One of the biggest arguments people use against electric vehicles is the electricity that powers them is obtained using polluting methods. This has been the Achilles heel of the EV market for quite some time now, some even saying that if we take into account how electricity is obtained in various parts of the world, we might actually be emitting more CO2 without internal combustion engines due to old powerplants. BMW, however, has always had a different view on how you should charge your car.

Ever since the i sub-brand was launched, and the i3 and i8 models consequently, the green division of BMW offered its customers the chance to purchase a system that used solar panels to provide clean energy for their vehicles, being the only one in the industry with such a proposal. Furthermore, the i3 is assembled in Leipzig using renewable energy while the CFRP production in the US follows the same guidelines. Today, the Germans announced a new step in this direction in the shape of the BMW Digital Charging Service.


The intelligent service for predictive, convenient, cost-effective and green power-optimized charging is connecting vehicles with the world of energy. Thus BMW i is the first automobile manufacturer to offer its customers a system that intelligently incorporates charging into everyday life and at the same time helps to considerably reduce charging costs.

The BMW Digital Charging Service is based on two core functions: Tariff and solar optimized vehicle charging. In the case of tariff-optimized charging, the BMW Digital Charging Service aligns the charging plan to the customer’s electricity tariff. Cost-efficiency of the charging process is improved and the vehicle is automatically charged at the lowest electricity rates.


In selected markets, BMW i cooperates with innovative energy providers, so that customers are even able to receive cost reimbursements. In the case of solar-optimized charging, the service is aligned to the domestic photo voltaic system. DCS predicts the solar power based on the weather-forecast and the output of the installed photo voltaic system specified by the customer and establishes a charging plan. In this way, the amount of electricity not consumed at the time of being generated in the home can also be used for cost-efficient charging of the electric vehicle. The vehicle is automatically charged in optimum combination with the self-generated solar power.

The Digital Charging Service optimizes charging technology for BMW i and BMW iPerformance vehicles and will be extended in a later phase to other brands. Pilot markets for the new service are Germany and the Netherlands in early 2017, subsequently more countries will follow.