Video: BMW i3 Arrives For Public Test Drives in Japan


“Test Drive BMW i3 in World Natural Heritage Site Yakushima.”

BMW i3s in Japan

BMW i3s in Japan

Says BMW.

The BMW i3 has arrived in Japan for public test drives.

Unique to Japan in relation to the i3 is this:

“…the i3 will not be offered with the new CCS (Combo) fast charging system in Japan that BMW has publicly backed elsewhere in the world; but rather the “opposition’s” CHAdeMO standard – although considering the huge market dominance of CHAdeMO in Japan, it is not a totally unexpected decision.”

BMW Japan has announced the upcoming all-electric i3 will be priced from ¥ 4,990,000 in Japan – ~ $49,000 USD.  It’s believed that sales of the i3 will be extremely low in Japan, but we applaud BMW for making it available there.

BMW i3 and i8 Pricing in Japan

BMW i3 and i8 Pricing in Japan


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17 Comments on "Video: BMW i3 Arrives For Public Test Drives in Japan"

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seems like BMW could make chademo an option in the USA as well.
It might make me more inclined to buy
certainly any current leaf owner whos uses DCFC will be unlikely to go for the I except for Cali buyers. Outside of Cali, CCS is non-existant with a few exceptions (arizona?)

I presume they don’t want to pay royalties to TEPCO.

I think once the US & German companies have several pure EVs on the market with SAE-CCS, they’ll start with some alliances on installing SAE-CCS chargers. Hopefully ones that have both Chademo & SAE-CCS.

There is no royalty for CHAdeMO.

It has been an open since 2012:

CCS is the North American standard and Volkswagens standard. They will of course not offer it with a Chademo charger in Europe or North America.

No, CCS Combo1 is an SAE standard, not a “North American” standard.

Also note that, with CHAdeMO, you need separate ports for AC and DC, leading to a higher parts count and more real estate on the car devoted to charge ports. For BMW, this meant putting the AC port under the hood, from what I’ve heard on this site. Depending on what type of charging you do more often, this could be pretty annoying. I would assume that most people would be using AC charging on a daily basis, and DC only for occasional long trips, suggesting that the DC port should have gone under the hood, but rerouting beefy high voltage DC wires would be much more difficult than rerouting the wiring for the lower power AC port.

Very poorly implemented by BMW. They have the capability to put the J1772 AC port where the gasoline filler port is (with cars not equipped with 650cc motorcycle engine), in addition, they could very easily put another port on the left rear, mirror imagined to the DC charge port that is already on the right.

So, the BMW i3 could have easily had three ports, instead of the two currently required for gasoline burning i3’s.

Yes, but you can’t deny that adding those extra ports would have extra costs in terms of parts, engineering, and the overhead that goes along with managing extra parts and options. CCS accomplishes everything you described with a single port. The only drawback is that it’s 2 years late to the party, but on the grand scheme of converting the global fleet to electricity, that’s pennies.

CCS is nice in that you only need one port, but it’s still not wide-spread enough, at least here in outside-of-California North America.

The i-MiEV has Tony Williams mentioned. The left side is CHAdeMO and the right side is L1/L2. If the lowest priced EV can do it, the highest-priced 4-seat EV can too.

Oh no, 10 $ more for cables will make the i3 extreme expensive…

I’d like to see you buy and wire up a CHAdeMO port for $10. Pointing out that the iMIEV managed to include both charge ports doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t have been a few hundred dollars cheaper if they could have replaced an 8-wire, high voltage connector with an extra two pins on the existing connector. It’s not just the parts that cost money, it’s also the engineering and logistics overhead of managing the design and extra parts.

2 years ago, you could have said the same thing about CHAdeMO. Many Leaf owners opted for the CHAdeMO port then not based on what was currently in the ground, but based on likely availability in the future. With CCS vehicles now hitting the road, you can bet that DCFC installations (which are often supported by public funds) will include both standards.

“you can bet that DCFC installations (which are often supported by public funds) will include both standards.”

Considering that all three of the USA automakers back SAE-CCS, you can assume that public funds won’t be used to install Chademo only chargers.

There are three US based manufacturers, but only one actively supports the SAE CCS Combo1, and that is GM.

Ford has no CCS Combo1 car of any kind, no has it announced any such plans.

Tesla will never use CCS Combo1.

Chrysler is majority owned by European manufacturer Fiat, and Chrysler’s headquarters is now moving to Europe. Fiat does not support CCS

CHAdeMO is an open, JIS and IEC standard. Any manufacturer can implement it, and a bunch did already, e.g:

The same website lists CHAdeMO backers btw:

Those include Honda/Accura, Toyota/Lexus, Mazda, Nissan/Infinity, Volvo, Mitsubishi, Zero Motorcycles, Hyundai/Kia, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Subaru (plus tons of others less relevant in the US, like Peugeot Citroën, Isuzu, Daihatsu, Micro-vett, Hyosung, BYD, Tata etc — and that’s just vehicle manufacturers).

More importantly, around 3,700 CHAdeMO quick-chargers are already deployed and operating with over 100,000 compatible vehicles are on the road, and those numbers go up each month.

Contrast this with how popular the SAE CCS remains: than 100 cars in the USA with CCS capability and less than 10 public charge stations, virtually of which are in California and Arizona.

and every month there will be added about 10 times more Chademo compatible cars on the roads than CCS, with no sign of change in the next 2 years.

Exactly. The whole thing of “we didn’t make it, so we’re going to invent a new standard” really irritates me. I’m giving Tesla a pass since their charger is compatible with J1772 and CHAdeMO using adapters.

somebody hasn’t checked the rosters of any of the SAE meetings lately…