BMW unveils a smaller, affordable fast charger
Hoping to spur support for its fledgling EV program as well as strengthen the overall electric vehicle infrastructure, BMW of North America has unveiled its BMW i DC Fast Charger. Jointly developed with Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, this compact and affordable alternative to existing direct current fast chargers has a 24kW capability and can bring a new BMW i3 EV to an 80-percent charge in 30 minutes. BMW i DC Fast Chargers will be available at various BMW i Centers across the U.S. next month.
The automaker also announced a new ChargeNow DC Fast program in cooperation with NRG eVgo, a provider of EV charging stations. Under its terms, NRG eVgo will deploy at least 100 i3-compatible DC Fast Chargers across the state of California, which has the greatest concentration of BMW's regionally-marketed i3. Owners who sign up for a ChargeNow DC Fast account and use it at least once before the end of the year will have no-cost unlimited 30-minute fast charging at NRG eVgo Freedom Station sites equipped with these new DC Combo Fast Charging through all of 2015.
As for it advantages, the new i DC Fast Charger is about the size of a small suitcase, making it significantly smaller than any other direct current quick charger on the market. Weighing roughly 100 pounds, it's also the first DC fast charger that can be wall mounted. The i DC Fast Charger costs $6,548 for authorized BMW partners, a figure below every other DC fast charger. Thanks to its SAE Combo 1 connector, BMW's new charging system also can be used on EVs produced by a number of other automakers, including Audi, Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen. Owners of those vehicles can access a BMW Fast Charger using a ChargePoint or ChargeNow card.
"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," commented 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."
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