With the imminent availbility of the Tesla Model 3, electric vehicle manufacturers have started bolstering the range of their cars.

One such electric vehicle manufacturer is BMW. They have upgraded the battery of the funky looking BMW i3 plug-in hatchback for 2017 by increasing its electric range into three-figure territory.

It's weird looking, but what's BMW's funky electric hatchback like to drive? We take a closer look at the BMW i3 (2015). Watch the video for more.

The 2017 edition of the BMW i3 has a lithium-ion battery which is reported to be able to hold 33 kilowatt-hours (kwh) of energy, up from 22 kwh. According to the manufacturer, BMW, testing indicated that the i3 could go as far as approximately 183 kilometers (114 miles) in combined city and highway driving. Although a significant increase from the previous version of the i3, it still falls short of the Tesla Model 3 range of at least around 346 kilometers (215 miles).

Overall performance of the 2017 version of the BMW i3 is not that much different from the 2016 model. The i3's electric motor makes 170 horsepower to push the rear-drive hatchback to 100 km/h in the low-7-second range, or 7.8 seconds with the range extender β€” both figures slightly slower than the 2016 i3, though still relatively quick for an electric car.

![2017 BMW i3](/content/images/2017/07/BMW-i3-protonic-blue-6.jpg)
2017 BMW i3.

As can be expected given the range increase, charging times also have gone up. BMW have said that the 2017 BMW i3 takes 40 minutes to reach an 80-percent charge with a DC quick charger (versus 25 minutes before) or 4,5 hours on a level 2 charger (versus 3.5 hours before).

An occasional-use charger that plugs into a regular household outlet is also included. You can use it in a pinch, but it's a slow process; in our last i3 test car, we only added about 5 miles of range per hour with that charger.

At a price tag of around $44,000 for the standard model (which excludes the cool moonroof) but includes quite a number of options that the Tesla Model 3 doesn't come standard with, the BMW i3 is definetly one of the more affordable and cool electric vehicles around.

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