BMW launches Smart Charging App telling when i3 charging is cheapest

Article by Christian A., on June 21, 2014

BMW has launched a smart charging app in the United States that determines which hours electricity is cheapest, helping BMW i3 owners save money on home-charging their units. According to BMW, the app is available on both Android and Apple devices and comes embedded into the iRemote App, which sends information about i3 temperature, status, charging times and related costs.

BMW will initially offer the app only to Electronauts -- its i3 early adopter program in the United States that started operations in 2012. BMW’s smart charging app employs a direct connection to a national energy-rate database that is hosted by BMW partner Genability.

According to the carmaker, the smart charging app enables i3 owners to adjust their charging strategy even weeks in advance. Julian Lienich at BMW remarked that the carmaker is committed to improving the at-home charging experience for customers to best optimize their EVs for daily use.

According to BMW, the smart charging app will be made available to all i3 and i8 customers in the US starting 2015, adding that the app could help owners save almost $400 (EUR295) annually.

“By automating the at-home charging planning process with the BMW Smart Charging App, we are offering BMW i customers greater convenience and helping them conserve energy while maximizing their cost savings,” said Jose Guerrero, Product Manager and U.S. Product Planning and Strategy for BMW i, BMW of North America.

BMW’s LifeDrive architecture and eDrive drive innovations allow for an excellent amount of design freedom. Indeed, the BMW i3’s appearance is as notable as the sensation of space and on-board drive experience.

A body that measures 3,999 mm long, 1,775 mm wide, and 1,578 mm high provides the BMW i3 distinct dimensions with dynamism and compactness that underline the vehicle's agility for city driving. The BMW i3’s shortened overhangs are also a distinct indication of its agile drive traits. Ample glass surfaces infuse the i3 with a captivating lightness and, along with its apparent carbon elements, create an insight into the vehicle's lower-weight architecture.

Using light but extremely sturdy CFRP material in constructing the passenger section means it does not need B-pillars, so that accessibility to the two rows makes seating very easy. One of the hallmark traits of BMW i models is the black belt that reaches the bonnet above the roof and to the back of the vehicle. Another result of the individual BMW i design motif is the streaming flow sweep of the side shapes that make for bigger side window areas at the back and so increases the substantial feeling of room inside the vehicle.

The i3’s front design is distinguished by a powerfully shaped apron, by the distinct interpreting of the kidney grille as an encased component, and by headlamps rimmed with U-shaped LED lights. The U-shaped LED lights in the rear are combined as floating components into the ample, completely glazed tailgate.

Press Release

BMW Launches First App to Automate the Home Charging Process for BMW i Electric Vehicles

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – June 9, 2014… The new BMW Smart Charging App makes it possible for BMW i customers to automatically identify the best rates and times for charging their electric vehicles at home. Developed by the BMW Group and available for Android and iOS devices, the BMW Smart Charging App is integrated with the BMW i Remote App, which allows drivers to get vehicle information via their smartphone. The BMW Smart Charging App has the potential to save customers as much as $400 annually on their electric bills. BMW is the first automotive manufacturer to offer this automated and fully integrated functionality.

In its initial phase, the BMW Smart Charging App is currently available to BMW Electronauts. Electronauts are electric vehicle enthusiasts who leased a BMW ActiveE as part of the company’s field trial which began in 2012, many of whom were among the first in the U.S. to take delivery of a BMW i3. Through a direct connection to a national energy rate database hosted by BMW Group partner, software company Genability, BMW i3 drivers will be able to automate their charging strategy in advance for daily and weekly use. They can also check their energy rates in this database, determine the optimal times to charge their vehicles and get transparency over the charging costs.

“By automating the at-home charging planning process with the BMW Smart Charging App, we are offering BMW i customers greater convenience and helping them conserve energy while maximizing their cost savings,” said Jose Guerrero, Product Manager and U.S. Product Planning and Strategy for BMW i, BMW of North America.

By linking the BMW ConnectedDrive interface through the BMW i Remote App, customers can also precondition their BMW i3 vehicles’ temperature, see their vehicle status, view actual charging times and related costs, and adjust and disable their charging settings remotely.

“BMW is dedicated to improving the at-home charging experience for customers so they can best optimize their electric vehicles for daily use. The BMW Smart Charging App provides BMW i3 drivers with an easy-to-use app that is integrated with the vehicle,” said Julian Lienich, Project Lead, BMW Group.
The BMW Smart Charging App will be available to all BMW i3 and BMW i8 customers in the U.S. in 2015.

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Topics: bmw, bmw i3, electric car, app

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