BMW has released details of an enhanced Digital Charging Network as part of its BMW i and i Performance electric vehicle network in Europe, which will begin a trial in select locations in Germany and the Netherlands.
The Digital Charging Network (DCN) aims to provide green power optimised charging combined with predictive use patterns and low-cost charge rates to provide owners with the greenest and most cost-effective way of charging their vehicle - the system is also able it integrate with home solar systems to take advantage of ‘overflow’ charging.
In conjunction with the i Wallbox charger, the DCN is able to calculate low-tariff charging rates, and automatically start the charging process to take advantage of cheaper off-peak rates, whilst ensuring the vehicle is fully charged based on previous vehicle usage.
BMW’s latest generation i Wallbox Plus and i Wallbox Connect chargers also offer the ability to identify individual vehicles and connect to the corresponding tariff plan, with the i Wallbox Connect further able to transmit charging data, allowing it to be integrated into expanse claims in fleet-use situations.
The system can also log the percentage of solar energy used in the charging process, and for times when the vehicle is connected to its charger, the system is also able to precondition the cabin, heating or cooling it in preparation for the daily commute and bringing the battery storage unit up to operating temperature to ensure optimum conditions to boost battery life.
Following the initial trial period BMW aims to expand the program across other countries in Europe, and will open the DCN up to owners of other EVs outside the BMW group in time.