At the Plug-In 2014 conference happening in San Jose, CA this week, BMW announced a new i DC Fast Charging unit as well as the ChargeNow DC Fast program, which is similar in some ways to Nissan's No Charge To Charge.
Let's start with the chargers. Smaller and much cheaper than other DC fast chargers, an i DC Fast Charger costs just $6,548 plus installation. Remember, it was a big deal in 2011 when Nissan's DC fast charger was less than $10,000. The i DC Fast Chargers use the SAE Combo connector, so will also work in EVs from Ford, VW and Chevy and other automakers, when available. They take 30 minutes to charge an empty i3 to 80 percent full. All a driver will need in order to use the charger is a ChargePoint (or ChargeNow) card. Most of the first units will likely end up at BMW i dealers across the US.
In a separate announcement, the ChargeNow DC Fast program will allow BMW i3 drivers to get free charging until the end of 2015 at participating NRG eVgo Freedom Stations. The catch is that they need to use the ChargeNow card at least once by the end of 2014. eVgo is promising to install at least 100 compatible DC fast chargers in California by the end of next year, so this should be relatively easy in at least one of the 50 states.
We will have more from San Jose soon.
BMW i DC Fast Chargers, developed in collaboration with Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, are half the size of current DC Combo fast chargers, compatible with multiple electric vehicles and significantly more affordable.
BMW i DC Fast Chargers run on the ChargePoint network giving BMW i3 drivers access with a ChargePoint or ChargeNow card.
ChargeNow DC Fast enables BMW i3 drivers to charge at no cost, at participating NRG eVgo Freedom Stations equipped with DC Combo Fast Charging, through 2015.
San Jose, CA/Woodcliff Lake, NJ – July 28, 2014... At Plug-In 2014, a conference dedicated to discussing key issues for the long-term success of electric vehicles, BMW of North America launched its BMW i DC Fast Chargers which can charge the BMW i3 all-electric vehicle's battery up to 80 percent in 30 minutes. A joint development between BMW and Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, BMW i DC Fast Chargers will change the face of public charging as the first compact and affordable DC Combo fast charger. The first BMW i DC Fast Charger will be on display at Plug-In 2014 on July 28 at the San Jose Convention Center. BMW also announced its new ChargeNow DC Fast program in cooperation with NRG eVgo, in which BMW i3 drivers in California can enjoy no cost unlimited 30 minute DC fast charging, at NRG eVgo Freedom Station® sites equipped with DC Combo Fast Charging, through 2015.
Introducing the BMW i DC Fast Charger
Conventional DC fast chargers are about the size of a standard refrigerator, cost tens of thousands of dollars and require a significant amount of electricity. Half the size of a traditional electric vehicle DC charger – measuring 31"H x 19"W x 12"D and weighing approximately 100 pounds – BMW i DC Fast Chargers can be mounted on a wall, a first for electric vehicle DC fast chargers. In addition, BMW i DC Fast Chargers will be priced significantly less than other DC Combo chargers in the market at $6,548 for authorized BMW partners.
"This is a milestone in the development of the DC fast charging infrastructure. With more than five years of real world experience, we understand that a robust network of publicly available DC Combo Fast Chargers is a key part of the mobility of tomorrow," said Robert Healey, EV Infrastructure Manager, at BMW of North America. "BMW is offering the BMW i DC Fast Charger at an appealing price point, and more manageable size, to make the convenience of DC fast charging more accessible for BMW i3 owners."
The 24 kW DC Fast Charger feeds the current directly to the vehicle's battery, resulting in a more efficient and faster charge. BMW i DC Fast Chargers use the SAE Combo 1 connector, the North American automotive industry standard for fast charging; feature a rugged aluminum IP54 enclosure; meet NEMA 3 requirements; and are designed to perform in extreme weather conditions, from -40°F to 185°F. Additionally, the BMW i DC Fast Charger is ChargePoint network-enabled, allowing electric vehicle drivers with the SAE Combo 1 inlet to access the BMW i DC Fast Charger using a ChargePoint or ChargeNow card. Major automakers including BMW, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have committed to adopting the SAE Combo 1 inlet for DC charging.
The BMW i DC Fast Chargers will be available for BMW i Centers across the U.S. beginning in August.
Introducing ChargeNow DC Fast for BMW i3 Drivers
In keeping with its holistic approach to making DC fast charging more accessible and, in turn, increasing the adoption of electric vehicles, BMW, in cooperation with NRG eVgo, will offer no cost charging to BMW i3 drivers at participating eVgo Freedom Station sites equipped with DC Combo Fast Charging in California through 2015.
Using their ChargeNow cards, BMW i3 drivers will have access to unlimited 30-minute DC fast charging sessions with the ChargeNow DC Fast program. BMW i3 owners can sign up easily for ChargeNow DC Fast at chargenow.com/us. In order to receive the full benefits of the program, BMW i3 drivers must use the ChargeNow card, provided with their BMW i3, to charge the vehicle at least once by December 31, 2014, at a participating eVgo Freedom Station. By doing so, BMW i3 drivers will enjoy continued access to no cost DC charging sessions through the end of 2015. Eligible BMW i3 vehicles must be equipped with the DC Fast Charging option (SAE).
"We're confident the rapidly-expanding NRG eVgo DC Fast Charging network will provide significant benefits to BMW i3 drivers in California," continued Mr. Healey. "With the cooperation between ChargePoint and NRG eVgo, ChargeNow DC Fast brings us closer to the reality of one card, one account public charging network interoperability."
eVgo will deploy a minimum of 100 BMW i3 compatible DC Fast Chargers across California to support the ChargeNow DC Fast Program.
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 339 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 120 MINI passenger car dealers, and 35 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.
Journalist note: Information about BMW Group and its products in the USA is available to journalists online at www.bmwusanews.com and www.press.bmwna.com.