Seeking to knock down one of the biggest barriers electric cars currently face, BMW revealed a new DC fast charger today in San Jose, Calif.
Designed by supplier Bosch Automotive Service Solutions with an investment by BMW, the chargers are about the size of a suitcase and can re-charge BMW’s line of ‘i’ electric cars, but isn’t restricted to them. Instead, it can also power vehicles from competing brands. Companies that partner with the German automaker will be able to buy the chargers for $6,548 compared to the roughly $30,000 other fast chargers cost. Delivery of the units will begin with the BMW dealer network next month.
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“This is a milestone in the development of the DC fast charging infrastructure. With more than five years of real world experience, we understand that a robust network of publicly available DC Combo Fast Chargers is a key part of the mobility of tomorrow,” said Robert Healey, EV Infrastructure Manager, at BMW of North America. “BMW is offering the BMW i DC Fast Charger at an appealing price point, and more manageable size, to make the convenience of DC fast charging more accessible for BMW i3 owners.”
The chargers use an SAE Combo 1 connector and consequently are compatible with products from Ford, GM and Volkswagen, but i3 owners will get free access to the chargers at at participating NRG eVgo Freedom Stations through 2015. Across California, the stations are committed to installing a minimum of 100 chargers. BMW hopes that by making DC fast charging cheaper for companies to offer, it will expedite the spread of charging infrastructure to make owning an electric car practical for a wider range of drivers.
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