BMW on Thursday announced a partnership with labor management company QMerit, in which the companies will collaborate on sourcing home-charging installation services. As part of the agreement, the German automaker has launched a website called www.bmwcharging.com, where prospective plug-in vehicle drivers can seek out qualified installers and compatible charging stations. Take a look at Bimmer's press release here.

Among other things, the service offers no-cost quotes, allowing users to enter their zip code in order to find nearby installers. The service also allows customers to time their installations to coincide with new-vehicle deliveries while providing access to user reviews and ratings of particular purveyors.

Among other BMW-compatible charging stations, the service will naturally offer installations of the BMW Charging Station, which can fully charge a BMW i3 electric vehicle in less than five hours. Irvine, Calif.-based QMerit was spun off from software giant ABM in 2005.

BMW is looking to add services to boost demand for vehicles in its i sub-brand of plug-in vehicles. Last year, combined US sales of the i3 EV and i8 plug-in hybrid fell 31 percent from a year earlier to about 9,200 vehicles. Last month, though, things improved as BMW plug-in sales doubled from a year earlier to 432 units. BMW upgraded the i3 battery for the 2017 model year so that the car can go as far as 114 miles on a full charge, up from 81 miles for the 2016 model-year version.

As of Thursday afternoon, there were 12 QMerit-certified charging-station installers in the New York City area. In San Francisco and Los Angeles, there were six installers and five installers listed, respectively.

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