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BMW's 'i DC' fast chargers can fill an i3 to 80% in 30 minutes

by Justin King

Charging stations cost just $6,500, support competitors\' EVs.

BMW has introduced new charging station that aims to reduce costs and provide faster fill times.

Referred to as "i DC Fast Chargers," the stations are said to be approximately half the size of current alternatives. Lightweight construction and 12-inch depth is suitable for wall mounting, rather than requiring floor space allocation.

The technology provides a 24 kW feed, filling the BMW i3's 22 kWh battery pack to 80 percent capacity within 30 minutes.

Most major automakers have adopted the SAE Combo 1 connector standard, enabling BMW's charging stations to be used for rival EVs from General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche. Drivers of supported vehicles can use their ChargePoint or ChargeNow cards to top off a battery.

Perhaps the most significant improvement is the $6,548 price tag, which BMW hopes will promote widespread buildout.

NRG eVgo is one of the first partners, with plans to deploy a minimum of 100 chargers across California. The company is promising free charging for all i3 owners through the end of 2015.

BMW recently previewed wireless inductive charging and stylish solar carports for its i3 and i8, showcasing upgraded home-charging options. Both products are consistent with executive opinions downplaying the importance of public charging stations, however the new fast-charger introduction suggests the company will be fully engaging both strategies.

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