BMW’s answer to Tesla’s Supercharger Network image

The issue with selling electric cars stands in their limited range. Tesla, however, managed to launch Model S, with the best range out there, of up to 265 miles and is building a network of “Supercharger” stations for great road trips. BMW follows suit, and is now launching a network of charging stations to make its first all-electric car, the i3, more convenient.

The automaker has developed a small, lightweight and inexpensive charger to be installed around the country. BMW will sell it to authorized partners, starting with dealers, at the price of $6.548. A private EV-charging company named NRG eVgo will install at least 100 of these chargers around California and is going to offer free charging to i3 owners through the end of 2015.

The 24 kilowatt BMW I DC Fast Charger, developed with Bosch Automotive, can charge the i3’s battery up 80% in 30 minutes. Compared to other chargers out there, the BMW version is quite small – 31 inches tall, 19 inches wide and 12 inches deep, weighing just 100 pounds.
Rob Healey, BMW’s EV infrastructure manager said that developing a lightweight, cheap charger is the way to sell BMW electric cars as quickly as possible. The i3 has a range of 80-160 miles and is meant to be used while daily commuting and not for long distance trip. While most drivers charge their cars overnight at home, it is convenient and reassuring to have the possibility of charging on the road.

By Gabriela Florea