BMW is going to increase the range of the electric 2017 BMW i3 by about 50 percent, allowing the vehicle to run 120 miles on a single charge.

The compact EV is considered as one of the best electric cars to buy in 2015, and it can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds. Originally, it's capable of reaching 81 miles and the optional gasoline engine boosts the distance up to 150 miles.

BMW AG board member for sales and marketing Ian Robertson told Automotive News at the Detroit Auto Show that the BMW i3's lithium-ion battery pack will get an upgrade, noting that it "puts it into a much more usable range."

The carmaker will also implement improvements across the board, but it has not revealed what those will be. Nevertheless, aside from the mileage boost, they should help the compact EV in climbing up the ranks in the electric car industry.

The current top-seller is the Nissan Leaf. It can go up to 107 miles on one charge, which is a tad lower compared to the improved BMW i3. However, the company is reportedly going to beef up the battery capacity of the electric car, bumping the figure to 250 miles. According to Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, the company intends to make it "comparative to today's conventional vehicles" in the foreseeable future.

While BMW's compact EV seems to be on its way to the top of the proverbial food chain, it appears that it'll be stymied by the upcoming Chevy Bolt, which General Motors unveiled at CES 2016. Chevrolet's EV can travel 200 miles on a single charge, and as a clincher, it's going to cost less than $30,000 after tax incentives.

BMW rolled out the i3 in the United States back in 2014, and it came with a $43,350 price tag, which included shipping fees. A model equipped with a range extender became available that time too, and it was pegged at $47,200.

The bottom line is that the 2017 BMW i3 isn't out of the game. For starters, it arguably has a better interior compared to the Chevy Bolt, from the design to the floating screen. At any rate, this shows how determined BMW is to stay and move forward in the electric car scene.

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