ChargeNow DC Fast Offers Free Fast Charging For i3 Buyers

MAY 8 2016 BY MARK KANE 19

bmw i3 rear blue

BMW i3

Together with the announcement of 33 kWh BMW i3 (with 115 miles of all-electric range) available later this year, BMW reconfirmed availability of the ChargeNow DC Fast – free fast charging promotion.

The project includes 25 major markets, where purchasing an i3 also nets the buyer 24 months of free access to EVgo charging points (30 minute DC sessions or 1 hour AC Level 2 sessions).

And intersting hiccup in the project is that the larger battery pack can no longer be recharged to 80% in the timeframe of 30 free minutes (as was an earlier ‘selling feature’). BMW states 0 to 80% capacity DC fast recharge at 50 kW in:

  • 25 minutes BMW i3 (60 Ah) – 21.6 kWh
  • 39 minutes BMW i3 (94 Ah) – 33.2 kWh

We are not sure the additional fees after 30 minutes for DC charging, but “After the initial no cost 1 hour Level 2 charging session, there will be a $1.00 per hour fee assessed.

ChargeNow DC Fast5: Eligible BMW i3 drivers can recharge for no charge.

Offered by BMW in cooperation with EVgo, ChargeNow DC Fast allows eligible BMW i3 drivers in participating markets to enjoy 24 months of no cost charging sessions for the BMW i3 at participating EVgo Stations. Enrolled BMW i3 customers can use the ChargeNow card for unlimited 30 minute, DC Fast Combo charging sessions and Unlimited 1 hour, Level 2 charging sessions.

The BMW i3 is equipped with the future-proof 50 kW direct current (DC) Fast charging technology. When the BMW i3 (94 Ah) is connected to a DC Fast charging station, the battery cells are charged up to 80 percent of their capacity in less than 40 minutes. In the BMW i3 (60 Ah) this takes approximately 25 minutes.

Who is eligable?

“*Eligible BMW i3 owners in ChargeNow DC Fast markets must purchase or lease a Model Year 2015 or later BMW i3 vehicle on or after November 1, 2015, from a BMW i Center. Fleet customers not eligible. Program participation extends for 24 months from date of enrollment at, which must occur on or before December 31, 2018. Both the registration period and the termination date may be reduced or extended from time to time, without notice. Other terms apply.”

See more about ChargeNow DC Fast.

25 ChargeNow DC Fast markets:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Fresno, CA
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • Monterey, CA
  • Nashville, TN
  • New York, NY
  • Orlando, FL
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Portland, OR
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Santa Barbara, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Washington, DC

Categories: BMW, Charging

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

19 Comments on "ChargeNow DC Fast Offers Free Fast Charging For i3 Buyers"

newest oldest most voted

Interesting.. You see Dallas/FtWorth did not have any CCS compatible chargers until just recently. But EVGo has been rapidly changing out all of the stations to dual-standard chargers over the last month. i think we now have 6 or 7, and we should have quite a few more in a few weeks. I’ve suspected the reason is the upcoming Bolt EV, since currently the only vehicle sold around here that can use CCS is the i3 and I’ve only seen maybe 3 or so on the street over the last year.

I’m willing to bet that expansion is not because of the upcoming Bolt. Unfortunately GM isn’t doing much at all for DCFC infrastructure right now. Maybe they will later. At least for EVgo in Dallas it’s a Charge Now market, so BMW is no doubt helping with this.

BMW is paying for the CCS chargers with their ChargNow program just like Nissan paid for the CHAdeMO chargers with their No-Charge-To-Charge. This has been in the news since last Fall when EVgo started installing the dual chargers. GM is going to get in on the act with their No-Charge-To-Recharge program but not until the Bolt comes out.

Whole lot of good the NCTC is for DFW LEAF owners now… Blink blinked out of the program; ChargePoint bailed some time ago. Good thing I don’t need public chargers where I drive. ಠ_ಠ

BTW there are 10 CCS chargers in the DFW area and 29 in Texas. Last November there were zero CCS chargers in Texas. I think all but one of the CCS chargers in Texas are eVgo dual chargers.

I would say on a DC charger its even more important than a Level 2 to have some kind of fee kick in after charging is done to help prevent blocking of fast chargers by users who have left their car to charge and don’t come back around the time it’s finished. Really needed IMO. Check some PlugShare comments if you don’t believe this BMW.

One little-known unique engineering feature of the BMW battery pack is the direct-refrigerant bottom-plate TMS battery cooling system. This can make ultra-cold cooling to pull out all the heat generated in these small kWh battery packs at this high charging rate.

The Bolt will also use bottom-plate battery pack cooling, but will use refrigerant-cooled glycol circulated through the plate rather than direct refrigerant. distribution.

Neat. Does that also help keep the pack warmer in cold weather?

This is pretty old news. The ChargeNow program was announced last fall at the CES.

BMW is definitely going to need some sales gimmicks to keep moving i3 vehicles.

I have been expecting some of these to show up in Nashville, TN since the announcement last fall. Unfortunately there are still zero public CCS stations in the area.

I suspect that EVgo is planning to replace the current CHAdeMO units with combo units when repairs are needed.

Well, since you have the Nissan LEAF plant in Smyrna, TN, I guess Chademo is big there.


Yes Nissan has a large presence in the Nashville area. The Leaf and Tesla Model S are the most dominant AEVs in the area.

It is interesting that Chattanooga, TN has had several CCS DCFCs pop-up in the last 6 months. I wonder how much Volkswagen has had to do with that, considering they have a big plant there.

Calling 50 kW “future proof” is a tough nut to swallow when it’s ALREADY not enough!

“The BMW i3 is equipped with the future-proof 50 kW direct current (DC) Fast charging technology.”

Yeah, that is kinda cringe inducing when your big competitor can charge at up to 125KW.

But the i3 probably can’t take more than 50KW anyway.

Free for 30 minutes? So what’s to stop someone from 30 minutes, then unplug and plug in again for yet another 30 minutes? And even for a third time? It’s free, why not charge to 100% instead of charging at home?

Just the other day, I waited for i3 plugged in and charging while at 95% battery capacity. i3 are becoming like Leaf. With higher capacity battery i3, this problem will get far worse.

Free for 30mins with 1hour min period between charge cycles.

Supposedly that is the rule, but I ran into a Leaf owner late at night that just returned the plug to the holster, then plugged back in so he could get to near 100%. He had zero means of charging at home so this is what he does. I asked if he gets charged for the 2nd session and he said he’s never been charged in a year. It was EVgo charger and they are notoriously bad at billing, so maybe that’s why.

Given how chargers sometimes randomly cut out (though rare now), if 1 hour break after first session is a must, some people may have to wait an hour after charger fault. I don’t think they’ll enforce this rule, especially given poor billing by eVgo as Todd mentioned.