BMW is investing in Coulomb Technologies, a provider of electric-vehicle charging stations and software based in California that has EV development deals with General Motors, Ford, Nissan and Fisker Automotive. Coulomb's ChargePoint operates a worldwide network of EV charging stations in over 14 countries, including the United States.
ChargePoint also offers cloud-based services, including the capability to locate charging stations, process payments and monitor energy use and costs to EV customers, dealers and manufacturers. BMW declined to disclose the amount of the investment, which was made by its venture capital unit, BMW i Ventures.
The carmaker will be introducing a family of electrified vehicles as part of its new i Series, starting next year with its i3 compact. Coulomb raised $47.5 million in May from a new round of venture capital led by Braemar Energy Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Braemar was responsible for financing battery maker A123 Systems, while KPCB is one of the investors in Fisker. Also investing in Coulomb is Toyota TsushO, a member of the Toyota Group.
The world continues to experience disturbances as it relates to economic, ecological, and even the social aspect. There is a need to come out with new ideas as society continues to feel the effects of rapid urbanization, decreasing resources, and of course, climate change. Anything that impacts the world at large will clearly have an effect on personal mobility.
This is why BMW is doing its part and helping find solutions. Indeed, there is a rather high expectation for BMW considering that it has long been known for its visionary concepts when it comes to vehicles. The brand also represents what inspiring design is plus the understanding of premium features that are mainly defined with sustainability.
Thus when the BMW i came out with its first series, the BMW i3, it offered a zero-emission model packaged in a premium car that delivered excellent driving pleasure. Not only was it the first electric-powered vehicle from BMW but it gave customers the chance for innovative and new ways to experience not just driving pleasure but connectivity on urban areas and sustainability too.
The way the i3 has been designed highlights the usual sporting capability expected from a BMW model plus the genuine efficiency of a four-seat car. There are a number of innovations in the new i3 and one of them is using carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, or CFRP, for the passenger compartment. Being light and rigid, it allows for better stability and safety. It also offers a large amount of space.
BMW also put in exclusive features to guarantee an exciting daily drive. This includes the different mobility services and driver assistance systems courtesy of 360° ELECTRIC and the BMW Connected Drive.
Powering the i3 is an electric motor capable of delivering maximum output at 170 hp (125 kW) with top torque measured at 184 lb.-ft. (250 Nm). This power is then transmitted to the rear wheels through the new single-speed transmission. The power supplied by the motor is all thanks to the lithium-ion storage cells that have been placed in the underfloor section of the vehicle.