2014 BMW i3Enlarge Photo
BMW has launched a new range of DC fast chargers aimed at providing a convenient charging standard for drivers of its i3 electric cars.
Developed in conjunction with Bosch, the BMW i DC fast chargers will allow i3 owners to charge their cars' batteries up to 80 percent in 30 minutes.
Not only is the new unit compact (31 inches high, 19 inches wide and 12 inches deep), it's also relatively light at 100 lbs, allowing it to be mounted on a wall--something BMW says is a first for DC fast chargers.
BMW i DC fast chargerEnlarge Photo
The charger is rated at 24 kW and uses the SAE Combo 1 connector, also used by the Chevrolet Spark EV and due to be used by several other electric vehicles.
BMW, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have all committed to using the standard, and drivers of each should be able to use public BMW chargers as the setup can also be used by anyone with a ChargePoint or ChargeNow card.
For i3 drivers in California specifically, it'll be free too--at all NRG eVgo Freedom Station sites equipped with DC Combo Fast Charging, through 2015.
The new BMW and Bosch charger is a real statement of intent from the German automaker, suggesting the company really is serious about electric cars. The competitive pricing of the charger and its Combo connector should make it a popular installation too, ready to serve a wide range of electric vehicles as more hit the market.
Robert Healey, EV Infrastructure Manager, at BMW of North America calls the new charger a "milestone", adding that the charger has an "appealing price point, and more manageable size, to make the convenience of DC fast charging more accessible for BMW i3 owners."