The BMW Group is introducing multi-contract Plug & Charge functionality to its line-up. From mid-2023, a Plug&Charge function will be available in the first BMW models, enabling customers to charge electricity at public charging points without having to use a charging card or app. The authentication required to start the charging process and for billing is carried out automatically by means of a data exchange between the vehicle and the charging station.
At the same time BMW Charging is expanding its portfolio of charging services with this feature, provided by Digital Charging Solutions GmbH (DCS). DCS develops public charging solutions for automotive OEMs and fleet operators; since the beginning of 2019, DCS has been part of the mobility joint venture between the BMW Group and Daimler AG. In October 2021 bp followed as third shareholder.
Also, the new functionality allows Plug&Charge access to the IONITY charging network.
The BMW Group is the first car manufacturer to integrate a multi-contract functionality into its Plug&Charge offering. This allows customers digitally to store their current multiple charging contracts from at least five different providers in the vehicle and use the charging stations of these operators in a particularly convenient way. For this purpose, the current and future standards of ISO-15118-2 and ISO 15118-20 have been integrated.
Plug&Charge is a function that makes charging the high-voltage battery even easier than refueling a conventionally powered vehicle. All the customer has to do is connect the charging point to the charging port of his vehicle. There is no need to activate the energy feed-in using an app or charging card. Instead, the vehicle authenticates itself independently by transmitting the customer's contract data. This means that at the end of the charging process, the electricity fed into the grid is also billed fully automatically.
Unlike activating the charging process via app, automatic authentication by the vehicle does not require an online connection at the charging location. This is particularly advantageous in underground garages.
Previous Plug&Charge solutions were always tied to a single, fixed electricity provider. The solution that will be available for BMW models in the future, on the other hand, offers flexibility. The customer can digitally store the individual access data for several current multiple charging contracts in the vehicle. This gives the option of accessing both the BMW Charging Account and other individual contracts while on the road. The only prerequisite is that the corresponding providers must be connected to Hubject’s Europe-wide eRoaming network.
The BMW Group is demonstrating the "Multi Contract Plug&Charge" function in public for the first time at the Intercharge Network Conference in Berlin.