BMW is set to increase the appeal of its i3 twins with a new long-range battery pack, according to reports out of Europe.
The UK’s Autocar quotes unnamed sources close to BMW’s i development program who say the carmaker is working to combine the intelligence gathered since the i3’s launch into new tech.
At the top of this list is the battery pack under a new “optimised driveline”, which could see the maximum range on battery power alone rise from around 160km to 200km.
The sources say this can be achieved by packing more energy into the existing battery pack, which will reportedly retain its 22kWh capacity.
Elsewhere, the i3 is set to feature better integration between the battery cooling system and the electric motor to maximise efficiency.
The improvements, perhaps destined for a 2016 update to the i3, will also be available to existing i3 owners as an upgrade.
BMW sells the i3 as both all-electric (‘BEV’) and range-extended (‘REX’) models, with the latter using a two-cylinder petrol engine as an on-board generator when the initial battery charge is exhausted.
An improvement to the battery pack could see an extension of the overall range for the REX model as well.
But the impact on fuel efficiency from what might amount to an added strain on the twin-cylinder engine when asked to charge the denser battery pack, could also see the petrol tank’s impact on overall range reduced.
For now, the existing BMW i3 is available in Australia as both REX and BEV models, priced from $63,990 plus on-road costs.
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