BMW has joined forces with Bosch to develop a new DC fast charger for EVs. That sounds good as the new charger is very compact – measuring 31”H x 19”W x 12”D and weighing approximately 100 pounds – and the best part is the price, as the whole unit costs only $6,548. That’s less than half the price of a standard DC fast charger. It could be a revolution, if only it was making the power people expect from a fast charger. The Nissan Leaf, the world’s best-selling electric car, uses Chademo 50-kW chargers, and the Tesla Model S, without any doubt the best EV in the world, uses 120-kW superchargers. Now, here’s the bad news: the new BMW DC charger puts out only 24 kW.
It’s a huge disappointment, because we used to think of BMW as a premium brand. BMW gas cars offer premium craftsmanship, premium engineering and premium pricing. So how come BMW’s charger is only half as fast as the Nissan’s and one fifth of the speed of the Tesla’ superchargers? BMW clearly plays in second league when it comes to electric cars, and that’s sad news for all BMW fans.
BMW’s planning to create a network of charging stations using those chargers (it already partnered with ChargePoint towards that goal), but where do you go from there? Battery sizes can only increase. It doesn’t make sense to launch a new network of DC chargers slower than all the other DC chargers on the market. BMW would have been wiser to make its cars compliant with the 50 kW Chademo chargers, or better, the superchargers from Tesla.
Slow charging for a short range car, the message is clear. EV enthusiasts who can’t afford a Model S will have to wait for the Model III.