BMW Unveils BMW i ChargeForward Managed Charge Program

By Paul Riegler on 6 January 2015
  • Share
A BMW i3

A BMW i3

In partnership with Pacific Gas & Electric, BMW announced its BMW i ChargeForward Program. The pilot program offers drivers the opportunity to participate in a managed charge program and, separately, will find a second life for used Mini E batteries.

The managed charge program, which was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday, will include up to 100 BMW i3 owners in Northern California. Pacific Gas & Electric will be able to request a delay in the charging of a vehicle for up to one hour at times when grid loads are at their peak.

BMW is inviting i3 owners in Northern California to apply for the 18-month project. Participants will receive the BMW i ChargeForward smartphone app to manage the particulars.

At peak usage times, drivers will receive a text message notifying them that their vehicle will stop charging for up to one hour to reduce the load on the power grid. If a driver needs to complete the charge sooner, he can decline the action at that time.

The program will launch in July 2015.

BMW says that the plan should reduce the total cost of electric vehicle ownership. One example the Bavarian automaker cited is having utility companies provide drivers with incentives to manage their charge times. BMW says that the incentives could offset the cost of installing a charging station at home.

The second-life aspect of the program will repurpose used Mini E batteries by using them at a stationary solar-powered electric storage system located at the BMW Technology Office in Mountain View, California.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)