BMW is launching an app dedicated to monitoring the charging of its new i EV lineup.
The German automaker said its Smart Charging App makes it possible for BMW i customers to automatically identify the best rates and times for charging their electric vehicles at home.
The app was developed by the BMW Group and is available for Android and iOS devices.
The Smart Charging App is integrated with the BMW i Remote App, BMW said, which allows drivers to get vehicle information via their smartphone. The BMW Smart Charging App has the potential to save customers as much as $400 annually on their electric bills, believes BMW.
BMW also stated it is the first automotive manufacturer to offer this automated and fully integrated functionality.
In its initial phase, the BMW Smart Charging App is currently available to BMW Electronauts. Electronauts are defined by BMW as electric vehicle enthusiasts who leased a BMW ActiveE as part of the company’s field trial which began in 2012, many of whom were among the first in the U.S. to take delivery of a BMW i3.
Through a direct connection to a national energy rate database hosted by BMW Group partner, software company Genability, BMW i3 drivers will be able to automate their charging strategy in advance for daily and weekly use, said BMW. They can also check their energy rates in this database, determine the optimal times to charge their vehicles and get transparency over the charging costs.
“By automating the at-home charging planning process with the BMW Smart Charging App, we are offering BMW i customers greater convenience and helping them conserve energy while maximizing their cost savings,” said Jose Guerrero, Product Manager and U.S. Product Planning and Strategy for BMW i, BMW of North America.
BMW added by linking their ConnectedDrive interface through the BMW i Remote App, customers can also precondition their BMW i3 vehicles’ temperature, see their vehicle status, view actual charging times and related costs, and adjust and disable their charging settings remotely.
“BMW is dedicated to improving the at-home charging experience for customers so they can best optimize their electric vehicles for daily use. The BMW Smart Charging App provides BMW i3 drivers with an easy-to-use app that is integrated with the vehicle,” said Julian Lienich, Project Lead, BMW Group.
The BMW Smart Charging App will be available to all BMW i3 and BMW i8 customers in the U.S. in 2015.