BMW unveils fast chargers and more
At the on-going Plug-In 2014, a conference dedicated to the future of electric vehicles, BMW of North America unveiled the brand new i DC Fast Chargers that can charge the BMW i3 electric vehicle up to 80 per cent in 30 minutes. Speed is not the only advantage of the new BMW product – the i DC Fast Chargers are the first compact and affordable DC Combo chargers. In addition to this 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.
Unlike regular DC fast chargers that are usually as large as a standard refrigerator the new BMW chargers measure just 31 x 19 x 12 inches and weigh approximately 100 pounds. This means that you can install your i DC Fast Charger on a wall, which is a first for electric car DC fast chargers. In addition the i DC Fast Charger will be significantly cheaper than other DC chargers selling for USD 6548 at select BMW dealers.
"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 new BMW i DC Fast Charger comes with 24 kW of power and can feed the vehicle battery directly, which results in more efficient and faster charging. 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 (-40°C) to 185°F (85°C). 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.
The new ChargeNow program gives BMW i3 drivers 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).