BMW sells its Wallbox charger but in most cases the standard charger is enough. A standard installation of BMW’s Wallbox costs 15 000 SEK here in Sweden according to BMW. As I understand it, it will charge then the car in under 6 hours if you can get 16A from the socket.
There is an even stronger charger that BMW calls Wallbox Pure that with 32 ampere loads the car to 80% in 3 hours. But with the text “Depending on the available electrical supply at the installation site, a maximum charging power of 7.4 kW can be reached. If the grid is optimally developed, the BMW i3 can be charged up to 80 % of the maximum capacity in under 3 hours” is not very reassuring. Moreover, I suspect that it will come at an extra cost charged annually by your utility company.
Personally, I waited a bit and started with the standard charger that comes with the car to see how it works. It has a standard plug (called Schuko but ordinary people do not know that) at one end, a box and a plug that fits in the car in other end.
In the car settings, you can set the power that the charger will use to charge your car. You can choose between Maximum, Reduced and Low. Unfortunately, it is not explained on the display nor in the manual what the different options mean. After testing and measuring, I understand that
- Low is charging the car at 5.95 amps (1300 W) and thus should work if the socket has a 6A fuse or higher
- Reduced is charging the car at 8.7 amps (1900 W) and thus should work if the socket has a 10A fuse (or actually I know it does because that is what I have and I use it every day)
- Maximum I have not yet tested (because our socket in the garage only has a 10A fuse), but I suspect that it might be charging at just under 12A.
Edit: Maximum has now been measured to 11.5A (2500W)
Having owned a BMW i3 just over two weeks now, the conclusion is that it sufficient with the standard charger. The car is always charged overnight and then it does not matter if it takes 10, 8 , 6 or 3 hours. I have always charged at reduced power (8.7A) and the car has always been fully charged when I’m leaving for work in the morning.
Edit: At reduced charging (8.7A) the car is charging a completely flat battery (0% in app) to full (100% in app) in 13 hours.
A faster charger is really only important daytime. Maybe in a workplace if you need to travel several tours that day. At home, I do not really the point to come home at six o’clock and connect the car to a fast charger. Even with the fastest charger (32A) , the car would still not be fully charged until nine o’clock in the evening.
Of course, the quick chargers are important along highways and around town if you need to go far and fill up. These should be installed close to fast food restaurants or shopping center so that you can make something meaningful during the 20-30 minutes it takes to charge. But it is quite another story. At home the standard charger is more than sufficient.