Product, Service & Design Innovation
BMW i's Fast Charger Charges EVs Up to 80% in 30 Min

BMW of North America this week launched its BMW i DC Fast Chargers, which can charge the BMW i3 all-electric vehicle’s battery up to 80 percent in 30 minutes.

A joint development between BMW and Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, the charger was on display on July 28 at Plug-In 2014 on July 28 at the San Jose Convention Center.

Half the size of a traditional electric vehicle DC charger, BMW i DC Fast Chargers can be mounted on a wall, a first for EV DC fast chargers. The chargers also will be significantly cheaper than other DC Combo chargers in the market, priced at $6,548 for authorized BMW partners.

BMW and General Motors first successfully tested the chargers in June 2013.

The 24-kW DC Fast Charger feeds the current directly to the vehicle’s battery, and uses the SAE Combo 1 connector. It also is ChargePoint network-enabled, allowing EV drivers with the SAE Combo 1 inlet to access the BMW i charger using a ChargePoint or ChargeNow card. Using their ChargeNow cards, BMW i3 drivers will have access to unlimited 30-minute DC fast-charging sessions with the ChargeNow DC Fast program.

One of the largest hurdles to widespread EV adoption has been their limited range and the significant time needed to recharge. Fast Chargers could make EVs more attractive to consumers, but other companies are experimenting with alternative solutions. Tesla Motors, for example, is working on battery packs that can be swapped in roughly 90 seconds.

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