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BMW introduces compact i DC Fast Chargers; ChargeNow DC Fast program for no-cost 30-min charge through 2015

BMW of North America launched its BMW i DC Fast Chargers, which can charge the BMW i3 all-electric vehicle’s battery up to 80% in 30 minutes, at the Plug-In 2014 conference. The fast chargers are a joint development between BMW and Bosch Automotive Service Solutions.

BMW also announced its 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.

EL-51620 BMW i DC Fast Charger
Voltage 400V–480V, 3 phase P90158081
Input power 24kW
Input current/phase 30A
Rec. breaker 40A
Connector/Cable SAE Combo 1
Mounting Wall mount or optional pedestal.
Weight 125 lbs (57 kg)
Cord length 20 ft (6 meters)
Dimensions 31" H x 19" W x 12" D
(86 cm x 48 cm x 30 cm)
Temperature rating -40 °F to 185 °F
Enclosure Indoor/Outdoor rated, IP54 enclosure
Price $6,548

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; meet NEMA 3 requirements; and are designed to perform in extreme weather conditions, from -40°F to 185°F.

Conventional DC fast chargers can be about the size of a standard refrigerator, cost tens of thousands of dollars and require a significant amount of electricity. By contrast, the BMW i DC fast chargers are half the size of a traditional electric vehicle DC charger—measuring 31"H x 19"W x 12"D and weighing approximately 100 pounds—can be mounted on a wall, a first for electric vehicle DC fast chargers.

In addition, BMW i DC Fast Chargers will be priced significantly less than other DC Combo chargers—in the market at $6,548 for authorized BMW partners.

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. 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.

—Robert Healey, EV Infrastructure Manager, at BMW of North America

Additionally, the BMW i DC Fast Charger is ChargePoint network-enabled, allowing electric vehicle drivers with the SAE Combo 1 inlet to access the BMW i DC Fast Charger using a ChargePoint or ChargeNow card. Major automakers including BMW, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have committed to adopting the SAE Combo 1 inlet for DC charging.

The BMW i DC Fast Chargers will be available for BMW i Centers across the US beginning in August.

ChargeNow DC Fast. BMW, in cooperation with NRG eVgo, will offer no cost charging to BMW i3 drivers at participating eVgo Freedom Station sites equipped with DC Combo Fast Charging in California through 2015.

Using their ChargeNow cards, BMW i3 drivers will have access to unlimited 30-minute DC fast charging sessions with the ChargeNow DC Fast program. BMW i3 owners can sign up for ChargeNow DC Fast at In order to receive the full benefits of the program, BMW i3 drivers must use the ChargeNow card, provided with their BMW i3, to charge the vehicle at least once by 31 December 2014, at a participating eVgo Freedom Station. By doing so, BMW i3 drivers will enjoy continued access to no cost DC charging sessions through the end of 2015. Eligible BMW i3 vehicles must be equipped with the DC Fast Charging option (SAE).

eVgo will deploy a minimum of 100 BMW i3 compatible DC Fast Chargers across California to support the ChargeNow DC Fast Program.



This could be called a Level II+ DC Charger.

It could probably charge an extended range BEV (85+ kWh battery pack) from 15% to 95% in about 2.0 to 3.0 hours.

It is fairly well priced at just under $6K. However, the total installed cost could easily reach $10+K.

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Tesla's 20kW home charger cost 1200 USD. But BMW sell their 24kW charger for 6548 USD. I am not impressed by BMW's price. Tesla's newest public fast charger does 120kW but Tesla will not improve that rate for many years forward Musk has said. I guess the problem with going much above 120kW is that the power electronics starts to get too costly and heavy using current technology.


There are rumours that the next generation (2017/2018) Extended Range BEVs may reach 120 kWh (instead of 85 kWh) and Super Chargers may reach 160+ KW instead of 120 KW.

The above 35% to 45% improvement is not impossible. However a full charge would still need over one hour versus 5 minutes for an Extended range FCEV.


250kW Supercharging is the minimum to silence EV naysayers IMO, as getting a full 200mi charge would then take on the order of 15 minutes. I don't see that as being even a seriously-contemplated idea until there's 120+ kWh batteries available though.


Tesla has the advantage of putting the bulk of the charging electronics in the vehicle (the motor inverters double as the charger).

I don't think BMW is going to be able to compete against the Model 3.  The i3 is funky-cute, which I don't think is going to appeal to the BMW set.  The Model 3 will also undercut the i3's price.

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