Now that we’re rapidly heading towards the end of the year, BMW and its BMW i subsidiary have time to recap on the achievements they reached during 2017. Earlier this week, BMW announced an incredible milestone, managing to sell over 100,000 electrified cars over the course of the past 12 months, a feat that speaks abundantly clear about the course set by the company for the future.
But that was just the crowning jewel of all the things that happened this year, and a small part of what was achieved. BMW i high-voltage batteries, for example, are in increasing demand beyond road vehicles. They have multiple applications such as to supply power to electric propulsion systems for boats (e.g. Torqeedo), commercial vehicles (e.g. Streetscooter) and stationary energy storage applications (e.g. Beck).
The plug-and-play capability of BMW i batteries (which were intended from the outset for stationary use after the end of their long service life in cars) is now also very much in demand for new batteries. For example, over 30.7 megawatt hours of storage capacity in the form of new BMW i batteries was supplied to industrial customers in 2017. This equates to a fleet of 1,400 BMW i3 cars.
ChargeNow, the public charging service from BMW i, now offers access to more than 130,000 charging points in 32 countries – with a single registration. This makes charging as easy as paying for petrol with a credit card. BMW has so far invested 14.4 million euros in manufacturer support for electric mobility in Germany since the launch of the country’s scrapping bonus, making it the biggest single source of funding.
BMW i was presented with the UN’s Momentum for Change award for global involvement in charging infrastructure projects and has since remained one of the leading initiators of electric mobility projects worldwide: BMW has invested more than 25 million euros, leading to the introduction of more than 9,500 operational charging points. The BMW Group has therefore supported the installation of more charging points around the world than are available in total in Germany today.
As part of an initiative in which the BMW Group was a founder member, super-fast European charging network Ionity has taken on an operating role. The number of BMW i3 vehicles in the international DriveNow and ReachNow car-sharing programmes has been further expanded. They have now opened up easy initial access to electric mobility for hundreds of thousands of customers around the world. At a steady 15 per cent, the share of electrified vehicles in these fleets is many times higher than that in the respective national markets overall.