The all-new BMW i5 is one of the fastest charging cars on the market now that it’s been officially revealed. Its 205 kW charging speed is among the fastest of any electric vehicle on sale and can get the i5’s state of charge (SOC) from 10-80 percent in just 30 minutes. That’s going to be the magic number for all future BMW i5 owners, as Electrify America is giving each and every i5 buyer two years of free 30 minute charges.
Even though the free offer is capped at 30 minutes, that’s really all you need. If you can charge your battery to 80 percent or higher for free, each and every time you use an Electrify America station for two years, you’re in great shape. Especially when you consider that 80 percent SOC in the BMW i5 gets you anywhere from 200-240 miles of range, depending on the model, that’s really all you need.
Admittedly, there are a couple of other minor caveats. That free 30 minutes of charging is only offered at Electrify America DC fast chargers. So you have to find a charging station that has 150 kW chargers, or faster. While that’s not all that hard, as most Electrify America stations have DC fast chargers, there are some—especially in more remote areas—that are slower than that. Though, that’s not such a big deal, as you aren’t only going to use a slower charger for just 30 minutes and slower charges are usually cheaper anyway.
The other caveat is that there aren’t as many DC fast chargers capable of 205 kW or faster. The vast majority of DC fast chargers are 150 kW. While that’s still plenty quick, it’s not fast enough to get you that claimed 10-80 percent SOC in just 30 minutes, as you need the full 205 kW for that. It’s still enough to get you a huge chunk of free charging, though.
If you can’t find an Electrify America DC fast charger, the BMW i5’s Level 2 AC charging speed is 11 kW, which will admittedly take a very long time. But that’s more for overnight charging at your home.
Potential BMW i5 customers should be pretty excited about that deal, especially since they won’t be getting any federal tax breaks when buying the i5, so every little bit helps. BMW isn’t the only company that works with Electrify America to offer free charging, so it’s not as if that will absolutely help BMW steal customers from other brands, but it is a big help for anyone interested in buying an i5.