Can you find a suitable BMW charging station without the usual frustrations experienced by other EV owners?
Whatever your charging requirements for your BMW EV – home, workplace, business, or public place, recharging your battery should be without stress and difficulty. While many EV owners experience some frustration in locating a suitable EV charging station for their EVs is because they fail to look in the right places for a reliable manufacturer that can meet their charging needs. However, understanding what you require is the first step most EV owners, especially newbies, miss. This article will show you how and where to get the perfect charging station for your BMW electric vehicle. So, let’s dive in together.
I. BMW Charging Stations for Your Choice
II. What BMW Drivers Need to Know about EV Charging
While it has joined the race to convert all its fossil-fueled automobiles to electric vehicles very recently, BMW, a giant automaker, has manufactured several electric cars in a short period. Their portfolio now boasts of 6 electric vehicles, 5 of which are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and a fully electric vehicle. What’s more, BMW introduced the i3 model in 2014, a car available as both PHEV and a full EV, making them the only automaker with such an innovative option. This has also increased the diversity within its fleet.
III. BMW EV Charging & Range
As typical with BMW’s innovative stance, they’ve been known to carry out different upgrades from time to time. One of these upgrades is the battery capacities of its EVs. For instance, the BMW i3 has seen double battery upgrades since its inception in 2014. These upgrades have increased the battery’s capacities and range which now stands at a 186-mile range once fully charged. But that’s not all. BMW has also improved the charging capacities of its fully electric vehicles, like the i3, to accommodate level 3 DC fast charging. This DC fast charging is only compatible with the CCS (Combined Charging System) connector available in the North American market. Other upgrades that have endeared BMW electric vehicles include its external aesthetic to look sleeker and more stylish.
IV. BMW Connector Types and Charging Rate
The BMW i3 is a fully electric vehicle that uses a CCS connector for level 3 DC charging that can add up to an 11-mile range per minute to your battery. On the other hand, BMW PHEVs use J1772 connectors for both level 1 and level 2 charging but don’t have the capacity to accommodate a level 3 charging station.
V. How Long Does it Take to Charge a BMW?
The charging time for a BMW depends on the onboard charger installed and the battery capacity, including the type of charging station employed in the charging. For starters, charging with a level 1 charging station can take up to 43 hours to charge a fully electric BMW vehicle like the i3 and 22 hours to charge a PHEV. The reason is that the BMW i3 has more capacity than its plug-in counterparts making the charging time longer for the full EV. Additionally, the level 1 charger has a 120V supply and can only deliver about 3kW of power to the battery. However, a level 2 charger offers more charging speed and less charging time, which takes about 4 hours to fully charge a BMW EV. A level 3 DC charger is the fastest, taking about 30 minutes to charge a BMW EV battery to 80%. Unfortunately, the BMW PHEV cannot use a level 3 DC charger.
Related Article: EV Charging Time: How Long will it Take to Charge My Car?
VI. Level 3 DC Fast Charging
Charging the BMW i3 battery only takes 25 minutes to get 80% full battery. Though the onboard charger is 11kW, the DC charger bypasses it and directly charges the battery at a fast rate, up to 80%, after which it slowly charges the battery to 100% to protect the health of the battery.
VII. Which Type of Charging Speed is Perfect for you?
For starters, each type of charger delivers a different charging speed.
A level 1 charger is the slowest as it uses a 120V and 15 amps socket for homes and residential buildings. This charger can take up to 43 hours to charge a BMW EV and 22 hours to charge a BMW PHEV. Hence, this will suit you if your daily driving routine doesn’t involve long distances and your battery capacity is small like you have in a PHEV.
The level 2 charging station has a faster-charging speed since it uses double the power supply of a level 1 charger at 240V. This will take anywhere between 4 to 5 hours to fully charge a BMW EV battery and about 2 hours to charge a BMW PHEV battery. So, it is perfect for you if your daily driving routine is longer than just a few errands close to the house, typically like an inner-city drive.
The DC fast charging is the fastest charging type and only takes about 2 to 3 hours to fully charge a BMW EV battery. This will be the perfect charging speed for you if you’re a long-distance inter-city driver. It is also suitable for you if you have a battery capacity like the BMW i3.
Related Article: EV Charging Levels
VIII. BMW EV Charging Cost
The cost of charging a BMW EV depends on several factors like the battery capacity, battery usage, and the billing method employed by the charging station operator. For instance, some operators bill according to the energy used, some on the time spent charging the BMW EV, and others on the mileage added to the battery. Hence, this different-strokes-for-different-folks approach can significantly vary the cost. Also, charging with a level 1 charger is considered the cheapest as it is often used during off-peak hours at home, which carries a cheaper tariff than during peak periods. In all, the average cost of charging a BMW EV is usually between 8 cents per mile range added to the battery.
IX. How to Choose Your BMW EV Charging Station?
Choosing a suitable BMW charging station involves the critical consideration of specific parameters that bear directly on EV usage. These considerations include the locality where the BMW EV will be driven, driving pattern, battery size, budget, and purpose of purchase. Failing to consider these factors can be a mismatch and may be frustrating.
Location – With various local EV charging requirements for different areas, knowing and understanding the local charging requirements for your BMW EV will go a long way in helping you successfully choose a suitable BMW EV charging station. For example, if the charging station in your locality accepts only CHAdeMO connectors, purchasing a charging station with a J1772 will be mismatched with the local charging requirements.
Driving pattern – If you often drive long distances, getting a charging station that lets your BMW EV on the go very fast may be considered an appropriate charging station. It’s not the best option compared to a level 1 charger that takes very long to charge a BMW EV battery.
Battery size – Higher battery capacity is often matched with a fast-charging station for optimum performance and comfortability. If your BMW EV has a smaller battery capacity than most EVs, you can consider purchasing a level1 EV charging station.
Budget – Matching your budget with your charging requirement is vital when getting a BMW EV charger. Understanding that a charger’s speed and power output determine the cost. You cannot acquire a level 2 charging station with a level 1 charging station budget.
Purpose – getting the right BMW EV charging station also depends on the purpose you intend to get the charger. If you only intend to charge your BMW EV at home, a level 1 charger may suffice after carefully considering other factors. However, suppose you plan to go into a public charging station operation where you allow other BMW EVs to charge for a fee. In that case, a minimum of a level 2 charging station will be appropriate.
X. Where to Buy Quality BMW Charging Stations for Home Use?
Getting a quality BMW EV charging station suitable for home use shouldn’t be difficult. However, this is not the case with many EV users, especially newly converted ones. Here are some pointers to help you quickly locate quality EV charging stations and suppliers.
Online search – carrying out an online search using a popular search engine like Google is often overlooked by most EV owners. Nonetheless, an online search can produce a wealth of quality EV charger suppliers from which you can filter and select a suitable one for your needs.
Online stores – The web is home to many online stores that have done the dirty work of aggregating and categorizing several businesses and manufacturers, including EV charger manufacturers. They also give you the option of filtering these manufacturers based on the type of charger, price range, and customer ratings.
Exhibitions and trade fairs – This channel is the best if you want to meet physically with various EV charger manufacturers in one location. The benefit of this is that it allows you to assess many manufacturers and the features of their EV chargers, including pricing, before choosing the most suitable one that meets your requirements.
XI. EV-Top Advantages for BMW Owners
- Top Quality – EV-Top is a quality-first manufacturer with a longstanding history of quality products that spans over three decades. Their acquisition of industry-recognized international certifications like the ISO 9001:2015 quality management systems certification further boosts their reputation for quality production.
- Affordable Price – As a company whose foundation is based on innovation and cost-effective solutions, EV-Top is strategically located in the Asian Silicon Valley of Shenzhen. This location offers an abundance of expertise that helps drive down their production cost and reduce their selling price, making it very affordable and competitive.
- Rich Experience – With over three decades of industry experience, their customers enjoy their rich experience and expertise gathered over the years in the EV manufacturing industry.
- Qualification Certificates – They understand the importance of getting necessary certificates for the confidence they inspire in their customers. Hence, EV-Top has the required industry certifications and qualifications, including ISO, CE, EN, and UL.
- Comprehensive Service – As a customer-centric company, EV-Top offers comprehensive services that take care of all needs and requirements of their customers, including a prompt reply to customers’ before and after-sales services.
Finally, purchasing a suitable BMW EV charging station isn’t that difficult. It requires knowing exactly where to look for and the requirements to consider when selecting the right supplier. These requirements can include the supplier’s reliability, years of experience in the industry, and commitment to quality, among other considerations. Ultimately, you want to ensure that a supplier can meet all your charging needs after considering your daily driving routine, battery size, local charging requirement, and budget. One such EV charger manufacturer with a consistent commitment to quality, significant industry experience, excellent after-sales service, and affordable price is EV-Top.