Electric cars face at least two major challenges and BMW is planning to tackle one of them in 2015.
Adding more range to EVs is an ongoing process and not one that will be fixed quickly, but the problem of a limited charging infrastructure is an issue that’s about to become history.
That, at least, is the opinion of Jacob Harb, the head of electric vehicle sales and strategy for BMW of North America. “2015 is the year of infrastructure,” he said in an interview with AutoGuide.
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“In July we announced a game changing DC charger,” he said. Chargers of that variety are roughly the size of a household refrigerator and cost about $50,000 each. However, BMW’s new unit costs $6,500, measures 24×17 inches and can deliver an 80 percent charge in 30 minutes.
“It’s size and convenience make it a game changer,” said Harb, saying that next year “[BMW will] proliferate those charging stations everywhere.”
The plan, he outlines, is to make buying a plug-in BMW a more attractive proposition by offering easy access to charging stations. BMW hopes that being a leader in this respect will naturally lead people to choose its plug-in cars over those of its competitors.
Currently BMW seems to be losing the green PR war to Tesla. Still, BMW has been having its own success with the i3 selling over 1,000 units per month for the past three months.
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Over the past year Tesla has rolled out its network of Superchargers with 135 in North America, allowing Tesla owners to drive from New York to L.A.While those chargers only work for Tesla vehicles, BMW’s new chargers will look to shift the infrastructure balance in favor of a new SEA standardized charging plug that works on all other plug in cars, minus Tesla and Nissan.
“I don’t think [Tesla is] going to be happy with how quickly these things roll out,” he said.
He declined to say how many chargers BMW is planning to install not yet prepared to say ahead of the official announcement planned for the North American International Auto Show next month in Detroit.
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