BMW of North America has launched its own DC fast charger. A joint development between BMW and Bosch, the BMW i DC Fast Charger can charge an i3 to 80 percent in 30 minutes. It’s about half the size of most DC chargers (31x19x12 inches), weighs around 100 pounds, and can be mounted on a wall, a first for DC fast chargers.
Beemer’s box also has a comparatively low price tag – $6,548 for authorized BMW partners.
The company decided to go with a 24 kW charging rate “because it’s easier to install, it’s lighter and on the charging time for the i3 it doesn’t make much of a difference,” Cliff Fietzek, BMW of North America’s Manager of Connected eMobility told Charged. “If you go with a 50 kW charger, you go into degradation rather soon with the smaller batteries. You’re not charging at full power all the time. To charge on a 50 kW charger to 80 percent is less than 20 minutes. On the 24 kW chargers it’s less than 30 minutes. So the advantages of having it cheaper, lighter, and more affordable make it much more compelling than a larger charger.”
SEE ALSO: A case for 25 kW DC Quick Chargers
BMW i DC Fast Chargers use the SAE Combo 1 connector and are ChargePoint network-enabled. They feature a rugged aluminum IP54 enclosure and are designed to perform in extreme weather conditions, from -40° F to 185° F.
In related news, BMW also announced this week that i3 drivers in California will receive no-cost public DC fast charging through 2015.