$16,000. The BMW i3 battery replacement cost is $16,000. Ok, that was easy. Everyone can go home now and I can collect my paycheck. Just kidding of course, I’d like to dive a bit more into the subject than that. Unlike Nissan, BMW has not released an official rate for battery replacement in their line of i3s. The $16,000 figure was mentioned by Dr. Christian Cozzarini, Head of Environmental Engineering at BMW. Dr. Cozzarini dropped this figure during a speech at the 2016 CAR Management Briefing Seminar. It’s not entirely clear that Dr. Cozzarini was authorized to to release this information but hey, he’s a doctor. I’m sure he’ll land on his feet.
The Good News
The lithium-ion battery that powers the i3 comes with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty. This warranty also covers the battery for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. That’s a pretty good warranty. Not as good as Hyundai’s, but still pretty good. BMW began production of the i3 in 2013 so we may find out soon if Dr. Cozzarini’s numbers are good or not. That being said, $16,000 is quite a bit of scratch…even for BMW owners. It would be marketing suicide for the Bavarian behemoth to tell customers that they have to pony up that much money after the warranty on the battery expires. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about the Germans…they always have something planned.
The Future of the i3
The i3 has been a decent seller worldwide. Sales in the U.S. are threatening to reach 50,000 units since introduction. Sales in Europe have been even stronger, perhaps because BMW has a larger and more ubiquitous presence across the pond. As of the date of this writing, BMW has given no indication that it will halt production on the i3, and it has not named a successor to its first all-electric vehicle (EV). As we mentioned here, BMW’s new(ish) Chairman of the Board Oliver Zipse is big on EVs. His strategy for the company revolves around building EV versions of its current lines instead of coming up with new EV models. This has resulted in BMW producing EVs, hybrids, and gas-powered cars on the same assembly line.
On an Unrelated Note…
This really has nothing to do with the topic, but I thought it was funny and decided to share it with you anyways. Its getting cold where I live and I have started to use the heated seats in my car to keep from freezing on my drive to work. While browsing the mybmwi3.com forum, I came across this thread discussing the heated seats in the i3. User “eNate” posted:
“I think the leather seats on my 2017 are repurposed oven broilers. I can’t imagine anything hotter!”
So a word of warning dear readers: if you do use the heated seats in the i3 please set them to low or medium.
Any i3 owners out there care to comment? What do you like/dislike about your car? Do you worry that you might end up on the hook for $16,000 for a new battery one day? Please leave us a comment below and let us know.