BMW’s Fast Charging Stations Will Take On Tesla in 2015

BMW i | December 3rd, 2014 by 21
bmw i3 dc fast charger 04 750x500

One of the biggest announcements scheduled for the 2015 Detroit Motor Show is the launch of more BMW DC Fast Charging Stations across United States. …

One of the biggest announcements scheduled for the 2015 Detroit Motor Show is the launch of more BMW DC Fast Charging Stations across United States. In a conversation we had with Jacob Harb, former manager of BMW i USA, we learned that 2015 is all about infrastructure for the new electric brand. Harb didn’t go into full details but he hinted that a network of fast charing stations, similar to Tesla’s, will help with the i3 sales.

For Autoguide, Harb hinted at a similar thing. “I don’t think [Tesla is] going to be happy with how quickly these things roll out,” he said.

BMW has announced their first DC charger back in July and more and more units are starting to show up in major U.S. cities. The fast chargers cost $6,500 each, measures 24×17 inches and can charge your i3 up to 80 percent in 30 minutes. Charging slows down after the 80 percent due to the technology in Lithium-ion batteries.

SEE: Interview with Jacbob Harb on BMW i USA plans

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“It’s size and convenience make it a game changer,” said Harb, saying that next year “[BMW will] proliferate those charging stations everywhere.”

READ ALSO: Fastest Charging Electric Vehicles

Tesla currently operates a network of 135 supercharger in North America, allowing Tesla owners to drive from L.A. to New York City. Tesla’s chargers are proprietary, so BMW is taking a different approach: installing chargers to work with the new SEA standardized charging plug. The new standard works with other plug-in models, sans Tesla and Nissan.

More on the BMW infrastructure next month in Detroit!

21 responses to “BMW’s Fast Charging Stations Will Take On Tesla in 2015”

  1. Freepat 75014 says:

    Ha ha, 50KWH chargers ! How do they expect to compare to Tesla 135KW SuperChargers ? Planning for failure drives to… failure. Endless !

  2. Charel Lies says:

    BMW’s Fast Charing Stations Will Take On Tesla in 2015 => Charging ;)

  3. Alan Dean Foster says:

    Will BMW’s chargers also be free to owners, ala Tesla?

  4. Alan Dean Foster says:

    Will BMW’s chargers also be free to owners, ala Tesla?

  5. Shumdit says:

    While I applaud BMWs effort I believe the press is misleading people with a “80% recharge in only 30 minutes”. This will recharge the I3 battery in only 30 minutes as mentioned but what most of the public is not aware of is that will only get you 60-65 miles Range. That means you will need to stop every hour or less to recharge on a trip. Tesla’ssystem due to the larger battery and higher charge rate of its superchargers can let you drive 250 miles between charges which is much more reasonable for traveling. I can’t see BMW installing these chargers and letting them be operated for free either because they have made it open standard so they anticipate cars other than theirs using them.

    • Really DAWG says:

      Mines, says 70 miles, but if you avoid freeways or high speed driving, you can stretch it to more like 90-100 miles before the generator kicks in.

    • Freepat 75014 says:

      This is even worse than what I thought it was… Non sense forever. BMW are just not serious about EVs.
      I understand i3 has a 18KWH battery, so 80% is # 14.4KWH, charged in 1/2H means the chargers deliver # 28.8KW … Now I understand they may even be only 24KW ! Are they kidding ? That will still be useful for “inside city” fast charging for sure, during local commutes, or for small intercity trips, but not for long motorway trips ! No point putting that on Motorways ! If they really install this on motorways it may mean they have no serious plan for real long range EVs at all.
      The long Range EV or PHEV SUV I’m chasing to replace my sole / all purposes family car, need to be able to do all my local commutes all electric, ideally with one charge every two days so battery lasts longer (65KM/42M # 15KWH per day. Easy, just need >30KWH battery if set with an ICE Range Extender), then do my 2 x 400KM week-end trips per month, then my few long vacations trips per year, where I typically do 1000KM # 625Miles per day, sometimes during 2 or 3 days in a raw (Requires for both, either a Tesla like long range EV or an ICE Range Extender on a >30KWH PHEV). It’s because I have this high mileage profile that I could justify buying big BMW German cars forever. People doing only local commutes don’t buy that.

      On all electric Long Range EVs, doing 1000KM at 130KM/H per day on the motorway requires 200KWH of charge per day minimum on optimal Dual-Motor EVs like Tesla P85D (Need a bit less at lower speeds on std roads, but I use motorways for far away business and vacation trips in Europe). And I only drive during the day light hours, say 13H maxi per day in the summer. On Tesla 135KW SuperChargers, charging for 200KWH will take me only 1.5H total charging time per day, split over 3 x 1/2H stops with today 85KWH batteries, and only 2 x 3/4H stops tomorrow when they will get the ultimate 160KWH/500M larger batteries tomorrow. So after that 1.5H used for charging, I could still drive my 1000KM in the remaining 11.5H, just as with my BMW 530DA ICE car today.
      But with BMW only 24KW “fast chargers” charging 200KWH per vacation day will take 8.33 HOURS, that with i3 18KWH battery respecting 80% charges will require up to 17 x stops of 1/2h per vacation day, with the family on board and their luggage… Just imagine that ! And only leaving me with the 4.67H left in my day for driving, so I will only be able to drive # 500KM per day, means I’ll need up to 2X more days to make the same trips… Do they want BMW customers to return to diligence times ?
      These vision-less BMW “Fast Chargers” are not what is needed on the motorways full stop.
      Adding that non sense to all prior BMW announcements in EV/PHEV space make me consider Tesla as my next car, likely leaving BMW after >25Y of exclusive new cars purchases as soon as in 2016, when Tesla 135KW SuperChargers rollout will be completed in southern Europe, fully validating in Europe the Long Range EV approach defended by Tesla. Almost a done deal for me now.

      • marvelousmarvin says:

        Enjoy your Tesla. You must be a rich fellow, since the $90,000 price tag or $1250/mo lease makes it unaffordable or less than sensible. Tesla is a great car, no doubt and has a much larger battery pack, hence more range. The BMW fast chargers will be a game changer for most people who don’t drive coast to coast. It will make a 200-250 mile road trips from LA to Vegas or Palm Springs a matter of one 30 minute stop for electrons and gas. Plus, it will allow fast charging at your destination. I really enjoy my i3 Rex and I came from a 330i. At $399/mo with no drive off, it was a no brainer.

      • johnbl says:

        We need EVs that meet the range of driving needs..case in point I live in the Phoenix metro area..my i3 BEV gets me wherever I have to go with no worry about range..I didn’t have to spend three times what I paid for my i3. I get all the performance and comfort..and fun that EV driving offers..Even level 1 charging works, and in combo with my solar panels make this the cleanest and cheapest means of transportation we could afford. The combined cost of panels and EV was $55k (after all discounts and rebates) and saves over $200 a month in gasoline and electric costs. Thank you BMW for developing and making the i3 available in ALL markets!

    • Freepat 75014 says:

      This is even worse than what I thought it was… Non sense forever. BMW are just not serious about EVs.
      I understand i3 has a 18KWH battery, so 80% is # 14.4KWH, charged in 1/2H means the chargers deliver # 28.8KW … Now I understand they may even be only 24KW ! Are they kidding ? That will still be useful for “inside city” fast charging for sure, during local commutes, or for small intercity trips, but not for long motorway trips ! No point putting that on Motorways ! If they really install this on motorways it may mean they have no serious plan for real long range EVs at all.
      The long Range EV or PHEV SUV I’m chasing to replace my sole / all purposes family car, need to be able to do all my local commutes all electric, ideally with one charge every two days so battery lasts longer (65KM/42M # 15KWH per day. Easy, just need >30KWH battery if set with an ICE Range Extender), then do my 2 x 400KM week-end trips per month, then my few long vacations trips per year, where I typically do 1000KM # 625Miles per day, sometimes during 2 or 3 days in a raw (Requires for both, either a Tesla like long range EV or an ICE Range Extender on a >30KWH PHEV). It’s because I have this high mileage profile that I could justify buying big BMW German cars forever. People doing only local commutes don’t buy that.

      On all electric Long Range EVs, doing 1000KM at 130KM/H per day on the motorway requires 200KWH of charge per day minimum on optimal Dual-Motor EVs like Tesla P85D (Need a bit less at lower speeds on std roads, but I use motorways for far away business and vacation trips in Europe). And I only drive during the day light hours, say 13H maxi per day in the summer. On Tesla 135KW SuperChargers, charging for 200KWH will take me only 1.5H total charging time per day, split over 3 x 1/2H stops with today 85KWH batteries, and only 2 x 3/4H stops tomorrow when they will get the ultimate 160KWH/500M larger batteries tomorrow. So after that 1.5H used for charging, I could still drive my 1000KM in the remaining 11.5H, just as with my BMW 530DA ICE car today.
      But with BMW only 24KW “fast chargers” charging 200KWH per vacation day will take 8.33 HOURS, that with i3 18KWH battery respecting 80% charges will require up to 17 x stops of 1/2h per vacation day, with the family on board and their luggage… Just imagine that ! And only leaving me with the 4.67H left in my day for driving, so I will only be able to drive # 500KM per day, means I’ll need up to 2X more days to make the same trips… Do they want BMW customers to return to diligence times ?
      These vision-less BMW “Fast Chargers” are not what is needed on the motorways full stop.
      Adding that non sense to all prior BMW announcements in EV/PHEV space make me consider Tesla as my next car, likely leaving BMW after >25Y of exclusive new cars purchases as soon as in 2016, when Tesla 135KW SuperChargers rollout will be completed in southern Europe, fully validating in Europe the Long Range EV approach defended by Tesla. Almost a done deal for me now.

  6. CDspeed says:

    Tesla has nothing to fear from these wimpy chargers, and what’s the point of rolling out a quick charging network with only the i3 in mind? What about future electric models with bigger batteries, they’ll end up having to upgrade the chargers.

  7. VulpineMac says:

    As I stated on a different article about BMW’s plans, this will end up costing them much more than they expect for many of the reasons already stated in the comments. I won’t deny the i3 is a very intriguing vehicle, but it simply doesn’t have the range to meet my needs. My average “daily” trip already tends to push its limits–while the base model Tesla ‘S’ would give me range to spare. Granted, mine is a somewhat unusual circumstance, but just as an example, my shortest trips exceed 25 miles round trip while most exceed 50 miles and a few run right at that 100-mile max range round trip in an i3. Granted it does have (optional) a range-extending engine, but if you’re going electric, you really don’t want to fall back on a gasoline engine to finish your rounds. A drive from my home to ANY major city near me and back exceeds the Volt’s battery-only range while three of the four push the limits of the i3 and Leaf. If I want to go any farther–like to my in-law’s home only 130 miles away, I wouldn’t even reach it without needing a booster charge.

  8. […] in August I posted an article that announced the opening of the first DC fast charger in the East Coast Express Charging Corridor. That station was installed in Hartford, Connecticut. The Express Charging Corridor when completed […]

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