Premium 360º Electric Portfolio Launched By BMW i

BMW of North America has announced the partnerships and programs comprising its 360º Electric portfolio.

The company says its intent is to ease the acceptance of its EVs and has organized a full support system for BMW i owners in order to make their experience a truly premium and enjoyable one.

Available in early 2014, 360º Electric is, in BMW’s words, a portfolio of consumer-oriented offerings designed to overcome commonly perceived barriers to purchasing an electric vehicle.

As BMW of North America was announcing details of this portfolio, BMW Group Canada’s President and CEO Eduardo Villaverde was presenting in front of Canadian automotive executives at 2013 TalkAuto Canada the company’s strategy and focus towards EVs.

In essence, Villaverde explained 360º Electric encompasses products for home and public charging, assistance services, and flexible mobility. The goal of BMW was to partner with experts in the field of electric mobility to provide its customers the best solutions available on the market so as to optimize their overall EV driving experience.

“Not only will 360º Electric allow for a convenient and easy transition to electric driving, but it will also provide customers access to an energy-conscious, sustainable lifestyle,” said Villaverde.

Villaverde took this occasion to present publicly for the first time in Canada the BMW i3 to the attendees of the 2013 TalkAuto Canada conference.

BMW believes the company is perfectly situated to branch into complementary electric vehicle markets because its experience with the MINI E and ActiveE field trials has allowed the company to understand EV driver challenges and demands.

“BMW has applied the lessons learned and customer feedback from our field trials to develop the 360º Electric portfolio.” said Robert Healey, BMW NA’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Manager. “Electric mobility is new to many customers, and in order to give them maximum confidence and a premium experience, we have given them access to programs and experts that will enable a truly holistic electric driving experience.

Solutions offered by BMW as part of the 360º Electric portfolio cover home charging stations, installation services, a solar energy program, parking solutions with access to chargers, carsharing solutions for longer trips, assistance services and technology-based solutions like apps allowing one to find services, parking, locate a car and more.

The home oriented BMW i Charging Station provides a fast way to charge the BMW i vehicle. BMW said this wall-mounted charging station features an SAE J1772-compliant connector, a weather-resistant NEMA 3 enclosure for indoor and outdoor installations, and with an output capacity of 7.2 kilowatt at 240 volts, the BMW i3 can be fully and safely charged in approximately 3 hours, and the BMW i8 in approximately 1.5 hours.

BMW said it paired with Bosch Automotive Service Solutions to provide BMW i3 customers a concierge-level, customized installation of the BMW i Charging Station. Bosch certified electricians will perform a no cost, in-home consultation and full installation services, backed by a Bosch warranty and ongoing technical support.

Additionally, qualified customers will be able to finance the cost of the charging station and installation with their vehicle through BMW Financial Services.

Per BMW, the definition of premium also includes a long-term focus on sustainability paired with an immediate focus on economical energy choices. With this in mind, BMW has partnered with SolarCity to offer owners of the new BMW i vehicles access to SolarCity’s most affordable solar service option.

As part of the partnership, BMW i owners will receive a 10-percent discount on SolarCity’s home solar offer with flexible financing  options, including options with no upfront installation cost and 20 years of locked-in solar energy rates.

The BMW i discount, offered through all participating BMW i Centers, will be available in early 2014.

All BMW i owners will also be provided ChargeNow cards, providing immediate access to more than 14,000 stations on ChargePoint’s growing network.

In addition, BMW i Centers are installing ChargeNow-branded charging stations across the U.S. and Canada that are available for current and future customers, available starting early 2014.

To solve various parking issues, BMW has created ParkNow LongTerm, an extension of the ParkNow product offer. As part of the 360º Electric product portfolio, this service is designed specifically for BMW i drivers in select markets who do not have access to residential or workplace charging options. BMW explained ParkNow LongTerm connects BMW i drivers to dedicated parking spaces with charging stations in parking garages on a long-term based rental in select cities.

ParkNow LongTerm will identify the best parking options for BMW i customers and recommend to a prepared parking facility from ParkNow’s broad partner network. ParkNow LongTerm offers an easy and convenient parking spot that is pre-qualified and guaranteed in order to provide the customer with a pleasant parking experience.

Another aspect of the 360º Electric product portfolio is the Alternate Mobility Program. In order to reduce range issues for those occasional long-distance trips, BMW i will have conventional gasoline engine BMW or Mini vehicles available, working similarly to a carsharing service, but exclusive to BMW i owners.

Talking about carsharing, DriveNow will provide BMW i drivers access to BMW i’s carsharing program; featuring all-electric, zero-emissions vehicles, BMW i drivers can access a car anytime, simply paying by the minute.

DriveNow is currently available in San Francisco, with a fleet of BMW ActiveE.

ConnectedDrive is also part of this comprehensice portfolio. BMW i vehicles come equipped with the technology to help drivers easily locate the nearest public charging stations, and if available, see their availability through the on-board navigation system. ConnectedDrive can also be used to check vehicle charging status, control the charging process, plan trips and drive more efficiently.

BMW explained with the BMW i Remote App for iOS and Android, BMW i owners can use a smartphone to connect with their BMW i vehicle remotely and control it from a distance, seeing the vehicle’s range, battery condition and charge levels, service messages, and location. With Charge Control, charging procedures at each station, trip planning, climate control of the passenger compartment and the high-voltage battery can all be activated remotely.

Also, and developed exclusively for the BMW i3, BMW Ultimate Service includes an 8 year, 100,000 mile high voltage battery warranty. And as with all new BMW vehicles, a 4 years or 50,000 miles warranty, 4 years or 50,000 miles maintenance program, and 4 years and unlimited mileage Roadside Assistance are included.

Finally, Villaverde stated the BMW Group is placing a lot of emphasis on this 360º Electric portfolio in order to complement the EV and contribute to make the BMW i ownership a truly premium experience.