Meet The BMW i Wallbox Pro

3 years ago by Mark Kane 22

BMW i Wallbox Pure (left) and BMW i Wallbox Pro (right)

BMW i Wallbox Pure (left) and BMW i Wallbox Pro (right)

According To AutoExpress, the BMW i3 Is Where "It" Is "At" For The Best EV You Can Buy In The UK

BMW i3 and wallbox

BMW expanded its Wallbox portfolio from just the base Pure model to the new Pro model, which is available in Europe and soon will be available worldwide as an Original BMW i Accessory.

Both units look similar, but Pro has higher power output (7.4 kW) than Pure. There is a lot of new features because Pro is smart, with optimization of the home-generated electricity usage and general integration.

The striking difference is the 7-inch color touchscreen display, which enables one to see all the data, including charging history, charging power, etc.

Here is the full description of the BMW i Wallbox Pro:

“The BMW i Wallbox Pro is operated using a 7-inch colour touchscreen display, which offers optimised control and monitoring of the charging process and allows users to choose their own individual settings. The screen can show how much charge has been delivered to the vehicle so far, along with details of previous charging cycles. LED fibre-optic strips at the sides of the wallbox indicate the current charge status and are visible from a considerable distance. Information about the charging status can also be remotely accessed from a smartphone or tablet by using the BMW i Wallbox Remote app.

The BMW i Wallbox Pro provides an administrator function that can keep a charging history for different users. Up to three user profiles can be set up, e.g. for accounting or billing purposes. For example, private and business-related electricity use can be recorded separately. Details of electricity consumption for a particular user account can also be forwarded by email if desired.

A proximity sensor activates the BMW i Wallbox Pro when motion is detected. The charging plug can be picked up and connected to the vehicle socket using just one hand. Further user-friendly features include the 3.5-metre charging cable. The cable’s entry point towards the top of the wallbox protects it from contamination and makes it unnecessary to coil the cable.

The BMW i Wallbox Pro’s integrated load management system delivers the maximum available current when charging. At the same time, overloading is prevented by reducing the charging rate as necessary during peaks in household power consumption. A clear readout on the touchscreen shows how much power is being drawn from the household electrical system at any given time.

Assisted by its intelligent charging functions and the optional energy meter, the BMW i Wallbox Pro is unique among home charging stations in the extent to which home-generated electricity can be integrated in the charging process – for example electricity from a home solar system. This option is used whenever possible. The intelligently integrated wallbox detects the availability of solar power and immediately uses it for charging. If no home-generated energy is available, power from the grid is used instead.

If the BMW i Wallbox Pro is integrated with a smart home system, the efficient charging functionality can be extended even further to reduce peak loads on the household electrical system and optimise the use of home-generated electricity. Via the touchscreen it is possible, for example, to connect the wallbox to the smart home system myGEKKO. Up to eight smart home functions can then be controlled from the wallbox display, including activation of outdoor lighting. It is also possible to display a weather report on the touchscreen, showing current temperatures, daily maximum and minimum temperatures, frost warnings and forecasts for the coming days.”

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22 responses to "Meet The BMW i Wallbox Pro"

  1. Mike says:

    Sounds like a bunch of stuff that nobody wants being added to an EVSE to justify a big price tag.
    Seeing a 12ft charge cable being touted as “user friendly” is a first though 🙂

    1. Goaterguy says:

      First thing I thought of when I read the article. After the first month the novelty wears off. I don’t really care much about information, all I do is plug my Volt and enter the house.

    2. Stimpacker says:

      +1

      All this for a smart power cord? The car has the smarts, don’t need the cord to be smart too, not if it’s gonna cost $$$.

    3. Priusmaniac says:

      +1. Yet another costly i indigestion.

      If it is to pay more I think that power hydrant was at least adding a real advantage with their automatic plugging system.

      http://www.powerhydrant.com

  2. vdiv says:

    If it is that smart does it do vehice to home/grid? Call me when it does.

    1. mustang_sallad says:

      For an AC interface between vehicle and EVSE, bi-directional power flow would be entirely up to the vehicle. A level 2 EVSE can’t just magically suck power out of the car, you need an inverter on the car side. A DC station on the other hand would be able to pull power out of the car, provided the car doesn’t flip out with diagnostics.

  3. scottf200 says:

    Re: “The intelligently integrated wallbox detects the availability of solar power and immediately uses it for charging.”

    Cool feature that I see others incorporating in the future.

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      Baseline domotics can achieve that already. That is not really a car maker’s business, it sounds like double use to me.

  4. scottf200 says:

    We really need “smart” to work with our utilities to see with the hourly rate is the best. This changes based on the season.

  5. Harold FFE says:

    “whoopty frickin dooo. Its got a sofa in here for two.” Remember that line from Pretty Woman when they get in the elevator at the Wilshire Beverly Hills Hotel, and there’s a red velvet couch in the elevator.

    All these bells and whistles are great, but if the device costs you hundreds of dollars more, then It’ll take a while to recoup that investment. The utilities in the US are way behind Europe and time of use rates are not EV friendly in 40+ states here. At this time I don’t think there’s a benefit in this device that’s worth paying for.
    H

  6. Anderlan says:

    Anyone know the maximum throughput of the inverter on the i3? 6.6kW? 7.2kW? Heaven forbid, 3.3kW? Is there a difference in the NA and EU market inverters? It’s interesting that the LEAF has a big ol’ honking (40kW!?!?!) inverter in the EU but in the US we’re burdened with paying extra just for 6.6kW.

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      7.2kW

    2. mustang_sallad says:

      I really doubt BMW would sell its own 7.2kW EVSE if they didn’t also sell a car that could pull the full 7.2kW.

    3. mike w says:

      I would think the inverter would produce enough power to run the electric motor say around 100KW. The on board battery charger might be 3.3KW or 6.6 KW.

  7. Lou Grinzo says:

    I feel like such a retro-rebel. For the last 18 months I’ve been charging my Leaf with the included, 110-volt EVSE that came with the car.

    I guess I’m just not “with it”.

  8. ct200h says:

    Gee BMW you think you could have included some of the info the 7″ display shows such as charge delivered and charge rate to the screen INSIDE the car !
    I nominate the i3 for the worst instrument cluster on any car, and worst EV info available on any EV.

  9. Mike I says:

    The only smart feature that is compelling is if it will allow coordination with the other smart home equipment. This could allow installation with a service of only 50 to 100 amps. The concept is that when other household loads bring the total usage up to the service limit, the EVSE reduces the vehicle charging load to prevent the main breaker from tripping or overloading the service feed.

  10. mike w says:

    That might be a good thing if your electric company charges a “Demand Charge” you might be able to save a little money by slowing down the charging when other big electric appliances are running, say heat pump or A/C, water heater or a second EV.

  11. Loboc says:

    Don’t care for this level of ‘smarts’ at high cost. My GE does 7.4 already. My service is 9c/kwh 24/7/365 including tax and delivery.

    Plug play enjoy. No worries.

  12. Bill Howland says:

    Ok, so is the wall box ‘pure’ 7200 watts and the wallbox ‘pro’ 7400?

    More importantly, how much is each unit? For US customers do u get a default 110 volt ‘travel charger’?

    I assume the PRO is for the man who has everything and wants a cool colour tv in his charger docking station.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Ok, to answer my own query, here’s some info from the bmw website:

      7Kw Pure station (which would be a 10 amp 3 phase 230Y/400 Mennekes connector) is the basic ‘pure’ wall station.

      For the US, the BMW brouchure states its 7kw, but then that may be refering to the 400 volt model (10 amps).

      Bosch, the authorized installer in the states, says the car is 7.2kw at 240, but 32 amps.

      So that means either the powerfactor is 93.75%, or else, if the single phase charger in the states (again the original european model would have been 10 amps) is .99-1.00 pf, then Bosch means either 30 amps really or 240 volts ‘nominal’ which means anything down to 225 volts will charge the car at 7.2kw.

      So simple – glad we got that issue cleared up!

      1. Bill Howland says:

        Oh, the ‘travel charger’ BMW USA calls an “Occassional Use Charger” which will charge the car in 20 hours. So I would assume that is a 12 amp charger docking brick but I’m just guessing.