New BMW Charger to Cause Universal Charging Networks?

BMW ChargerA new BMW charger could be the catalyst for an entirely new nationwide charging network. Those are the thoughts of the luxury automaker, who sees such a charging network as a big key to the success of their new i3 all-electric car.

Here’s how they expect it to work: BMW has partnered with a third-party company, Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, to produce these new charging stations. BMW believes their diminutive size (about the size of a small suitcase) when compared to their counterparts – combined with their significantly lower prices ($6,500 for partnering companies) – could entice businesses to provide a charging system network not unlike the ones already in place for Tesla vehicles. 

BMW Charger is Universal

One thing that separates these new chargers from others is that they can also charge electric vehicles built by their competitors, such as Ford, GM, Daimler AG and Volkswagen. This is one more way these chargers would be more appealing than the brand-specific units.

As mentioned earlier, the $6,500 price tag is a far cry from the $30,000 price point for the competition’s fast chargers, which are about as tall as an adult male and tip the scales at more than 1,500 pounds. Conversely, the BMW charger weighs a mere 100 pounds, which makes it light enough to be mounted on a wall of any parking garage or other structure.

What makes it adaptable to other brands is the use of the SAE standardized combo plug, which is endorsed by all the aforementioned brands.

The first chargers will begin showing up this month at BMW dealerships; however, this is something BMW wants to farm out for the most part, largely because they say they have no interest in operating their own specific BMW charger network, though they will happily support the rollout of any company wishing to partner with them in this project.