BMW is introducing the BMW Smart Charging App, allowing BMW i customers automatically to identify the best rates and times for charging their plug-in electric vehicles at home. Developed by the BMW Group and available for Android and iOS devices, the BMW Smart Charging App is integrated with the BMW i Remote App, which allows drivers to get vehicle information via their smartphone.
The BMW Smart Charging App has the potential to save customers as much as $400 annually on their electric bills, the company says. BMW is the first automotive manufacturer to offer this automated and fully integrated functionality.
In its initial phase, the BMW Smart Charging App is currently available to BMW Electronauts. Electronauts are electric vehicle enthusiasts who leased a BMW ActiveE as part of the company’s field trial which began in 2012, many of whom were among the first in the US to take delivery of a BMW i3. Through a direct connection to a national energy rate database hosted by BMW Group partner, software company Genability, BMW i3 drivers will be able to automate their charging strategy in advance for daily and weekly use. They can also check their energy rates in this database, determine the optimal times to charge their vehicles and get transparency over the charging costs.
By linking the BMW ConnectedDrive interface through the BMW i Remote App, customers can also precondition their BMW i3 vehicles’ temperature, see their vehicle status, view actual charging times and related costs, and adjust and disable their charging settings remotely.
The BMW Smart Charging App will be available to all BMW i3 and BMW i8 customers in the US in 2015.