BMW Tests New Idea For EV Charging i Series

Right now, only up to 0.4% of vehicles are electric vehicles in the U.S., but BMW is still pushing for a means of letting those who purchased EV vehicles get the most out of their BMW i3. They are doing this through their i ChargeForward program that they are proposing which will last for 18 months.

The idea is simple. They will ask owners of these vehicles not to charge during peak hours, which is meant to be an experiment that will hopefully lead to a more productive future for those who own electric vehicles. Participants will be given $1,000 at first and then $540 when the program concludes.

The experiment is being done in the San Fransisco Bay Area in California at the moment, which has become quite the natural choice these days. This is the only state that seems to be completely dedicated to getting gas powered vehicles off the roads after all. Still, this could present a problem in and of itself since the state is also known for having unreliable electric production and delivery, not to mention that it has one of the highest electric bill charges around.

For the program itself, it will include 100 owners of BMW i3 which will be selected from a total of 400 applicants. All of this is being done so that there will be a 100 kilowatt reserve capacity even with a lot of BMW electric vehicles getting charged. This is what they call a Demand Response which is a voluntary load-reduction program.

Still, those who are participating in the program can still charge their vehicles for unforeseen considerations such as emergencies wherein they will need to go out of state since such things are not exactly in the control of the participants themselves. However, there will be an effect on how much these participants will be receiving at the end of the test since the bonus is based on the level of participation of these folks when they fill out the surveys.

Julia Sohnen, advanced-technology engineer for sustainable mobility at the BMW Group of Technology Office in the US says, “One thing that we’ll be investigating with this pilot is understanding how people charge, how flexible they are with respect to when they charge, and how best to design future products in a way that benefit both customers and utilities.”

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