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BMW's Solution to Charging Problems

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On: Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 4:34PM | By: Karen Cook

BMW's Solution to Charging Problems

One of the major complaints of electric vehicle owners is the lack of convenient places to charge the battery of the vehicle. The landscape of available charging stations is growing but the cost is high and finding the space for them is difficult.

BMW may have found an answer. The BMW Group has partnered with Bosch Automotive Service Solutions to produce a 24-kilowatt charger that may solve both of the aforementioned problems. The incentive was to give the i3 EV a boost in sales by providing more places for its buyers to “fuel up”, but it has expanded far beyond that.

The charger can charge the i3's lithium ion battery to 80% in about half an hour, but that's only the beginning. Tesla has put out charging stations which do the same thing, but only for its own electric vehicles. BMW's charger can be used by any EV, such as those made by Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen, and presumably Tesla.

Tesla's chargers are over 5-feet tall and weigh 1,500 pounds, requiring space and unwieldy installation. BMW's charger weighs about 100 pounds and is small enough to be mounted easily to the wall of buildings or parking garages with minimal equipment or manpower.

Tesla's chargers cost around $30,000 to install. BMW's will be sold to third parties for $6,500. BMW doesn't want to run a charging network, unlike Tesla. Rather, BMW sees the necessity to make chargers available to everyone if electric vehicles are ever to be practical on a large scale. By selling the chargers to third parties BMW makes them available across the country with a simplified system at a low price.


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