BMW Unveils $6,500 Suitcase-Size EV Charger

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Owners of BMWs i Series vehicles may soon have more places to charge their vehicles, all thanks to the automaker’s new, less-expensive, suitcase-sized charger.

Automotive News reports the 100-pound, 24-kilowatt chargers, made by Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, will be available to companies who partner with BMW for the low price of $6,500, and can recharge other EVs from other automakers like General Motors, Volkswagen and Ford.

According to BMW of North America EV infrastructure manager Robert Healey, BMW hopes that by making its new charger available at a discount, the companies who sign on would help the automaker establish a nationwide network similar to Tesla’s exclusive Supercharger network:

Our focus is on getting as many DC fast chargers out there as possible, but the cost has been a hindrance. We want to remove every perceived barrier for our potential customers. We want to ensure that customers see these chargers.

The first of the new chargers will go online at BMW dealerships in August, with more to come as third-party companies begin to partner with BMW.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • FormerFF FormerFF on Jul 29, 2014

    I take it then that this is built to the SAE standard, rather than the CHADEMO standard that Nissan prefers, and whatever the hell that Tesla uses.

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    • Vulpine Vulpine on Jul 29, 2014

      @05lgt Hmph. Guess I don't qualify then, as I have no extreme religious or political causes.

  • Koshchei Koshchei on Jul 29, 2014

    Inasmuch as "M-Sport" is German for Brougham, what is "at a discount" German for?

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    • Brianyates Brianyates on Jul 29, 2014

      Koschchei,a brougham is a horsedrawn carriage with an open roof and open driver's seat up front. It sure sounds alot like you've got your cars mixed up or are you taking the piss?

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Jul 29, 2014

    Silly, and unhelpful to the EV cause. These mfrs need to work out some common standards. Personally, I'd like to see them all adopt the Supercharger standard, and then work out the money flow. Sometimes it's OK to concede defeat in a trivial matter. But a $6500 charger only advances the myth that "EVs are for rich people". No individual or institution should have to pay this for a charger.

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    • Vulpine Vulpine on Jul 30, 2014

      @FormerFF Dig a little deeper in the 'shop Tesla' link and you will discover they are separately priced at $1200 for the wall unit and $1400 for the in-car second charger. I may have those prices reversed since I'd gone to that point myself to discover the pricing in the first place two days ago.

  • Martinwinlow Martinwinlow on Jul 30, 2014

    @FormerFF… You have it nearly right. An inverter converts DC to AC - most commonly in the form of 'motor inverters' where the inverter takes DC from a battery and converts it to AC to run an AC motor. It's like a ginormous light dimmer and basically controls the power by chopping it on and off very quickly - up to 30 thousand times a second or more. The other common use of inverters, certainly in a domestic context, is to turn DC from a solar array into AC for use in the home or to send it to the grid. The device in a car that does the reverse, i.e. converts AC to DC for charging a battery, is just a charger. As you say an EVSE (electric vehicle service equipment) is really just a high powered switch (usually a relay, actually) which is effectively controlled by the vehicle it is plugged into i.e. the vehicle tells the EVSE how much current it wants and when. AKA a 'charging station'. A DC charger, such as BMWs 'suitcase' one (doesn't it have a name?) is, again, as you say, an off-board charger and quite a powerful one but only half as powerful as ChaDeMo or the new CCS (combined charging standards) DC chargers and much less so than Tesla's SC. Interestingly, Renault uses a 'chameleon' charger in their Zoe which is an onboard charger that can take the max 47kW 3 phase AC output that the Type 2 EVSE, which is becoming very common in Europe nowadays, can provide. It will also charge at much lower rates down to about 3kW, single phase, I gather. Meanwhile, a small company in CA called Electric Motor Werks (correct spelling - EMW) is selling a 240VAC single phase 25kW DC charger for home use for US$2600. And, as it only weighs 25 lbs, could be used portably as well. Of course, you would have to be able to find somewhere with a single phase supply with that capability which would be unusual, currently at least. MW