BMW is getting ready to introduce its 5th-gen batteries and drivetrain options to the world. The company will do so with the iX3 first, as the SUV based on the X3 platform will be the first production car to use the latest technology. After that we’ll see the production i4 and iNext coming with similar tech. Before they do, the Germans are launching a couple of new solutions for charging, that are meant to help customers get the most out of their EVs.
First up on the list is the introduction of the new BMW Flexible Fast Charger. This is an interchangeable adapter that works with both domestic and industrial power outlets. According to BMW, the Flexible Fast Charger can feed up to 11 kW into the battery and automatically adjusts itself depending on the type of power outlet you’re using. As for public charging, you can now get a BMW and MINI Charging Card that offers access to around 450,000 charging points across the world.
This includes around 24,000 charging points in Germany alone and 160,000 across Europe. Charging points are displayed in the navigation system and in the app to make it easier to plan charging stops. Starting with the BMW iX3, customers will receive the BMW Charging Card, including a one-year charging subscription with no basic fee, as well as a standardized charging cable that can be used at public charging posts across the European Union. The BMW Charging card covers the Ionity network in Europe which can deliver up to 350 kW.
Apart from physical changes and new chargers, BMW has also been working on software and services for its electric cars. For the latest iDrive version, customers will get a few new features. For example, starting with the iX3, route guidance will be using something called ‘eRouting’ which is meant to show you the cost and time spent on your way to your destination as well as the quality of the chargers.
As for the services, the eDrive zones will still be available for PHEV models while fully electric cars will drive emission-free in them anyway. There will also be a BMW Points loyalty program on offer. This way, drivers of certain PHEV models will get rewarded for using their cars on electrons alone.
Every kilometer driven on electric power earns one BMW Point, or two BMW Points per electric kilometer in eDrive Zones. Points can be redeemed for BMW Charging credit. In this way, the PHEV customer is rewarded for frequent electric driving with free electricity.