The BMW i3 will feature a number of special Internet-based services that allow one to easily calculate the electric four-door’s available range and find the nearest charging stations. One of the services is the 360 Electric program that offers a smartphone app that provides remote access to the i3 and gives the location of public charging stations.
Under the program, the carmaker will arrange for the installation of a home charging station for a fee. BMW i3 owners, through an app on their iPhones and smartphones, could remotely monitor the battery level and charge status. The remote could also locate the i3 as well as lock and unlock the doors, honk the horn and flash the lights. The app also tells the exact location of the nearest public charging stations as well as whether they are in use – red if in use; green if free; and yellow if reserved.
A BMW i3 owner can pay monthly for public charging with the BMW i ChargeNow card, providing access across stations in the United States. Another Web-based service is Park-Now, which allows one to find a parking space in major U.S. cities. A "range assistant" feature in the standard navigation system can also plan a trip route based on the available charge in the i3.
The assistant employs distance, topography and traffic to optimize the car’s battery range. The assistant will suggest switching from the comfort mode -- which features maximum torque and acceleration -- to a more fuel-efficient mode to gain extra mileage. The 360 Electric program also allow owners to rent a larger, conventionally powered BMW for longer travels.