Short Circuit! BMW to Control i3 EV Recharging Times

Oh brother, or should we say Big Brother?

The BMW Group and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company in the San Francisco Bay area are starting a program whereby BMW will stop the EV recharging by i3 owners under a study that has ominous long-term privacy and government control implications for future EV buyers.

The 18-month EV recharging pilot covers Northern and Central California. About 100 BMW i3 electric car drivers will allegedly demonstrate how “intelligent management” of EV recharging can contribute to helping electric power grid efficiency while reducing the total cost of  ownership. Intelligent management means BMW at PG&E’s request will remotely stop the recharging of i3 EVs for up to one hour.

The goal of the pilot is to provide PG&E with up to 100 kilowatts of capacity at any given time, regardless of how many BMW electric vehicles are charging, as part of a voluntary load-reduction program known as “Demand Response.”

In order to get the charge interruption underway, BMW is paying owners $1,000 initially, with an additional reward of up to $540 at the conclusion of the program, based on their level of participation in charging Demand Response “events,” as well as participation in occasional BMW or PG&E sponsored surveys or questionnaires.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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