BMW reveals compact, low-price Fast DC electric vehicle charging unit

BMW reveals compact, low-price Fast DC electric vehicle charging unit


BMW has unveiled a new compact and affordable fast charging unit produced in collaboration with Bosch Automotive Service Solutions.

Revealed at the 2014 Plug-in Conference in San Jose, California, BMW claim the new 24kW DC charging units will be able to charge an i3’s battery to 80% capacity in less than 30 minutes.

The units themselves will be around half the size of a normal DC charging unit, but also offer half the amount of power (rated as 24kW Fast rather than 43kW+ Rapid).

bmw fast dc charging unitThe compact charging points will be available in the US initially and have been marketed as a low-cost option for dealerships and businesses, costing $6,548, considerably less than current DC points that are generally at least double the price.

The charging point measures 31″H x 19″W x 12″D and weighs 100 pounds. One extra benefit gained from BMW ‘s DC charging unit’s condensed proportions is that it has the possibility to be wall-mounted.

The charging point will have a tethered cable with the US version of the CCS connector: a SAE Combo 1, which combines a J1772 AC connection with the standardised twin DC charging pins.

Eventually, the charging points are expected to be introduced in Europe using the CCS (Combo) connection at some point down the line. This would allow any car with a CCS inlet to use them not just the BMW i3, for example, the VW e-up! would also be able to take advantage of the BMW charging points.

“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.”

In a separate move, BMW has also announced a partnership with US-based charge point manufacturer NRG Energy to allow BMW i3 free access to rapid charging points across the United States. The NRG eVgo network will accessible to BMW i3 drivers via the ChargePoint scheme, or BMW’s own ChargeNow card until the end of 2015.

EV Fleet World, The Wall Street Journal