Charging BMW i3

Everything BMW i3 drivers need to know about charging

BMW has embraced the electrification of its fleet of vehicle offerings as much as any existing auto manufacturer. They have one all-electric offering and five plug-in hybrids. No other automotive brand has offered such a diverse plug-in vehicle portfolio to date.

The battery electric BMW i3

BMW launched the BMW i3 in late 2013 as a 2014 model. The i3 is available in two iterations; an all-electric (BEV) and as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) with the addition of the optional range extender that BMW calls the “REx”. This makes the BMW i3 the only car that you can buy in either all-electric or plug-in hybrid form.

The BMW i3 is a rear-wheel drive, four-passenger, five-door hatchback, with rear coach-style doors that open in the opposite direction of conventional doors. This gives the i3 a “clamshell” appearance when both the front and rear doors are open.

The i3 is known for its quirky, non-conventional styling for a BMW. It employs a carbon fiber reinforced plastic body, aluminum frame, and exterior body panels that are thermoplastic. Since its launch, BMW has upgraded the charging capabilities once, and the battery twice to increase the all-electric driving range. See the chart below for the BMW i3 battery, charging and electric driving range details.

Charging the BMW i3

For level 1 and level 2 charging, the i3 uses the industry-standard SAE J1772 connector in North America. The charge port is located on the rear right side of the vehicle, just behind the rear door. The i3 has had a couple of battery upgrades and one charging upgrade in its six-year existence, demonstrated in the chart below. Match up your i3 with the model year and battery size, to see how long it takes to charge your BMW i3.

The i3 is capable of level 3 DC fast charging and uses the North American standard Combined Charging System (CCS) connector for level 3 charging.

Model Year

2014 to 2016 (all)
2017 w/ 60 Ah battery
2017 w/ 94 Ah battery
2018 (all models)
2019 (all models)

Max Charge Rate

7.2 kW
7.7 kW
7.7 kW
7.7 kW
7.7 kW

Battery Size

22 kWh
22 kWh
33 kWh
33 kWh
42 kWh

Charge Time on Level 1

15-18 hrs
15-18 hrs
24-28 hrs
24-28 hrs
30-35 hrs
Charge Time with JuiceBox Pro 40
3.5 hrs
3.5 hrs
4.5 hrs
4.5 hrs
5.5 hrs

All Electric Range

72 - 81 miles
72 - 81 miles
97 - 114 miles
97 - 114 miles
126-153 miles

BMW's plug-in hybrid models

The BMW i8

BMW i8 is a dedicated plug-in hybrid model that incorporates the same carbon fiber, aluminum and thermoplastic body construction as the BMW i3. The i8 is a high-performance sports car, with unique “butterfly doors” that open up and outward.

The i8 is an all-wheel-drive, four-passenger hatchback, with a very small rear seating area. It has an 11.7 kWh battery, that’s good for 18 miles of range on battery alone. The BMW i8 has been available since 2014 and had a smaller, 7.1 kWh battery until being upgraded in 2019.

The BMW X5 40e

The BMW X5 40e is the plug-in hybrid version of BMW’s popular X5 SUV. It has a 9.2 kWh battery that can power the vehicle up to 14 miles without assistance from the gasoline motor.

BMW discontinued the X5 40e in 2019 and is introducing the next generation X5 45e in Europe in 2019, and in the US in 2020. The X5 45e has a much larger 24 kWh battery than its predecessor, which will increase the all-electric driving range to about 30 miles.

The BMW 530e

The BMW 530e is the plug-in hybrid version of BMW’s 5-series midsize sedan. It has a 9.2 kWh battery and has been BMW’s best selling plug-in vehicle in 2019. The 530e has an 18 mile all-electric range, and the hybrid powertrain delivers 29 miles per gallon once the battery is exhausted, which is very good for a luxury sports sedan in this class.

The BMW 330e

The BMW 330e is the plug-in hybrid version of BMW’s best selling car, the 3-Series. It has a 7.6 kWh battery which delivers 14 miles of all-electric driving range. The BMW 330e was available from 2015 to 2018. BMW plans to introduce the 2nd generation 300e in 2020, which a larger battery and longer electric driving range.

The BMW 740e

The BMW 740e is the plug-in hybrid version of BMW’s flagship luxury sedan, the 7-Series. Like the X5 40e and the 530e, the BMW 740e has a 9.2 kWh battery which is good for 14 miles of all-electric range. Later in 2019, BMW will introduce the next-generation 7-Series, including the new 745e plug-in hybrid which will have a larger battery and a longer all-electric driving range.

Charging BMW's plug-in hybrids

For level 1 and level 2 charging, all of BMW’s plug-in hybrids use the industry-standard SAE J1772 connector in North America. The charge ports on all of BMW’s PHEVs are all located in the same place, on the front left side of the vehicle, just ahead of the driver’s door. None of BMW’s PHEVs are capable of using level 3 DC fast chargers. Match up your BMW plug-in hybrid with the model and year in the chart below, to see how long it takes to charge your EV battery.

PHEV Model

BMW i8 (2014 -2018)
BMW i8 (2019)
BMW X5 40e
BMW 530e
BMW 330e
BMW 740e

Max Charge Rate

3.6 kW
3.6 kW
3.6 kW
3.6 kW
3.6 kW
3.6 kW

Battery Size

7.1 kWh
11.7 kWh
9.2 kWh
9.2 kWh
7.6 kWh
9.2 kWh

Charge Time on Level 1

15-18 hrs
15-18 hrs
24-28 hrs
24-28 hrs
30-35 hrs
6.5 hrs
Charge Time with JuiceBox Pro 40
2 hrs
3.5 hrs
2.5 hrs
2.5 hrs
2.25 hrs
2.5 hrs

All Electric Range

15 miles
18 miles
14 miles
18 miles
14 miles
14 miles

The JuiceBox Pro 40 is a great choice to use as your BMW EV charger. BMW has consistently demonstrated with all of their electric vehicles, that they upgrade models to include larger batteries for longer electric driving range every time they introduce the next generation of that model.

A larger battery means a longer charging time. Therefore, as battery sizes increase, it becomes more important to have an electric vehicle charging station that can deliver enough power to rapidly recharge your battery. Future proof your investment with a high powered JuiceBox smart charger, and you’ll never need to upgrade it in the future when you get your next electric vehicle.

BMW driver JuiceBox reviews

  • This is our first electric car and with all of the choices on EVSE’s we are glad we chose the Juicebox Pro 40
    Ordered the Juicebox one week ago for my BMW i3, received and installed the following day. This is our first electric car and with all of the choices on EVSE’s we are glad we chose the Juicebox Pro 40. Knowing how many kWh we are using per day make us feel even better about our purchase. Took just a short time to get the unit set up on our WiFi and the features of the app figured out. Nice features that are easily used and allow us to make the most of our non peak electrical costs. When looking at any of the EVSE’s or chargers as my wife and I call them make sure you get one big enough. For our car the Juicebox pro is capable of delivering the 40 amps stated but our car seems to only accept about 29.9. Again, we are very pleased with our purchase just one week in.
    October 30, 2017
  • Great EVSE, love the wifi-connectivity and the stats
    Love this product so far. Using it with my BMW i3 non-rex, charge times are light years ahead of my little L1 charger that I had been using (the one that came with the car). I'm really impressed by the wifi connectivity and the polished app that comes with it. Very impressed so far.
    October 12, 2018
  • Easy to install, easy to use, and it does the job...

    We haven't had it for too long but so far it's done everything it's supposed to, and is easily controlled via the browser or App. It's overkill for our new BMW 530e but I wanted to run a 50A circuit and "future proof" my garage. Note that to run a "40 Amp" charger you need a 50 Amp 240V AC outlet due to conversion inefficiencies. No matter which one you buy from any supplier make sure you have the right power and this is something best left to a professional electrician in my book. BTW the wimpy level 1 portable charger BMW gives you doesn't work well at all. We kept getting error codes and a warning light and when you go to the BMW dealer the first thing they ask you is if you have a dedicated level 2 charger...

    Getting back to the JuiceBox we have Amazon Prime and they delivered on time early on a Sunday, it took about 2 minutes to install it. The charging cord is quite thick so you have to position the unit a little above the 240V outlet if you want the cord to hang naturally. It wasn't any problem for us but if you are tight on space make sure you position the outlet correctly so you have room. If you need to install it next to the outlet it's probably best to put the outlet upside down so the cord just loops up. Once installed it took another 2 min to get it up on the browser, download the App, and start charging. I am mostly delaying the charge until midnight to get better rates from PGE but is easy to charge on demand via browser or App if you need a boost during the day. It takes about 2 hours to fully charge the 530e, and this is due to the relatively small battery and 16A charging limit. Someone with a more demanding EV charging situation would probably have more input on charging a fully electric car or maybe even a Tesla.

    Compared to the disastrous experiences we've had charging at public stations, particularly Blink, it's great to get home and plug into the JuiceBox. Hope this helps someone. Thanks.

    January 21, 2018
  • A Can’t Miss Purchase!!

    I inadvertently purchased the Pro 32 thinking it was the 40 but I honestly can't tell the difference. I can say a new found joy has arisen since graduating to a level 2 charger. My '15 BMW i3 REX provided me with enough juice for my daily commute with little to no leeway to include using the heated seats, defroster and basic heat when necessary. Now with the upgrade my hands aren't in danger of frostbite (February in D.C) because I know each morning i'll be able to precondition the battery, step into a warm vehicle and still be at full capacity to start my day.

    The app and functionality are super user friendly. Its aesthetically pleasing and with the 24' charging cable and wall mounted docking station, for my money is the best value.

    Spend the money on the JuiceBox and really get everything your EV was designed to provide.

    February 21, 2019