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Report: BMW i3 To Receive New Battery Pack, Increased Driving Range

Up to 124 miles per charge thanks to new battery and software.

Prepare to drive farther between charging stations in your BMW i3. According to Autocar, the BMW i3 will soon receive a new lithium-ion battery pack and other upgrades to increase its driving range to as much as 124 miles per charge.

Autocar reports that the BMW i3 will soon receive a revised battery pack that has the same 22-kWh rating as in today’s car, but with internal revisions that provide more energy per charge. Along with some software tweaks to the battery cooling system and electric motor, these changes are said to dramatically increase the car’s driving range.

Currently, the BMW i3’s battery is EPA-rated at a range of just 81 miles per charge in the U.S. Buyers who opt for the i3’s optional range extender, which uses a small gasoline engine to supplement the battery, can increase their total driving range to 150 miles, although EV-only range drops to just 71 miles in EPA testing. It’s unclear whether the 124-mile range quoted by Autocar would translate to the same figure in U.S. EPA testing.

Though no date for the launch of the upgrade has been confirmed yet, Autocar says the new battery will be available not just on new BMW i3 hatchbacks, but also as a retrofit for models already on the road.

For 2016, the Nissan Leaf electric car also received a larger battery pack to increase its driving range, boosting EV range from 84 to 107 miles.