BMW i3 (2018)

BMW i3 (2018)

The BMW i3 is arguably one of the most iconic early EV’s. As a concept it launched in 2011 and production began in 2013, since then, it has gone on to become one of the most popular BEV’s and gained a loyal following. Many i3 drivers often claim that once you’ve driven one, you won’t go back. Wonderfully compact and futuristic in its aesthetics; older BMW i3 models offered a range extender to ease those range jitters, but new developments in battery technology have seen BMW focus solely on greener enhancements.

Electric Range

193 Miles

Avg Cost per Charge


Battery Size

42 Kwh

3.7Kw Charge

12 Hours

Connector Type

Type 2

Rapid Charge

Yes CCS Max 50kW

OLEV Approved


Vehicle Type

Battery Electric

Charging a BMW i3

Since 2013, the i3 has undergone multiple updates, most of which resulted in larger battery capacity. The latest edition has a battery size of 42.2kWh and an official WLTP range of up to 193 miles, a 30% improvement on its predecessor.

Charging times will, of course, vary based on the power of the charger; a 7kW home charger, for example, will take a little over 6 hours to charge from 0% to 100%, providing an approximate range per hour of 32 miles*.

The BMW i3 has a CCS connector option enabling you to make use of the rapid charging network that is expanding across the UK. Plugged into a 50kW charging station, the BMW i3 will charge from 0-80% in 40 minutes.

Note: It is worth highlighting here that the BMW i3 has a max DC rate of 50kW, this means if you plugged into a 100kW charger, you would still be charging at 50kW. Its max AC rate is 11kW, again, if you plugged into a 22kW AC charger, the battery will charge at 11kW.

Charging Times**:

  • 2.1kW (3-pin plug) = 16 hours for 0-80%
  • 7.4kW = 6 hours for 0-100%
  • 11kW = 4 hours for 0-100%
  • 50kW = 40 mins for 20-80%

*Based on WLTP range

**Charging times are estimates and will vary depending on factors such as the charger in use and temperature of the battery.

Benefits of owning a BMW i3

Classified as a BEV, the BMW i3 produces zero emissions which results in several benefits. Road tax, Ultra Low Emission Zones and London Congestion Charge all come in at an attractive £0. In addition to regular and yearly savings, the new i3 qualifies for the OLEV Plug-in car and Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) grants.

Considered one of BMW’s most innovative designs, every drive feels like the future… a sustainable future.

What are people saying about the BMW i3?

Driving the i3 around town is often described as joyful. Seated high, drivers comment on excellent visibility, light controls and nippy nature, lending itself to a spirited driving experience. The electric motor makes for a quiet ride, while its instant response means navigating city traffic is a breeze. Speaking of city driving, the i3’s turning circle is outstanding, which comes in handy when trying to squeeze into tricky parking spots.

The i3’s go-kart handling makes it a great urban car. Although in 2020, its range may seem a little lacklustre in comparison to the likes of the new Renault Zoe, the i3 has ample mileage capacity for everyday use. The regenerative braking is useful, although some may say a little too aggressive which takes some getting used to, nevertheless, if you do a lot of town or city driving the i3 won’t steer you wrong (pun intended).

In addition to a superior driving experience, inside the BMW i3 is where it comes into its own. Easily and comfortably accommodating four passengers; the rear suicide doors, eco-friendly materials, novel textures and playful colour options create a luxurious yet practical interior setting. The i3 is not just sustainable in its fuel source; this car is for the eco-warriors with recycled and reusable materials appearing throughout the design, setting itself apart from others in the category.

It’s challenging to find an i3 owner who has something critical to say about it. Despite nearing middle age, this supermini remains relevant, popular and continues to exude engineering ingenuity. Each update merely tinkers with the mechanics, such as battery size, but the quirky design, agile drive and eco-conscious construct remain; why reinvent something that works?