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