BMW has opened its first, public charging units in Melrose Arch,
adding to opening its network of free recharging points for the i-models, with the end goal of creating a huge infrastructure for electric cars to roam without range-anxiety. The latest milestone means BMW now has the ability to charge 2 of the 150 units roaming South African streets at a time.
BMW started planning and finally building out its charging network a little over a year and a half ago.
These AC Chargers are effectively high-speed power stations for the i-models, pumping electricity into the EV at a rate roughly 8x that of a normal public charging point. BMW suggests drivers could get 80% of a full charge in two and a half hours.
The goal is to more than double the existing infrastructure by the end of 2016. And an addition of two more ports at Melrose Arch
Not every EV or PHEV can use the charging network, however. Support is standard for all BMW models as i3 and i8 owners need to swipe their ChargeNow cards as per the prompts on the AC charging station. ChargeNow cards are issued to all BMW i customers upon the purchase of BMW i vehicles, free of charge. Actually recharging is free for the lifetime of the car, however, which BMW says is to encourage owners to take longer trips.