BMW i3

BMW i3 charging

Everything BMW i3 drivers need to know about charging an electric vehicle

The BMW i3 is one of the most compelling and fascinating electric cars available today. It’s a small, upright and narrow commuter car with a hip, luxury vibe. The pure electric version provides 153 miles on a single charge, which is less than competing models like the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt. But the i3 makes up for its modest range with great style and BMW’s impeccable quality.


In an offering that’s truly unique among EVs, the BMW i3 comes with a small, two-liter, range-extending engine and a 2.4 gallon gas tank. When the 42 kWh battery pack is nearly depleted, the engine turns on to extend the driving range to 200 miles.


The i3 uses ultra-lightweight carbon-fiber for the car’s main body structure. The combination of its lightweight structure and powerful electric motor makes the i3 a pleasure to drive. The quiet, 181-horsepower motor and small commuter hatch produce a very responsive ride maneuverable in city traffic. Not only does the i3 launch quickly from traffic lights, but it’s also easy to park in the tightest parking spots.


All told, the BMW i3 is a very capable and charismatic commuter EV.



BMW i3 charging & range

The base-level BMW i3 features a 170 horsepower electric motor. Buyers who opt for the more expensive i3s trim get the stronger, 181-horsepower motor and a sport-tuned suspension. Both of the current models utilize a 42 kWh battery pack that provides 153 miles of range on a single charge.


The i3’s battery capacity has grown over the years. The 2014 i3 originally came with a 21.6 kWh battery offering only 81 miles of range. By 2016, the capacity grew to 33.2 kWh – increasing the EV range to 114 miles. And then, in 2019, BMW upgraded the battery to the current 42.2 kWh pack with the 153 miles offered today.


For some model years, BMW offered two different packs: one with a 60 amp-hour battery and the other with a 94 amp-hour pack. The EPA-estimated driving ranges were slightly affected.


Drivers wanting an extra level of assurance about range can opt for the BMW i3 with Range Extender. That boosts the total range to 200 miles. When the battery falls to nearly empty, the small engine turns on to add another 47 miles of range. When running on gas, the i3 is only moderately efficient at 31 miles per gallon.


For most local and regional driving, the 153 miles of all-electric range is more than ample for a single day. Drivers can charge at home via the i3’s onboard 7.7 kW charger. The JuiceBox 32 is a good match for this level of charging. A full charge via the JuiceBox 32 takes about 6 hours.




BMW i3 charging times


Model year

Max charge rate

Battery size

Charge time on Level 1

Charge time with JuiceBox 32

All electric range

2014-2017 BMW i3 (60 Ah)
7.7 kW
21.6 kWh
18 hours
3.5 hours
81 miles
2017 - 2018 BMW i3 (94 Ah)
7.7 kW
33.2 kWh
18 hours
3.5 hours
114 miles
2018 BMW i3s (94 Ah)
7.7 kW
33.2 kWh
28 hours
4.5 hours
107 miles
2019 - 2021 BMW i3 and i3s
7.7 kW
42.2 kWh
35 hours
5.5 hours
153 miles

Level 3 DC fast charging: CCS Combo


For long road trips, i3 drivers have the choice of filling up on gasoline about every hour. But as a robust EV, the i3 comes standard with a Quick Charge port using SAE’s CCS combo-cord standard.

It can accommodate 50 kW supply of power. At that level, replenishing an empty battery in the current i3 to about 80% of its 153-mile capacity takes approximately 40 minutes.

BMW home charging stations

Charge faster, smarter, cleaner with JuiceBox

  • Up to 9x faster charge
  • Plug-in & hardwire options
  • Easy set-up & control
  • Smart dashboard & WiFi monitoring
  • Charge with renewable energy using JuiceNet Green
  • Reduce power to protect electrical circuit

BMW i3 customer reviews