BMW i3 Charging Guide

The complete guide to charging your BMW i3, covering range, charging times, costs and more.

BMW i3 Range

The BMW i3 was launched with a 22kWh battery, providing up to 81 miles of range on a single charge, but a range extender option (with a petrol generator to charge the electric battery) can increase the range to around 150 miles. BMW has also announced the release of an updated i3 with a 33kWh battery for even more range. The approximate ranges of each model can be seen below (note that this depends on driving conditions and style, amongst other factors):

i3 22kWh i3 22kWh with range extender i3 33kWh
81 miles 150 miles 114 miles

BMW i3 Charging Time

Charging your BMW i3 at home with a standard 3 pin plug can take anywhere between 12 and 15 hours, whereas using a dedicated home charging point takes only 4 to 6 hours. The i3 is currently available in two battery sizes (either 27kWh or 33kWh) and is compatible with two rates of charging point, both of which affect the charging time from empty to full. The table below shows the maximum charging rates for each combination.

i3 22kWh i3 33kWh
3.7kW charging point 6-7 hours 9-10 hours
7kW charging point 3-4 hours 5-6 hours

Click here to read more about how long it takes to charge an electric car

How to charge a BMW i3

Charging your BMW i3 can be done anywhere with access to a reliable electrical supply, but the vast majority of charging takes place with dedicated electric vehicle charging points.

  • Home charging points is where most electric car charging takes place, as your vehicle can be plugged in overnight for a full charge every morning.
  • Destination charging points at places like supermarkets and car parks are available across the UK and are often free to use for the duration of your stay.
  • Workplace charging points are becoming more common and are often offered as a staff incentive, but some employers may use time-related fees to encourage chargepoint sharing throughout the working day.
  • Rapid charging points are designed to charge your car’s battery to 80% capacity in around 30 minutes and are usually found at motorway service stations.

BMW i3 Charging Cost

The cost of charging a BMW i3 in the UK varies depending on the location and speed of the charger, but charging at home is the most cost-effective way to charge and many public charging points are free to use. Charging at home costs as little as 3p per mile:

  • Typical overnight electricity rate of 10p per kWh
  • Charging a BMW i3 therefore costs only 3p per mile
  • Based on an average 20 mile daily commute, this equates to only 60p per day

Click here to read more about the cost of charging an electric car

How much does a BMW i3 charging point cost?

Charging a BMW i3 at home is usually done through a dedicated home charging point, which comes with a one-off cost for purchase and installation. However, a government grant (known as OLEV) of £500 can be claimed to help towards this cost.

  • 3.7kW charging point typically costs around £390 installed
  • 7kW charging point (for 6.6kW i3) typically costs around £485 installed
  • All prices quoted include the £500 OLEV grant

Click here to read more about charging options for BMW i3