BMW i Wallbox Pro: Solar And Smart Charging For i3, i8 Photo:
Trevor Collett | Sep, 27 2014 | 2 Comments

BMW’s i3 and i8 electric cars will soon have a new, faster home-charging option, in the form of the i Wallbox Pro.

Until now, the i Wallbox was available only in the ‘Pure’ model for home charging. European BMW i customers can now opt for the ‘Pro’ model in various markets, which cuts charging times and introduces ‘green’ charging options.

The i8 can now reach 80 percent capacity in under two hours, while the i3’s charging time drops below three hours.

For non-BMW EV owners, the i Wallbox Pro can charge any vehicle equipped with a European Type Two standard connector.

The Pro is compatible with home-generated energy options (the most obvious being solar panels), and can also be used in ‘smart energy’ homes.

While the Pure is more of a ‘set-and forget’ unit, the Pro features a seven-inch colour touchscreen enabling users to personalise charging settings.

Users can store separate information for business and personal use, and the i Wallbox can email you a statement for easy business accounting.

The screen also shows the charging rate while in operation and allows the user to choose the percentage of energy sourced from home-generation and the amount sourced from the grid - information that is also available remotely via the i Wallbox app.

The Pro unit carries elements of the EV 'look' of the i3 and i8 with BMW i blue highlights. In keeping with its green credential, t is also manufactured from 'environmentally friendly' and sustainable materials.

In Europe, an installation service provided by BMW is optional; the Pro can be installed in an enclosed garage or undercover outdoor area.

Future charging options for BMW i models may include a solar-powered carport - as shown in concept from earlier this year - or wireless inductive charging.

The BMW i Wallbox Pro is available now in overseas markets, but no word yet from BMW on when or if we might see it in Australia.

Confirmed however is that Australian cars will be sold with home-charging units and will be compatible with commercial public charge-stations.

The i3 is due to arrive locally in November of this year, while deliveries of the i8 are set to begin in March 2015.

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