New EV / PHEV BMW i Home Charging Station

BMW is getting ready to unveil a new EV and PHEV charging station.

BMW i said it will unveil at the Consumer Electronics Show CES 2015 in Las Vegas a further innovative product from its 360° ELECTRIC portfolio: BMW i Home Charging Services.

This solution for home charging of electric and plug-in hybrid BMW models is based on the smart home-enabled BMW i Wallbox Pro system already presented by BMW in spring 2014.

Using BMW i Home Charging Services, the vehicle is charged with home-generated solar power whenever this is available, explained BMW. At other times, or if the household does not have a solar generating system, the vehicle is automatically charged at the cheapest off-peak rates. This makes it possible to take advantage of flexible electricity pricing that varies depending on the time of day.

According to BMW i, in the USA, this can result in savings of up to 800 dollars a year.

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“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 maximize their use of green power – but without having to organize everything themselves.”

In Las Vegas, BMW said it will stage a live demonstration of BMW i Home Charging Services, which was jointly developed by BMW and Beegy, a provider for distributed energy-management, based on the Beegy Software Platform.

In this demonstration, a solar carport supplies solar power straight to the BMW i Wallbox, which uses it to charge the vehicle. The system is said to also use real-time solar power data and home energy data supplied by Solarwatt and Kiwigrid. A screen at CES displays real-time weather data, together with solar power forecasts, showing visitors how BMW uses such forecasts to optimally manage charging times. Even if the sun is not shining, said BMW i, real-time electricity pricing data from Genability can be used to ensure that the vehicle is charged when electricity rates are at their cheapest.

The Home Charging Services demonstration in Las Vegas is also an opportunity for BMW to present a concept product: a stationary energy storage system built from repurposed batteries previously used in BMW i electric vehicles.

Energy fed to this home storage system – for example home-generated solar energy – can subsequently be used to charge an electric vehicle or to meet household power needs, stated BMW i. The ability to use solar energy regardless of time of day helps households to achieve higher levels of energy self-sufficiency and to minimize the impact of rising energy prices.

BMW added this new charging solution will be available to customers by 2016.