Smart Home Charging for BMW i Vehicles Using Solar Panels Shown at 2015 CES

It’s rather interesting how much effort BMW is putting into bringing the best charging possibilities to the end users/buyers of their electric or plug-in hybrid models. The thing is they keep on saying that they want to allow you to charge at the lowest rates. Let’s take a look at what that means.
BMW i8 smart charging 1 photo
Photo: bmw
At the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, the BMW stand showed the i Home Charging Services program that allows you to charge your car with home-generated solar power whenever it is available.

If your home doesn’t have a solar charging station, the same system can be used to charge your i3 or i8 (or future hybrids) at times when rates are at the lowest point. Most of the time, that means during the night.

Their press release claims that thanks to their new program customers can save up to $800 a year. Now, let’s take a look at who buys these cars.

If the i3 have a price tag of around $40,000 (give or take depending on what options you want on it), the i8 starts at over $135,000. Can you possibly imagine an owner that is desperate to save $800 in electricity when it comes to charging his plug-in hybrid sports car? I honestly can’t.

Sure, there are other advantages to this system. It makes charging your car a lot easier, as it takes care of everything, turning on and off the charger but still...

“With Home Charging Services, BMW is the first vehicle manufacturer to offer such a broad-based EV smart charging product,” says BMW Project Manager Julian Lienich. “Our aim is to make mobility as cheap as possible for users and to allow them to maximise their use of green power – but without having to organise everything themselves.”

And that’s the main goal of this venture. The BMW i Home Charging system makes the most sense if you get the solar panels to gather the electricity. That way, you make sure that you’re as green as possible as we rarely know how the current that we use was created (using coal, petrol or renewable sources).

A solar carport with a roof area of 25 square metres or more can produce enough power for 32,000 kilometres (20,000 miles) of electric driving a year (global average). This is the world’s first EV smart charging solution of its type, and it will be available to customers by 2016.
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