BMW will keep on building the i3 until 2024, a company spokesman has told German newspaper Leipziger Volkszeitung.
While the i3 was BMW’s first serious foray into the world of electric vehicles (and those with range-extenders), it never sold in particularly high numbers. Additionally, it has been outdone by more affordable alternatives offering better range in recent years. Nonetheless, the German car manufacturer clearly thinks it can make a business case for it.
Currently, the i3 is sold with a 42.2 kWh battery pack, good for a range between 177 miles (285 km) and 192 miles (310 km) under the WLTP cycle. When first launched, it had a compact 22 kWh battery pack, but that was increased to 33.2 kWh in 2016 and then increased by a further 10 kWh. Now all BMW i3 models ship with a 42.2 kWh battery following the marque’s recent decision to discontinue the Range Extender version in Europe.
To ensure the i3 keeps up with the competition, its battery pack is expected to be updated once again and benefit from another boost in capacity and range. Electrive believes that, if this is what happens, the improved i3 will likely be introduced at the end of 2020 or in early 2021 and remain unchanged for the next four years.
In 2024, the i3 will likely be killed off for good. By that time, BMW will have a number of more up-to-date EVs in its range, including an all-electric 1-Series, the long-awaited i4, the iX3, and the iNext, so the absence of the i3 won’t be felt.