to believe all these reports, then we might be in for quite a surprise from BMW before too long. An optional, bigger capacity battery would solve the range anxiety issue most people interested in the car feel at the moment, further spurring on the popularity of the company’s first all-electric vehicle.
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