BMW of North America is expanding its smart charging service, ChargeForward, in conjunction with the launch of the first electric BMW 5 Series, the BMW i5.
ChargeForward provides customers with incentives for aligning their vehicle charging with times when renewable energy is available on the grid. It’s already available in some states through partnerships with various utility providers, and will now be accessible to all owners of BMW EVs and PHEVs model years 2018 and up in the lower 48 states. The program is free, and requires no hardware installation.
ChargeForward uses carbon data specific to the electric grid in each region to intelligently set a schedule that charges the vehicle during times with the lowest carbon intensity. It uses BMW’s Connected Drive system to communicate to the vehicle the best times to charge. Drivers earn cash incentives when they agree to shift their EV charging to times when renewable energy is plentiful.
BMW is partnering with UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) to quantify the carbon emission reductions. BMW will use carbon data provided by the non-profit WattTime.
“The national expansion of BMW ChargeForward is yet another step in our endeavor to provide customers with the best possible charging experience,” said Thomas Ruemenapp, VP, Engineering, BMW of North America. “Empowering our drivers to play an active role in increasing their renewable energy usage is an innovative way to use vehicle charging to further the environmental benefits of electric vehicles.”