The numbers are in and they show EV sales were up sharply in April, thanks in large part to two electric cars that boast longer range — the BMW i3 and the Renualt Zoe. The i3 now comes with a 33 kWh battery, which is 50% larger than it debuted with a few years ago. Range is now listed at 114 miles as compared to 82 miles for the original. Buyers have responded. Twice as many i3 sedan found new homes in April of this year as did a year ago.
In France, the Renault Zoe, which is a close cousin to the Nissan LEAF, also has a new battery with longer range. Except in base trim, the car now sports a 41 kWh battery and an estimated range of 186 miles in the European testing cycle. That has propelled the Zoe to the top of the sales charts in France and made it a strong seller in many other European countries.
The proof that battery technology is evolving at a rapid pace is that both the new BMW battery and the new Renault battery (sourced from LG Chem) fit in the same space as the smaller batteries the cars came with initially.