In 2015, BMW Will “Proliferate” Fast Chargers “Everywhere”


BMW i DC Wall Box, About A Fifth The Price Of A Traditional Fast Charger

BMW i DC Wall Box, About A Fifth The Price Of A Traditional Fast Charger

At the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, BMW will formally unveil its master plan to fast-charge the U.S., but ahead of that official announcement we’ve got some details on the plan.

Jacob Hard, now-former head of electric vehicle sales and strategy for BMW of North America, told Auto Guide that “2015 is the year of infrastructure.”

Translated, that means that 2015 is the year of the BMW-branded fast-charger infrastructure boom.

Per Harb:

“In July we announced a game changing DC charger.”

That DC fast charger costs just $6,458 and puts out 24 kW of power.

“It’s size and convenience make it a game changer,” according to Harb.

Harb adds “[BMW will] proliferate those charging stations everywhere.”

Time to take a cheap shot at Tesla…

“I don’t think [Tesla is] going to be happy with how quickly these things roll out,” states Harb.

Harb clearly has no clue as to Tesla’s mission.  Tesla welcomes competition in the electric vehicle space because this increases EV awareness and adoption, so Harb’s statement should’ve been:

“I don’t think [Tesla is] going to be happy with how quickly these things roll out.”

There’s no word at this point in time as to the exact number of BMW-branded fast chargers that will be installed, nor are there any details where these chargers will be located (expect them at BMW i dealerships for sure).

Crevier BMW Installs 4 DC Fast Chargers.  Question Is...Will These DC Fast Chargers Be Found At Non-Dealership Locations Too?

Crevier BMW Installs 4 DC Fast Chargers. Question Is…Will These DC Fast Chargers Be Found At Non-Dealership Locations Too?

Source: Auto Guide

Categories: BMW, Charging

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81 Comments on "In 2015, BMW Will “Proliferate” Fast Chargers “Everywhere”"

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This is a new proprietary 24kW system?

Why not just go with 50kW CHAdeMO?

Too many non-compatible systems will be a bad thing.

Presumably J1772 Combo (CCS). Presumably.

This will supplant L2 commercial chargers

I agree. Let’s get rid of the bulky CHADEMO stuff and go with the combo.

talk about a boondoggle. So if these are CCS chargers, and they proliferate enough to cover most metropolitan areas, what will happen to their ICE sales?

On the plus side, anyone with a CCS chargeport (or adapter) would be able to use them! In which case, it’ll probably be pay chargers (or free for a year like Nissan’s NoCharge2Charge)?

On the minus side, no one who drives long distances will want to use them, since 24kwh is only ~90 miles of range per hour (drive for an hour, charge for another?).

What is BMW thinking?


“Scaring” Tesla with 25 kW chargers…!!

Wish they were 250 kW chargers, designed to charge 100 kWh big BMW BEVs to 80% in 20-25 min.

THAT would be great…

BMW, that’s a tip… 🙂

Not every charger has to be a high speed charger, it depends on the intended use case.

A charger in the parking lot of a large shopping mall is not intended for people on road trips but for people spending several hours shopping inside the mall. In that case a slower charger works absolutely fine.

Then that is a waste of a 24kW charger. If I am in the mall, even a 5kW L2 charger can get me 20miles of range in 1 hour. Why do I need a 24kW charger?

L3 charging is best suited for someone who needs a big charge in a hurry. The best need for that is long distance travel.

So this actually makes Tesla laugh and EV owners like me clamoring for more 24/7/Freeway accessible chargers pulling my hair out.

So – how much range can a 5 minute pit-stop get me with a 24 kW Delivery rate? These would be helpful in grocery store lots, at the Gym, the Theatre, etc. at places where you spend an hour or so anyway!

I think for road trips, BMW is going for the REx strategy (hopefully a bigger tank and a bit more power in the next iteration), in which case 24kW is enough, IMO. If you can’t wait, use gas instead.

“What is BMW thinking?” They have laid out their policy papers. Years ago. Thr fact that you don’t understand means exactly that- you don’t understand.

Their $6k price is impressive, and actually may not limit CCS installs to dealerships.

Can anyone more familiar with Mom & Pop commercial venues take a stab at how popular 400-480V 3-phase is? Won’t a lot of places have to go back to “the pole”, to set this up?

Obviously, BMW is thinking these will sell like popcorn. It will be a shame if a good chunk of commercial buyers can’t host the watts.

400-480 is as close as the nearest autotransformer. In practice, if the barber shop or hair salon or whatever did not have a 277Y/480 volt electric service (although, many of them nowadays in the states, do) but merely a 120Y/208 volt service, a 100 amp feed would be taken from it, immediately sent through the autotransformer, and 4 #8 wires (or #6 aluminum ) wires would be run (cheapest way is 3/4″ PVC) to the distant charger. Percentage voltage drop, and wire cost would be minimal since distribution losses and cost at the higher voltage is very low.

My definition of “Fast Charger” is 480VDC120A Plug-In North Central Washington has already installed 12 240VAC80A EVSE which is about the same as these BMW branded chargers. I think BMW has cleverly devised this 100A charger so they can claim L3 status.

No, they’ve cleverly maxed out what can be done with the existing grid standards. This one box (hardly the be-all, end-all of the CCS platform) sits on the knee of the curve. As good engineers are taught to do when constrained by circumstances.

The price is impressive, but at 24kw all it can really do is become a good replacement for level 1 or level 2 charging.

For true rapid charging the power needs to go up from what CHAdeMO and Tesla are doing, not down.

It charges about the same power level as the Fuji 25 kW CHAdeMO unit, but looks like it weights a lot less, and for sure costs a lot less @ about 1/3rd the price!

You aren’t in BMW’s targeted business model. Yet you complain that the model doesn’t make sense. Who isn’t making sense, now?

I wish the car manufacturers could unite around one common AC standard @43 kW. Preferably Mennekes Type 2 connector.

It would mean that the cost of chargers stations (outlets really) could go below $1000 a piece. And other standards around 50 kW would be obselete.

The cost for an onboard 43 kW charger isn’t high at all. Just look at Renault Zoe which is one of the cheapest EV’s in the market.

What I would like is manufacturers agreeing on a cordless standard, no matter the power.
Something like that Fraunhofer vertical charger that InsideEVs wrote about a couple of months ago.
You should be able to just drive up to the parking space and leave the car, no cord or swiping a card needed.

That would be incredible.

Uhm… I don’t get whats so hard in using a cord. Plug-charging stations cost just a fraction of these wireless-things.

I agree, but at least people can’t steal the cord on a cordless charger. 🙂

Nevermind that cords are far more efficient. But hey, if we’re here to save a few minutes at the cost of massive inefficiency, why don’t we just move to hydrogen?

I am sure that cordless charging will be standard in the future. But if we made it standard today, I think we would need to make many iterations to the chargers as better and better technology is being developed. Right now I would say cordless charging isn’t good enough. I think you need to go +20 kW to make it viable in real life. The customers will demand that rate, for sure.

As for normal charging 43 kW it is already kind of standard, in France atleast. But the AC 43 kW is used all over Europe and the electric grid is able to deal with such power demand in most parts, without too much of a hassle.

For city use 43 kW will probably be acceptable even in 10 years. Slower speeds <22 kW will probably only in a few years be regarded as acceptable during the night.

Then what Tesla is doing with their Superchargers is also right on track, I'd say. But they can't build enough to cover whole cities. 43 kW AC would be a good intermediate standard that could be used by every car manufacturer today. IF they only agreed to.

Nope. 43 kW Cameleon is still somewhat rare in France. Most Fast AC sites are actually ~22 kW, which is significantly cheaper to build, deploy, and power. That, and it probably doesn’t hurt that the country is denser, with a better train system for “road trips.”

BMW did not intend this _one_ CCS implementation (yes, this is just one flavor) to be a Tesla competitor.

I think the headline needs to be changed from ‘Fast Chargers’ to ‘”Fast” Chargers’, with 24kW irony-quotes.

Make that, headline and all subsequent reporting.

I mean, it’s better than a sharp stick in the eye, but a Supercharger it ain’t.

“I don’t think the customers are going to be happy with how un-quickly these things charge” BMW, why do you mock us?…

Hmm.. Not sure why there are so many negative comments about these being 24Kw chargers. I think 24Kw is GREAT compared to all of the L2 stations around. And I welcome more infrastructure regardless of what charging speed it has. Granted, I won’t be able to use these since they are going to be CCS so they won’t work on my Leaf or Volt.

24Kw is better than L2 but worse than most of the other real fast chargers out there.
A 90mph charge is not “fast”, just faster than L2
On that basis, L2 should be billed as “fast” because its faster than 110V/12amp

When the Leaf started coming out with a 6.6KW charger instead of the lower 3.3KW charger, they called the 6.6KW charger “fast”.

24kWH is better than L2, indeed. And I commend them for hitting a significantly lower price point on it. Any development of the infrastructure is better than no development. …Or is it?

I think most people understand that BEV are good enough for 90% of your urban needs, because the range and home recharging cover amply your daily requirements. What are the i3 and Leaf owners missing then? Fastest possible chargers for going just outside their range (local ski hill, out of town family, etc), the +200km day-trip. You know, too long to do on a single charge, but too short to wait an hour in the middle of it. These are the BEV killers…

So if BMW deploys a bunch of chargers that STILL don’t solve that issue, people are not really going to be impressed with the extra expenditure for no added value. I could be wrong, but to me the speed of ‘refuling’ outside the home base is still the principal issue with increased adoption of BEVs.

And I’m a very happy LEAF owner, so this is not some trolling…

Yeah, the more the merrier and certainly 24kW sucks less than L2 charging. But it’s difficult not to mock the grandiose quotations when considering the modest — albeit still worthy — goal.

What is the max charge rate for an i3 with CCS? Is it 24kW or higher? 24kW is not really fast enough for big road trips, but it will work well at near local destinations, such as malls, sports arenas, tourist attractions and restaurants. Is that their intention?

I charged my wife’s i3 at up to 43 kW with a CCS charger. I don’t know if I hit the limit of the i3’s battery or the current limit of the charger, but I suspect it was the charger since it stayed at that level for a while before it started tapering.

The maximum charging speed is obtained when the battery is at low SOC (state of charge). This why the “80 percent in 30 minutes” is a common comparison. An “80 percent charge” is a measure of charging speed from 20 percent SOC to 80 percent SOC. (ie: ~60 percent of the batteries capacity)

In N.America …
Normal Charging is Level 1 … ‘normal’ as in normal outlet power, but useful for long periods, like overnight, or for emergency public charging. While enabling charging, it come with price and constraint of time.

Fast Charging is a universal reference to Level 2 charging. Typically 200-240 volts at 20-100 amps depending on global region.

Outside of N.America DC Fast Charging is referred to as “Rapid Charging” in Europe, or “Quick Charging” in Asia. DC charging is typically 250-500 volts (~400V typical) at 50-150A peak charging.

Superchargers (Tesla specific) are DC charging at 100-300A.

“Superchargers (Tesla specific) are DC charging at 100-300A.”

I’ve gotten 346 amps at 358 volts in my at a Tesla supercharger (Tejon Ranch) so I think your range is a bit low. Perhaps that was back when superchargers were only 90 kW.

The charging rate is related to battery capacity and it’s power capability (max amps).

The i3 22 kWh battery has 18.2 kWh usable, so a 2C charging rate would max at ~ 36-40 kW as a rule of thumb.

24 kW charging is a dividing line for infrastructure deployments as below 20-24 kW means 200-240 volt power from a 100 Amp circuit can be used. A type of power source that is common, lower cost and has reduced code requirements. Above 20-24 kW requires a higher amp (100A+), and/or 400-480V power source. This is less common, has added code requirements and cost.

The exception is parts of Europe that have 3-phase power vs. 2-phase power. This means 30-43 kW can be delivered at a price point similar to 20-24 kW elsewhere.

I’m pretty sure that the 2C rate is relative to the total capacity, not the usable portion. That would make the 2C rate of the i3’s 22kWh battery 44kW.

Utilities in California (PG&E) are requiring Three phase power 208V when exceeding 200Amp service.

I’m not getting the precise point you are trying to make, but a 25 kw charger could never legally be put on a low voltage (under 380 volt) 100 amp single-phase circuit.

If memory serves these are strictly 3-phase units being offered in the $6500 range.

Also, 2 wire 208 volt or 2 wire 480 volt feeds are never called ‘2-phase’, since the power flow is not instantaneously continuous, which is a sub-definition of polyphase power. They are rightly called ‘single-phase’ feeds.

Our European posters have greater access to 3 phase circuits, hence all the posts of the relative ‘ease’ of 43 kw charging circuits for them; however some countries have to deal with ‘contract demands’ that usually only affect industrial customers in the States.

Sorry, checked my math
24Kw charger and a car that averages 330 watts per mile gets you 72mph charging, without including charging losses etc.
So on a road trip, it really is drive for an hour, charge for an hour type of trip.
50Kw on that basis gets you 151mph – it doesn’t work out like that though – all chargers have to slow down as the battery gets full.
Even the Tesla 350mph+ can’t deliver that all the way to the end of the charge.

20-24 kW is not really for enabling trips with multiple charging stops … it is more suitable for extending range within 1-2x a BEVs home range. Instead of a 30 minute session, a quick 10-20 minute stop will provide ~15-30 miles (based on ~72 MPH rate @Mike references).

A 10-20 min. stop is not much compared to a 40-80 min. stop at a 6 kW Level-2. The key to making 24 kW usable is ease of access and availability. If a charger is not close to an intended route, a deviation quickly diminishes the speed advantage.

The advantage of BMW’s charger is price point, it’s not much higher than a public Level-2, but 4x faster.

The Price of these CCS units is only about 20% above some ChargePoint units that only put out 220 Volts x 30 Amps, so in that sense – they are a good business value; and for the i3 and Spark EV Drivers with CCS – a great new advantage is coming! For the rest of us – the Multi-Standard CHAdeMO + CCS at 50 kW is a better play for charge rate, just not for installation costs! Now – if Kia could bring out a 30 kW CHAdeMO unit that weighs 25% less than this box, and cost $1,000 Less – they would be a good push back for the BMW box! (about 20% more power for about 1/6th less cost!)

Yeah, now you only have to find someone who will pay the electric bill.

Tesla does this apparently in 2 ways:

$2000 option for the car, but a much larger revenue stream is the ‘credits’ given for building the ‘Supercharger Complex’ itself.

Depends if KIA wants to get on this Gravy Train before the money runs out…

Yeah, this is good. We don’t need to go getting all Tesla-defensive.;) We want manufacturers competing. It’s what they do best!

TSLA is a business too, remember. Everybody does what they think is best for the bottom line.

«That DC fast charger costs just $6,458 and puts out 24 kW of power.» Note this is the “partner” price, and the BMW DC charger will not be available for everyone to purchase. The output of 24 kW is based on having a 240 Volt supply at 100 Amps. The reality is that voltage curb-side is rarely 240V, but a more typical 200-220. The same reason a Level 2 charger can be slower than expected. “It’s size and convenience make it a game changer,” … totally agree, that a low-cost 20-24 kW DC charger hits a pricepoint that small business locations can justify making an infrastructure investment. The question is who will invest? «Harb adds “[BMW will] proliferate those charging stations everywhere.”» While the DC Fast Charger is a great package (size and price), access and justification to deploying everywhere is questionable. The limitation being it will be accessable to 5-15,000 SAE CCS equipped BEVs of the 120-180,000 BEVs in the US. Currently BMW BEVs account for over 80% of SAE CCS equipped BEVs. This will limit 3rd party investment to those interested in supporting/attracting BMW owners. Too bad the DC Fast Charger does not support a larger number of… Read more »

Many commercial locations have 480V. Heck, I was surprised to find out recently that all the lights in my employers facility are wired to 277V, or one leg of the 480V three phase.

Surprised really?

What I find curious is that the same test in Canada would yield 347 volts. The only place I know of that you’ll find 277 in Canada is in a Lowe’s Store, since they only wanted to use American equipment in their Canadian Stores.

I question the overuse of the term “Game Changer”.

Precisely where are all these chargers going to be installed? If they put 5 of them at a dealership, and they are not near a freeway exit, nor available to the general public, they won’t be of much usefullness. At least Tesla got a higher useability, by putting these things alongside routes people actually use.

You understand Eric, and so does your friend, but many here do not understand that there is a slight difference between Tesla’s ’20 kw’ under $1000 product, and this 24 kw product for around $6500.

Of course they claim I’m hallucinating when they are the ones who should have their head examined.

You are sure about the thing needing only 2 current carrying wires to work?

The only model I read about needed a 40 amp circuit.

Are you privy to special information?

While 24kw is pretty rubbish by car standards, it’s about perfect for charging a motorbike. I wonder if BMW’s C-Evolution can use these.

Not exactly rubbish, but better than J1772. One hour of driving takes about 4 hours of charging with J1772 @ 6KW. With a 24KW charger it’s about 1:1

The J1772 CCS standard can theoretically go to 240KW (600V x 400A) which is about 4 times what Chademo can go to.

Wait. You put “Tesla is” in brackets. What did Harb actually say? Did he make a generic reference to a competing EV company? Or did he specifically call out Tesla? For example, could he have actually been talking about Nissan and their attempt to roll out CHAdeMO across the US?

Either way, though, Tesla will not be feeling the heat from a plethora of 24kW chargers. I will be glad to have them, but they are a far cry from the 135kW superchargers Tesla is rolling out. What’s more, Tesla is installing multiple stalls at each location to support multiple cars. Having a single charger at each location is horribly unreliable.

I think BMW is doing this for two things.

1. 24kW doesn’t require major wiring installation. It is basically a standard commerical capacity. 50kW or higher would reuqire signifcant wiring cost.

2. Its cars have small batteries so even if it is faster, stopping every 1 hr for 30 minutes driving is NOT practical anyway. But having this still beats the L2.

3. Keep the cost down so there will be more of them quicker and BMW doesn’t expect the cross country trips with their i3 anyway…

They have the REX option (which seems to be the majority of US sales) which gives you a gas engine to extend the range of the EV. But unlike the Volt, it’s a tiny gas tank – 1.9 gallons. So even cross country trips (or even 300 mile cross state trips) are not really an option.

I agree.

BMW always said that i3 is a city car. REx is there to remove anxiety, not for cross country trip.

That is why BMW offers free loaner for few of those trips…

MMF wrote: “…24kW doesn’t require major wiring installation. It is basically a standard commerical capacity. 50kW or higher would reuqire signifcant wiring cost.”

Huh? This unit requires a 40 amp circuit.

A 50 kw charger would require an 80 amp circuit.

Please explain why a 40 amp circuit is so much cheaper than an 80 amp circuit. The key word here is much. Are you just guessing?

Some Tesla owners put in 50 amp circuits for their ‘1 charger s’s”, others put in 100 amp circuits for their dual chargers.

24 kW may be great for the US, but in Europe 22 kW ist pretty much in every household. AC of course, but to set a plug for those in your carport is just about 200$.

At any rate, these chargers won’t really “compete” with Tesla, since Tesla can just make an adapter and used them (since they are CCS). They are already doing so for CHAdeMO.

That is unless they make it limited to BMW owners only, but even if they do that, these not going to be major road trip enablers at 24kW (but would be nice for destination charging).

Not aware of BMW’s “Mega City” initiative, I take it. BMW has their plan worked out. If it doesn’t seem like a plan to you, it’s likely due to you not being in the target market segment for that plan.

Working Bosch 24kW unit > non-working 50kW Another Bad Box (ABB) unit.

Very quick installations one every 50 miles.

Well . . . at least SOMEONE is going to install some CCS chargers. OK, they are just 24KW . . . but that is better than nothing. And that $6K price is pretty nice.

I wonder what it would cost to upgrade these chargers in the future to 100kW. Is BMW going to future-proof them?

At $6458? Doubtful.

And at 24kW, not really good.

24kW is OK as an emergency charger for the “city car” model, but has nothing to do with Tesla’s model.

What it could be is a good way for BMW to get out of the BEVx trap. Since in the USA they are crippling instead of optimizing for the REx, the REx doesn’t really enable range stretching, and BEVx is only allowed to meet half of the BEV credits anyway. Spend money on 24kW branded charging instead to encourage BEV sales and change the REx to be the more effective global EREV.

People who fret about charging time should also consider the time it takes to get out of the normal way in order to reach a supercharger, and the energy lost in the detour (always more likely the less of these stations there are).

24KW is not great for trying to do long 300 mile trips. HOWEVER, it is great for solving a problem I have. I often find myself wanting to driving around 120 to 150 miles in a day due to visiting another city and doing a side trip. With a typical 80 mile EV, this is kinda difficult. If you can plan it out and spent a few hours at an L2 charger, it works. But it would be much easier if there were a 24KW charger near the mall, museum, restaurant, arena, zoo, etc. or whatever attraction it is I am going to.

Occasional ‘range anxiety’ is a problem I run into on my occasional 80 to 150 mile driving days. It is not an issue on a typical commute day but it does happen now & then. This is why 120 to 200 mile range EVs are so important now . . . we need them for the next jump in user adoption. But fast-chargers can be fix for that issue right now.

For longer trips . . . meh, get a PHEV or rent/carshare/etc.

I logged some data while charging my wife’s i3 BEV with a 50 kW CCS charger starting at 11% state of charge and finished at 89% SOC when our free 30 minutes session ended. It took about 20 minutes to go from 20% to 80% SOC which is probably a pretty typical charge session for an i3 that needs a bit more range to travel around a large metro area. Based on how the charging power tapered off, I estimate that it would only take an extra 10 minutes to go from 20% to 80% with one of these 24 kW CCS chargers. So blanketing metro areas with a bunch of these cheap 24 kW chargers should do much more to extend the capabilities of an i3 than fewer more expensive 50 kW units that would only charge an i3 marginally faster.

For the i3, yes. But that’s not the endgame when it comes to EVs. In a few years, I think the best selling EVs will be over 40kWh. For future EVs, 24kW isn’t really enough.

However, it’s quite possible that BMW is going to refine the REx and run with it as opposed to going longer range. In that case, you make a good point.

Based on this story, I don’t think BMW will build a 200+ mile BEV until 2019 or so since they don’t plan to switch to higher energy density cells until then:

24 kW would be painfully slow for charging something like an 85 kWh model S on a road trip. But it would be decent for extending the range for a city EV like the i3. And that appears to be the intent of their recent announcement.

Latest from – The number of CHAdeMO DC Quick chargers installed up to today is 4286.
— (Japan 2129 Europe 1327 USA 776 Others 54) last update 2014.12.08

BMW has some stretching to do to put any squeeze on the CHAdeMO team! And – Kia is just getting going with their new Multi-Standard Units!

Henderson wrote: “…The output of 24 kW is based on having a 240 Volt supply at 100 Amps. The reality is that voltage curb-side is rarely 240V, but a more typical 200-220. The same reason a Level 2 charger can be slower than expected. ”

Sorry, this is bogus information, and I got frustrated reading the multiple posts from you saying this.

The unit runs on 400-480 volt 3 phase, and requires a 40 ampere circuit.

Sorry Bill, you’ve botched it again.

The BMW box is designed for 208-240V split phase, to ease rollout since that’s what’s commonly available in the US. The box then steps up to the required ~400V. Just like ~23kW was chosen to ease rollout, by avoiding a utility surcharge.

Google “Dunning-Kruger effect” for more info.

model EL-51620-BMW.

Its the only fast charger they mention.

I’m not talking about some fantasy land, I’m talking about what is on the Bosch and BMW website.

Why does this subject bring out all the ‘big experts at once’?

I guess you have to learn how to first read.

Dunning Kruger effect? You’re an idiot.

Oh, and by the way, the charger is rated for 24 KW , not ~23.

Having trouble with numbers are we?

If you check the link I’ve provided,

Are we also having trouble with that number?

I did not hear anything about the promised DC fast charging network at the BMW press conference today at the Detroit auto show. Does anybody know any more about this plan? Was an announcer made elsewhere?

I have the same question, there were no headlines about it anywhere. There was no plan announced.

I’m not 100% sure I am supposed to be talking about this (but when has that ever stopped us before? lol). Ee did anticipate this announcement at the NAIAS and when it didn’t happen we poked around a bit at the show and asked some BMW people about it.

Long story short (as best as we can tell), I guess there was some hiccups along the way and it has been delayed. Unofficially the scuttlebutt is something will happen around the NY auto show.