Marvinski
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2022 11:58 am

Battery replacement/upgrade service in North America?

New here, hope I'm posting in the right session. If not, Admin please move. Thanks

I'm planning on getting an i3 in Canada, and while doing my research I found this youtube video about battery replacement/upgrade for the i3 in HK.

Im wondering if there are anyone performing something like this in North America??

BMW i3 Battery Replacement ! 130km to 360km !
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjqMeoSWQPQ
alohart
Posts: 2683
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Battery replacement/upgrade service in North America?

As you probably read, this battery pack replacement using Chinese cells cost U.S. $11k in Hong Kong. These cells were described at Samsung SDI 120 Ah copies although they look quite different from Samsung's cells. They appear to be assembled in proprietary modules that aren't the modules that BMW used although it's a bit difficult to know for certain. The replacement battery pack is claimed to have a gross capacity of 48 kWh. Some have claimed that BMW's 120 Ah BMS doesn't support a usable capacity greater than 40 kWh, but it's not clear whether a proprietary BMS is included. I don't know whether the customer can keep the original battery modules and cells. It appears that the original battery pack compartment is being used.

A big red flag for me would be battery cell quality. I don't trust Chinese battery cells of unknown origin to be of the same high quality as Samsung's although they certainly could be. When I owned a first-generation Honda Insight hybrid, some third-party replacement battery packs used low-quality Chinese battery cells (or maybe more accurately, cells not designed for the high current requirements of the Insight's battery pack). These battery packs failed fairly quickly. A third-party battery pack supplier would need to be an established company that would be almost certain to honor its warranty, and I would want that warranty to be long if I paid more than $11k for the battery pack.

At some point, third-party i3 battery packs will almost certainly become available in North America if quality cells at reasonable prices become available.
Aloha,
Art
[22-04-25 to now] 2019 BMW i3 Imperial Blue Metallic, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Heat Pump, 428 Wheels
[14-11-05 to 22-06-15] 2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging
JuiceBox EVSE
agzand
Posts: 146
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:00 pm

Re: Battery replacement/upgrade service in North America?

It is not economical to upgrade the battery at current prices. You are better off buying a newer car with larger battery than upgrading an older car.

Some day it could become economical, there are a lot of i3s on the road in US and Europe, so it is one of the models that has a better chance of getting a third party upgrade.
ksnax
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:02 am

Re: Battery replacement/upgrade service in North America?

alohart wrote: Thu Oct 20, 2022 3:25 pm . . Some have claimed that BMW's 120 Ah BMS doesn't support a usable capacity greater than 40 kWh, but it's not clear whether a proprietary BMS is included. . .
The BMS doesn't know the difference if voltages and wiring configurations are the same.
alohart
Posts: 2683
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Battery replacement/upgrade service in North America?

ksnax wrote: Thu Nov 17, 2022 9:42 am
alohart wrote: Thu Oct 20, 2022 3:25 pm . . Some have claimed that BMW's 120 Ah BMS doesn't support a usable capacity greater than 40 kWh, but it's not clear whether a proprietary BMS is included. . .
The BMS doesn't know the difference if voltages and wiring configurations are the same.
However, the software component of the BMS could include a usable capacity limit. We just don't know.
Aloha,
Art
[22-04-25 to now] 2019 BMW i3 Imperial Blue Metallic, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Heat Pump, 428 Wheels
[14-11-05 to 22-06-15] 2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging
JuiceBox EVSE

Return to “Technical BMW i3 Discussions”