BMW is ready to hold the hand of anyone considering taking the plunge and buying a plug-in model from the German automaker's i sub-brand. A new suite of services called 360 Electric is a "portfolio of consumer-oriented offerings designed to overcome commonly perceived barriers to purchasing an electric vehicle." Here's what's included.

In the garage, BMW is offering a wall-mounted SAE J1772-compliant connector that can fully recharge an i3 electric vehicle in about three hours and an i8 plug-in hybrid in about half that time. Bosch is providing the free customized installation a free in-home consultation regarding charger installation. Above the garage, BMW has cut a deal with solar-panel installer SolarCity to get drivers a 10-percent discount on rooftop solar-array systems starting next year.

On the road, BMW will give out ChargeNow cards that can be used at ChargePoint's (formerly Coulomb Technologies) network of more than 14,000 charging stations. And BMW's ConnectedDrive on-board navigation system locates nearby public charging stations. On top of all that, drivers in the Bay Area will have access to the approximately 100 ActiveE electric vehicles that are part of BMW's DriveNow car-sharing program in San Francisco.

BMW will start selling both the i3 and i8 next year. The i3's base price will be about $41,000 while the i8 will run a tidy $136,000. Check out BMW's press release below and read Autoblog's First drive review here.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story mistakenly indicated that Bosch would install the in-home charging unit free of charge. Bosch will provide free in-home consultation, but the cost of the installation itself will be the responsibility of the consumer.
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BMW ANNOUNCES COMPREHENSIVE 360 ELECTRIC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES FOR BMW i DRIVERS

Driving electric: easier and more convenient than ever.

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – November 14, 2013... In the final week before this year's Los Angeles International Auto Show, where the BMW i3 and BMW i8 will be on display, BMW of North America has announced the partnerships and programs comprising its 360º Electric portfolio. Available in early 2014, 360º Electric is a portfolio of consumer-oriented offerings designed to overcome commonly perceived barriers to purchasing an electric vehicle.

360º Electric encompasses products for home and public charging, assistance services, and flexible mobility. Moreover, BMW has partnered with experts in the field of electric mobility to provide its customers the best solutions available on the market so as to optimize their overall EV driving experience. Therefore, not only will 360º Electric allow for a convenient and easy transition to electric driving, but it will also provide customers access to an energy-conscious, sustainable lifestyle.

BMW is currently the only automotive manufacturer offering such a comprehensive plan for consumers to cover their individual electric mobility needs beyond their vehicles. BMW is perfectly situated to branch into complementary electric vehicle markets because its experience with the MINI E and ActiveE field trials has allowed the company to understand EV driver challenges and demands. "BMW has applied the lessons learned and customer feedback from our field trials to develop the 360º Electric portfolio." said Robert Healey, BMW NA's Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Manager. "Electric mobility is new to many customers, and in order to give them maximum confidence and a premium experience, we have given them access to programs and experts that will enable a truly holistic electric driving experience.

HOME CHARGING.

BMW i Charging Station.

Combining BMW i design and reliability in the convenience of the customer's home, the BMW i Charging Station provides a fast way to charge the BMW i vehicle. This wall-mounted charging station features an SAE J1772-compliant connector, a weather-resistant NEMA 3 enclosure for indoor and outdoor installations, and with an output capacity of 7.2 kW at 240V, the BMW i3 can be fully and safely charged in approximately 3 hours, and the BMW i8 in approximately 1.5 hours. Regardless of where the vehicle is parked, the 25 foot charging cable allows for maximum parking flexibility. Once the BMW i vehicle is plugged in, charging begins and ends automatically when fully charged.

BMW Installation Services.

Bosch Automotive Service Solutions will provide BMW i3 customers a concierge-level, customized installation of the BMW i Charging Station to ensure safe and reliable charging at their homes. A Bosch Vehicle Charging Advisor will support i3 drivers through the entire installation process, including permitting and electrical inspection. Bosch certified electricians will perform a no cost, in-home consultation and full installation services, backed by a Bosch warranty and ongoing technical support. Additionally, qualified customers will be able to finance the cost of the charging station and installation with their vehicle through BMW Financial Services.

"Our network of certified electricians has installed more than 8,000 charging stations in residential and commercial applications," said Tanvir Arfi, Global President of Bosch Automotive Service Solutions.

"Leveraging our extensive charging infrastructure expertise, Bosch will provide the same high level of professional support to BMW i3 drivers that they'll experience in the BMW i Centers during the purchase of this ground breaking vehicle."

BMW Solar Energy Program.

For BMW i, the definition of premium also includes a long-term focus on sustainability paired with an immediate focus on economical energy choices. BMW has partnered with SolarCity, America's No. 1 full-service solar power provider, to offer owners of the new BMW i vehicles exclusive access to SolarCity's most affordable solar service option. As part of the partnership, BMW i owners will receive a 10-percent discount on SolarCity's home solar offer with flexible financing options, including options with no upfront installation cost and 20 years of locked-in solar energy rates. The BMW i discount, offered through all participating BMW i Centers, will be available in early 2014.

PUBLIC CHARGING.

ChargeNow.


ChargeNow, in cooperation with BMW i, makes it easy for BMW i drivers to find and access all publicly available charging stations on the ChargePoint network. ChargePoint is the largest public charging network in the U.S. and Canada, and will administer BMW i's public charging program, ChargeNow. ChargePoint's vast and expansive network of charging units will ensure that BMW i customers on the go can conveniently charge their BMW i vehicles. Using the ChargeNow card, BMW i drivers can access all publicly available charging stations on the ChargePoint network. By providing real time availability status and location information, the ConnectedDrive navigation allows BMW i drivers easy access to public charging stations.

All BMW i owners will also be provided ChargeNow cards, providing immediate access to more than 14,000 stations on ChargePoint's growing network. BMW i owners will be able to park and charge in public parking lots or parking garages. In addition, BMW i Centers are installing ChargeNow-branded charging stations across the U.S. and Canada that are available for current and future customers, available in early 2014.

ParkNow LongTerm.

ParkNow LongTerm is an extension of the ParkNow product offer, an innovative solution for guaranteed and convenient parking. As part of the 360º Electric product portfolio it is designed specifically for BMW i drivers in select markets who do not have access to residential or workplace charging options. ParkNow LongTerm connects BMW i drivers to dedicated parking spaces with charging stations in parking garages on a long-term based rental in select cities. BMW i drivers are covered with their parking and charging needs – with ParkNow LongTerm, they will no longer have to look for monthly parking or for one-off charging options.

ParkNow LongTerm will identify the best parking options for BMW i customers and recommend to a prepared parking facility from ParkNow's broad partner network. ParkNow LongTerm offers an easy and convenient parking spot that is pre-qualified and guaranteed in order to provide the customer with a pleasant parking experience.

FLEXIBLE MOBILITY.

Alternate Mobility Program.


For those occasional long-distance trips, BMW i is developing customized mobility solutions for your longer excursions. Whether you're planning a long weekend getaway or a road trip vacation, BMW i will have you covered in style under the Alternate Mobility Program, planned to be available in 2014.

DriveNow.

DriveNow, LLC will provide BMW i drivers access to BMW i's car sharing vision. Featuring all-electric, zero-emissions vehicles, BMW i drivers can access a car anytime, simply paying by the minute. DriveNow is currently available in San Francisco, with a fleet of 100 percent BMW ActiveE vehicles that make renting convenient, premium, and environmentally friendly.

ASSISTANCE SERVICES.

BMW i has solutions for 100 percent electric vehicle driving confidence every day, in every situation that will keep you covered seamlessly and efficiently. Many BMW i products and services, including ConnectedDrive and the BMW i Remote App, are designed to optimize your electric travel on a daily basis. And if your car actually requires technical assistance on the road, BMW Roadside Assistance provides the peace of mind of always having a response specialist on call – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

ConnectedDrive.

ConnectedDrive offers daily driving solutions tailored especially for BMW i vehicles. Through ConnectedDrive, BMW i vehicles come equipped with the technology to help drivers easily locate the nearest public charging stations, and if available, see their availability through the on-board navigation system. You can also use ConnectedDrive to check vehicle charging status, control the charging process, plan trips and drive more efficiently.

With the BMW i Remote App for iOS and Android, you can use your smartphone to connect with your BMW i vehicle remotely and control it from a distance. You can see your vehicle's range, battery condition and charge levels, service messages, and location. With Charge Control, charging procedures at each station, trip planning, climate control of the passenger compartment and the high-voltage battery can all be activated remotely.

The navigation feature displays information you need to make your drive as easy as possible. At the heart of this lies the Driving Range Assistant with its dynamic range map, which takes into account relevant factors that could impact your drive, including your current battery charge level, driving style, topographic conditions or even the immediate traffic situation. ECO Route is an additional feature that helps you find the most efficient way to reach your destination. If Range Assistance determines that your destination is beyond your vehicle's current range, it will locate a nearby charging station or suggest a more efficient route.

Maintenance & Repair Packages.

As developed exclusively for BMW i3, BMW Ultimate Service® includes an 8 year, 100,000 mile high voltage battery warranty. And as always, all new BMW vehicles come with additional premium benefits at no cost, including a 4 years or 50,000 miles warranty, 4 years or 50,000 miles maintenance program, and 4 years and unlimited mileage Roadside Assistance.

BMW Roadside Assistance.

If your car actually requires technical assistance on the road, BMW Roadside Assistance offers a range of technical services to provide help as quickly as possible. With the reassurance that a response specialist is only a phone call away, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, BMW i drivers can take advantage of peace of mind around the clock.

BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 119 MINI passenger car dealers, and 34 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      TIMMAH!
      • 1 Year Ago
      "...offerings designed to overcome commonly perceived barriers to purchasing an electric vehicle." Glasses that make this car look less fugly, not included apparently...
      Yarp
      • 1 Year Ago
      Are they still planning on offering the 'borrow a gas car when you need it' perk? I'd find that much more compelling than a 'charge card'. (mostly due to my circumstances, I guess). I can charge at home and at work, and wouldn't use it for much else. Even tooling around town running errands, I probably would only put 40 miles on the car at a time. I do, however, have a need for the occasional road trip to a nearby city that's more than 100 miles away.
        archos
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Yarp
        Did you hear different? Then they still are.
        TurboFroggy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Yarp
        Then you would get an i3 with the REx and half your 200 mile round trip would be on gas. If you plugged in at the opposite end you would get 100mpg on the entire trip.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      Henrik mentions in the comments here: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/11/20131118-bmw.html ... that the i3 is only around 13% more than the Leaf in Europe. It is a pretty good deal at that premium for what is certainly a faster accelerating and arguably nicer car than the Leaf.
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DaveMart
        Having seen it, it's a nicer car than the LEAF. But the difference is not nearly what you think it is. In fact, the LEAF is a decent dashboard away from being on par. Nissan just loves clusters of identical, cheap-looking buttons for some reason.
      RC
      • 1 Year Ago
      The more I look at it, the more I like it. With the addition of 360, the faster i3 BEV is obviously the way to go.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      Since I simply said that the i3 is arguably nicer than the Leaf, it is weird that you should imagine that you know what I think the difference to be. Actually since I have not seen or driven either, I reserve judgement. There are plenty of people who would tend to prefer a BMW to a Nissan though, even without taking into account that the BMW is inarguably faster accelerating.
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      Giving out ChargePoint cards is a great idea. I don't know why anyone didn't do it before. Basically, when you get an EV out here in the Bay Area, there is also a checklist of items you should do, like apply for various stickers, charging cards and such. ChargePoint should just be giving out $20 cards for the dealers to give to customers when they get the car. The first one is free, so to speak. If you use their chargers first and already have a reloadable card it should drive customers to them. The other things are pointless. There's no such thing as an across-the-board 10% discount from a service which is quoted instead of sticker priced (such as installs are). They can just jack up the price 11% and then discount it 10% and you're back where you started.
        Hal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        Still, it is a great thing that BMW is thinking holistically about EVs.