The new BMW i3 (2017) just had its range boosted to a Nissan Leaf-beating 195 miles

BMW has just upgraded the i3, and now it could be one of the best electric cars on the road. The news follows rumours that BMW was going to transform its most compact electric car in July, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

The changes are twofold. Thanks to a more energy-dense battery, the new car adds a huge 80-100 miles of battery life, bringing the range of the new i3 – or i3 94Ah, as BMW is calling it – to 195 miles. The only disappointment? The German carmaker says the 2017 i3 is still stuck with a pedestrian 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds, but who buys an i3 for the performance?

Second, BMW is also making DC charging as standard across the new 2017 i3 range, and says that AC charging will be faster now too. The German maker says that multi-phase charging tech means the 2017 i3 should now be able to charge its battery in less than three hours.

If range is still an issue, BMW is fitting the new battery into the REX version of the car too. That version of the i3 costs around £3,000 more, but offers 276 miles of range.

The BMW i3 is back

Although it might have the style and the pedigree, the BMW i3 has long lacked the crucial statistics to challenge the likes of Tesla, Chevrolet and the Nissan Leaf – but this update changes all of that. With an after-grant price of £27,830, the 2017 i3 is still around £7,000 more than a 30kWh Nissan Leaf, but for the money it delivers a more premium experience – and more importantly, 40 extra miles of range. Although both cars are arguably for different sectors of the market, that extra range is crucial in making the i3 a serious contender for EV buyers.

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