BMW invoke fast battery chargers to spark EV sales

July 28, 2014 // By Paul Buckley
BMW has launched the company's i DC Fast Chargers, which claim to be capable of charging the BMW i3 all-electric vehicle’s battery up to 80 percent in 30 minutes, to help spark growth in the company's electric vehicle sales drive.

The charger, which is the result of a joint development between BMW and Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, is aiming to 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 event at the San Jose Convention Center in the USA. BMW has also announced the company's 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.

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-inch H x 19-inch W x 12-inch D and weighing approximately 100 pounds – the BMW i DC Fast Chargers can be mounted on a wall, which claims to be a first for electric vehicle DC fast chargers. The BMW i DC Fast Chargers will be priced 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 D 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;