Standard charger enough at home

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.

20140117_161231

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.

Charger

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.

Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

91 thoughts on “Standard charger enough at home

  1. I dare to question whether charging through the standard home power outlet is sufficient indeed. I came home at midnight today with a remaining range of 7km. The car/iPhone display show an expected charging time of 14h, for both charge settings reduced and maximum. Meaning only at 2pm tomorrow, the car will be fully ready.

    Charging times of 8-10h might work reasonably well for overnight charging, yet 14h make this questionable in my view.

  2. Thanks for sharing that, Tom. I agree with you that if you often need to use the full range many days in a row and arrive very late in the evening so that the charging time is crucial then the standard charger will not be sufficient.

    However, I believe what I have realized from my own driving pattern is that I usually cummute 40-50 km in day and those days that I use the full range and arrive home with the car with a flat battery, well then it is either early enough in the evening that the car will still have time to charge overnight or I will not actually need the full range the next day and I am fine to leave home with a 75% charged car.

  3. Maximum charging has now been measured to 11.5A (2500W)

    Also, at reduced charging (8.7A) the car is charging a completely flat battery (0% in app) to full (100% in app) in 13 hours.

    1. I have charged my car last night at 6 pm on reduced, with 7% battery left and this morning at 7:30am, the battery is only 55% full. I can’t understand why it takes me so long to charge the car? I have been told by the delivery specialist from BMW to not use maximum but it is unclear why. Please help! I am no electrician….

      1. Hi Angie,

        if you are using the reduced charging (middle option) it should be charing at 1900 W. With 13.5 hours it has charged 25.7 kWh. Even if there are some efficieny losses in the charging it should still be plenty to fully charg your car.

        I suggest
        1) double check that you are really using the reduced charging (and not minumum)
        2) if possible measure the charing. There are simple devices to put in the wall outlet to measure and you can buy them for 10 EUR in a tech store
        3) contact BMW to help you

        1. Yes, I have checked to see that it was charging at Reduced, not minimum. I am wondering if it is due to the voltage here in Canada. 120V? I am not sure on the Amp though, will need to purchase something to check. Is it true that I cannot use Maximum?

          1. We here in north America uses around 115 volts for our regular household outlets while European countries (mostly) use around 230 volts. Amps/amperes is the measure of electric current. For straight-forward computation and simplicity, wattage/watt is equal to volts times amperes. In your case, “Reduced” means 8.7amps X 115volts would roughly equal to 1kW, not 1.9kW like in Europe. This would mean double the charging time for us here in the north American countries.

            I3 battery’s usable capacity is about 19kWh meaning that, without considering energy loses on the charging process, it will take for a 1kW source at least 19 hours to fill the battery to a reading of 100% from 0%.

            With regards to “Maximum”, my guess is that your dealer was just trying to protect you from tripping your circuit breaker since typical household circuits only have 15amps capacity. Putting an additional 11.5amp load on a circuit that may have other loads may overload the circuit.

          2. Hi Al,

            It is correct that the measured ampere and watt are all in Europe using 230V.
            I am not sure how the i3 behaves using 115V but I would be very surprised if the ampere used in the three charging modes are the same as in Europe as that would lead to VERY long charging times. It would be interesting if there is an i3 owner in North America that has measured and could help us shed some light on this.

          3. After reading on some other forums such as mybmwi3.com it appears that the i3 will charge at a maximum rate of 12 amps / 1.4 kW on 120volts. That will lead to unacceptable charging times using 120V and very different from charging on 240V here in Europe.

  4. Hi

    I thought about one thing thats really important for me. Is the standard BMW charger water proof? Because many charge stations are outdoors, and what if it rains? My car will be parked out doors as well.. omg..

  5. The charger (7644241-02) is marked IP44.
    Ask.com: IP44 refers to a rating that is used in the determination of the level of protection that a lighting source has from water, steam and dust. IP44 is commonly used in bathrooms and it is one of the highest ratings
    Wiki: Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
    While it is not protected against immersion, I think you should be safe.

  6. Thx for getting me the IP rating of the charger! 🙂

    Im surprised its that low actually! I was expecting around IP55 as other (after marker though) car chargers have that rating. But anyway, 44 would do. I was talking to the salesman today and he said it was ok, but in heavy rain try to protect it in some way.

    So, thats good for me!

  7. Hello again,
    have you got any idea about the efficiency of charging, particurally switching from a level power to an other (low to max, for example).
    For example, if it takes 13 hours to fully charge the battery at 8.7 A, that means you’d need, in a steady state, about 25 kWh with a battery capacity of 22 kWh (if fully used, I’m not sure about this) or an efficiency of about 88% – not bad. Did you figure out such numbers for those other levels of power ?

    1. Hi,
      I believe the battery is 22 kWh, but only 18.8 kWh is used. The lithium-ion battery is never really flat and never fully charged to prolong battery life. With those figures it would charge with 76% efficiency.

        1. Look up the efficiency of a gas/internal combustion engine!

          And it’s not 75% efficient just because only 75% of the battery is used… you’re comparing apples to oranges.

    1. Good to know the IP44 standard charger is not withstanding all kind of weather. My commute is shorter than yours I only need to use it during nights in a carport.

  8. Hi, good info here, thanks! I´ve just ordered an i3, BEV, but i did not tick the boxes for the AC/DC fast charging options… The reasons for this is that I will mainly use the car for commuting from Täby to Stockholm (about 30 km one way) and I´m not concerned about residual value since it will be a “company car”. But, does anyone know if it will be possible to use the 16A Wallbox system event without the “fast charge option”?! From what I understand it will probably be good enough with the standard charger, but it would be nice to know that it is possible to upgrade, should the need arise!
    /Johan

  9. Hi Johan,
    I think it will be possible to use the wallbox without the AC/DC option (4U8/4U7). I believe this is for fast and rapid public charging.

    The German price list gives a little bit more detail about 4U8 than the UK and Swedish:
    Wechselstrom-Laden
    – Max. Leistung (in Deutschland): 4,6 kW (1-phasig 230 V, 20 A; an öffentlichen Ladestationen
    bis zu 7,4 kW (230 V, 32 A)).
    – AC-Stecker: Typ 2.

    Without this package I believe it is still possible to use a wallbox and the fastest charging is limited to 3.7kW. It will refill the car in about 6 hours.

    In the Norweigain price list (where you also have to pay extra for 4U8/4U7) the following is listed as standard:
    Li-Ion batteri med aktiv kjøling (18 kWh)
    AC ladning (opptil 3,7 kW/16 A)
    Ladekabel for tilfeldig ladning (opptil 12 A)

  10. OK, looks like I´m safe then 😉 I have another charger related question if you can bear with me: The standard charger that comes with the car, how long are the chords? What I´m most interested is the length from the “box” to the connector. I´m asking because I´m thinking of building some kind of weatherproofed small “house” to put the box in, but this won´t work if the distance from the car to the box is to small.

    /Johan

      1. OK, thanks! Hmm… That means I would most certainly have to park in one specific way for my idea to work. Bummer! /Johan

  11. Does the charger have an ability to delay the start time? I’d like to plug it in when I get home, but start charging late in the evening when electrical costs are cheaper.

    1. Hi Dan,
      Yes it has a timer function and you can even have it charge different times for different week days.

      1. Follow up question: – Is the timing function dependent on the charger or the car? ( thinking non-oem charger..)

        1. It is set in the car or through the smart phone app so I think it works with all chargers.

  12. I have talked to an electrician who has been at our house to investigate. Reason for this is that I have ordered a BMW I3 BEV. The conslusion is. I have a 20A fuse at home. Checked upgrading this to 35A but concluded that it is not advisable. BMW I3 can only load with one phase. Tesla and Renault Zoe can charge with three phase. BMW themselves could not explain this but an electrician and Vattenfall and Jämtkraft (Electricity companies) came forward with the information. In order to not have to invest large sums are the 16A through a phase that is recommended for charging I3. I will buy a fixed charge box according to this: http://www.vattenfall.se/sv/ladda-hemma-med-laddbox.htm

  13. Wait – New information! It’s obvious that this is a new product on the market. When I bought the car the seller at BMW did not inform me on the following. With the optional (in Sweden) 4U7 +4 U8 gives the car the ability to load the car with 3 phases. The Swedish electricity system is based on three phases. It is possible to pull up 3 x 16 A to a wall mounted charger. The charger treats power to DC. The car can then receive 7.4 Kw via 3 phase and without the need (I think) to upgrade the main fuse to more than certainly 25 A. Or did everyone but me already know this?

        1. Very nice! Looks like the charger Vattenfall is selling – are you buying from them? Please share experience when you have it installed!

        2. Hi Roger (or any other user who cares to share her/his thoughts about this issue)!
          any experiences to share about the KEBA charging station?
          I wonder first of all if you really need to upgrade the grid to 25A (as it mean you have to pay a higher monthly fee to your energy provider makng me quite reluctant to upgrade). I have 20A and have been charging with the BMW/Delphi “ocassional use” EVSE all the time and it works fine. But it would be nicer not having to collect it back to the frunk every time (BTW I have set the charging rate to maximum as 20A allows me to do it, and, according to the app, the car is fully charge in around 10 hours time).
          How fast do you charge now?
          regards
          /RC

          1. Hi, I have now installed the charger from KEBA indeed. Works as expected. I raised the 20A to 25A because of 2 reasons:
            1. The ability to use 16A to the KEBA wall charger. That makes it possible to charge full within 6 hours.
            2. I can use our house appliances with out worrying. For example, dishwasher, laundry machine, tumbler can be used without me worrying if the fuse will blow.
            The keba Wall charger feels like built with quality. Works easy and good.

      1. BMW Swedens tech support was clear in their email. BMW i3 only use 1-phase charging. It is of course compatible with a 3-phase wallbox but only use one phase.

  14. I wonder if there is an “undocumented” feature to use 3-phase charging, but I doubt. In my opinion, it will just use a sigle phase. Anyone thinks different?

  15. I was planning to change my fuse from 10A to 16A for charging, in order to being able to charge with max current. However, it seems to work just fine with only 10A? Not sure how that’s working. Full charge is about 10 hours, so that would be in line with the 10A fuse.

    What are your experiences of max charging and fuses?

    ::g

    1. Hi Gustaf,

      We have been charging our i3 with reduced speed from a 10A fuse since we received it in January. If completely flat I would say it takes about 13 hours to fully charge, but that is ok for us as it is charged overnight anyway.

      More and more we have stopped charging every night. With a daily commute of only 30 km (return) I am fine to leave it for the next day. There is still plenty of margin to handle the unexpected trip outside town. And should there be something extraordinary I know where to find the working rapid chargers in Stockholm to top it up.

      1. What happens if you change to Maximal? Do you blow the fuse then? I was planning to change to 16A, but have not yet blown any 10A fuse so might hold on a while.

        We have a 55 km commute, but so far charges every night. Is it still so that it is better to deplete it more completely and have fewer cycles for the health of the battery?

        ::g

        1. With the standard charger I have measured these approximate power readings:
          Low: 1200W
          Reduced: 1500W
          Maximum: 2000W

          The standard charger also lists 10A on the back side, so a 10 or 13 A plug should be enough. I use the Reduced setting until I get a wall mounted box, because I also have other stuff on the same plug in our household. So far driving during the day and charging on reduced through the night has worked for us.

          I don’t know if the same kind of standard charger is used in the different countries.

          /Henrik

        2. It is probably better to charge Lithium Ion batteries more frequently rather than letting them discharge to the minimum. They really don’t like being either 100% charged, or 0% charged. Somewhere in the middle is the best. However, BMW probably keeps them happy at all times, so it may not matter at all. I’d just do what is most convenient for you.

  16. Has anyone compared prices on home wall chargers in countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Germany and UK? Or where would be a good place to look for such chargers? I’m finding the price level on the BMW one pretty steep.

    Regards Henrik

    1. I’ve found that charging equipment generally is cheapest in Norway, but ended up ordering from DK because of customs and taxes. I live in Sweden. / Johan

  17. Guys, anyone tried to make IEC 60309 32A blue 1P+N+E adapter/cable for i3 to charge at 7.36 kW? That would eliminate the wallbox (I’m charging my Twizy in the local mall and saw they have some distribution boxes with the blue and red industrial sockets)?!?

    This would make longer trips easier in countries with less charging stations (like Bulgaria) as you can still find places having 60309 sockets.

    1. I just ordered this today, for a DIY EVSE that supports up to 32A (7,4 kW): http://goo.gl/2tI33Z
      You only need a few additional components for it to work, and then mount it with one of the wanted plugs, and make an adapter for other types of plugs.

    2. Hi Martin,
      This is way outside my expertise but the blue industrial plug is just 1 phase 230V so it would easy to use an adapter and the standard charger, right?
      Adapter

  18. You guys are great and very quick to comment. I wish my readers at http://www.ecars.bg acted like you :).

    Actually it should not be Schuko to IEC309 plug, but rather Mennekes 7-pin (plugs in the car) to IEC309 (goes to some wall/distribution box) – like the one from e-station.store in my previous comment.

    @Henrik – thanks a lot about the DIY kit link, always looking for such to compare. Tomorrrow meeting our tech partner who makes such devices to see what we’ll be able to produce here.

    1. There is another DIY kit called OpenEVSE. It seems pretty cool and is a bit more advanced, but also more complex. http://goo.gl/g7Jc0s
      It just annoys me that wall chargers are so expensive, when almost all of the technology is built into the car, when using AC charging. But I guess, as long as people are willing to pay.

      1. As the title of this post suggests I do not think the wallbox is needed at all. I would not even pay $200 for one.

        After driving the i3 now for 8 months we have never ever had the need to charge the car faster than what can be done with the standard charger. I also know that if the situation/need ever occurs it is always possible to pass a rapid charger that would help me way faster than any wallbox at home could ever do.

        After 8 months with the i3 my advice is still “Standard charger enough at home”.

        1. I kind of agree. I’m only charging on reduced which works for us. The reason why I want to mount a wall charger is for 90% convenience, because I don’t want to plug and unplug the BMW standard charger everytime I might need it. So I guess I’m being lazy 🙂 that’s also why I don’t want to pay 6-7000kr for it. The last 10% is for the day I need to top op the battery a bit faster. I have 14km to the nearest public charger, and they charge you 5,50dkr for a kWh…

        2. Hi and thanks again for sharing your i3 experiences!

          Regarding your opinion about the standard charger being enough at home, I wonder if you are aware that it doesn’t (really) precondition the high voltage battery (HVB) even if you reset departure time. The energy to precondition the HVB is taken from the HVB itself resulting in worse range at time of departure. The reason being that the standard charger can’t provide enough power for the precondition lap to reach the ideal HVB temperature at the end of the precondition lap. Pre set departure time with standard charger mainly warms up the cabin and defrost the windows, which is a great function itself. Allthough this means that with a standard charger at home you never get both a cossy warm coupe and an ideally preconditioned HVB at time of departure .
          Less than 100% power access (grey bars instead of yellow ones on the power display) and a rapid drop of range in cold mornings is the way the i3 shows us this.
          Level 2 charging, according to my personal i3 mechanic, does precondition the HVB AND warms up the cabin.
          Any thoughts? Somebody has a different experience?
          (BEV 9 months 11000km)

          1. Hi Stormtruper,

            This is correct. I can confirm that the preconditioning will use more power than available from the standard charger. It means that preconditioning will use power from the battery and it will not be completely fully charged. Maybe 98% or so.

          2. Do you happen to know how many amps you have to offer the i3 in order for it to precondition the car using power from the outlet?

          3. There have been people reporting up to about 20A power drawned from EVSE while doing full preconditioning, so I suppose that 32A version would be the right one.

          4. Hi
            The precon requires up to 5kW. Simon shared the following reply from BMW HQ on the mybmwi3.com forum:

            “Required precon. power can be higher than charging power, depending on temperature, SoC and charging supply. Thus SoC can go down even if the vehicle is plugged in! … but will be recharged. some details: at cold temperatures (<0°C), a precon. power of up to 5kW is required. Charging with the standard cable at charging power “low” only delivers ca. 1,4kW, even at “high” only 2,8kW. And: at nearly full SoC, charging power goes down <1kW, no matter if plugged in to a AC 7,4kW charger or even DC charger. This is part of the charging characteristic of every Li-Ion battery.

            - SoC can go down up to ca. 10%, if it is very cold/hot and charging power “low”.

            - Timing: e.g. at -10°C, preconditioning will start ca. 30min before departure time with 5kW, then go down to 3kW and keep the vehicle warm 15min after departure time. Charging will proceed afterwards (if still plugged in) until the battery is fully replenished.

            - All this is independent of automatic preconditioning at departure time or manual activation and charging timer / immediate charging etc.

            - Exception: at public charging stations which unlocks after full charge, charging cannot be restarted."

  19. @Henrik – initially your post was confusing to me:

    “Or are you just asking about the adapter to mount on this device?”

    But then I saw in the notification email you’re quoting my link above.

    This cable/device from e-station.store looks like like a complete solution, no adapter needed – you only plug it where you find a distribution board like this: http://www.capeindia.net/images/fanton23.jpg which could be found at some office/business buidings etc. I guess.

    We are now creating a new online EV charging stations locator for Bulgaria and part of it is searching for places that have such boards/boxes available.

    1. There is a charger locator for Nordic that I find very useful: uppladdning.nu. Take a look if you are about to do the same in bg.
      What I like with the site is
      a) the filter possibilities as I am only interested in the CCS EU rapid chargers
      b) the community with users commenting chargers (and reporting errors) and showing pictures so you know what to expect before arriving
      There is also a good info page with information about plug types and adaptors.

      1. Lovely, thanks a lot! I was initially working with Adam from PlugSurfing and made a BG version of the site, but then they decided to focus on DE, NL etc. couple of much bigger markets so back in August I started working on a local website and commenting/images posting is definitely a must – I will look very carefully at your suggestions.

  20. Out of curiosity I asked BMW how much it would cost to purchase an extra standard charger (to have one at home and one in the car). At a cost of 4 465 SEK (490 EUR) I will bring the one we have in the garage those few times I need one at the airport.

    1. The one I’m building will end up around 3000 dkr I think, 2700 so far and I just need a box to mount the stuff in. It’s including 5m cable, type-2 adapter and the internals. It can charge with up to 32A, if only I could find the supply for that :o)

      1. No don’t blow it up please :))).

        We’re just waiting for the first i3 to get offloaded of the auto truck any day now in Bulgaria. An EV frriend entshusiast got it from Czech Republic at it is still N/A for sale in Bulgaria 🙁

        Drove it on my Amsterdam vacation couple of months ago for the first time and now preparing to get a white one for me (and my website actually, to use it to promote EVs around as we ddo with the Twizy)

        1. Congratulations with that. I landed in Amsterdam Schiphol a couple of weeks ago and I did notice that there were SIXT commercials for renting an i3.

          1. Yeah, Sixt rate is €200 daily I think and we were thinking to get one to do a surroundings trip, but the route was kind of long and I never prepared upfront so just opted for an hour long test drive with a BMW Genius instead.

  21. Apparently the initial standard charger falls short of the IP44 it claims. If you have a charger marked 7644241-02, stop by the BMW dealer to pick up the newer 7644241-03.

    The good thing is that I could keep the old. Now I have one that can be left by the carport and the new one can stay in the car. Great! Read more here in the new post Second charger free of charge

  22. Hello guys,

    this page has a lot of useful information. But I am missing some good summary. Can the BMW i3 be charged with 3-phases or just one? Does a wallbox, like the KEBA that Roger mentions, use all 3-phases when charging the i3 or will it only use one phase? Is there some good way to fast-charge the i3 without loading just one phase with 32A?

    Best regards,

    Karol

  23. Hello,

    Thanks for a great and informative blog!

    I take delivery of my REX this Monday and would like to just use the standard charger every night in my garage (Sweden / 230V).
    Are you still only using the standard charger? How about the preconditioning as many write about here? Any issues?

    Please advise – Greatly appreciated.

    Have a nice weekend!

    / Martin (Trelleborg)

    1. Hi Martin,

      Yes, I am still only using the standard charger and has never felt any need to charge faster at home. Not once. We always charge overnight and it works great for us.

      It is true that the preheating is using more Power than the standard charger can supply. As I have understood (from other users) the preheating will ALWAYS use power from the battery and the charger will kick in and fill the battery when it falls below a certain level. Of course, if you are using a more powerful charger it will be able to keep the battery almost full during preheating. However, in my expeience the preheating will only draw 1-2% or maybe 3% pertentage of the battery if connected with the standard charger. In my case the battery level is stil sufficient to comute to work.

      1. When our BEV is fully charged, and the preheating starts, I have experienced the following. At 10A it takes power from the battery, like you also stated, that it cannot supply the preheating with enough power. When it’s set to charge at 16A or 20A, I can see on my power meter, that it starts to consume power from the socket when the preheating kicks in. Btw. I read somewhere else, that it only preheats the batteries if preheating is set more that three hours before scheduled start. If you just use the remote to start preheating 10 minutes before you need the car, it only preheats the cabin.

        1. I have only had my i3 BEV in a few days, but I can report on the following observed behaviour for the preconditioning (monitored via the BMW i Remote App): the morning temperatures have been just above zero; I am charging at MAX setting, which is 12A on my charger. I measured at the wall, and the charger draws just under 12A. At 3 hours prior to the set departure time the battery capacity starts going down: up to roughly 3% so far. Then, it seems that about 2 hours prior to departure the battery starts charging again, and gets basically to full at departure time. From my few days statistics the reported drivable distance at departure is less than 1% lower than the distance reported before preconditioning.

          What worries me most about this is behaviour is this top-up charging of about 3% every morning. For notebooks (with li-ion batteries) it is a well known problem if they are used mostly stationary and constantly recharged just a few percent every day, that this top-up changing kills the battery in roughly 2-3 years. It would be nice to have some good technical description of all these aspects. BMW manual just says that for optimal energy usage they recommend a charging station (5-7 kW judging from the numbers in another part of the manual).

          I plan to go through one winter with the standard charger and see how it goes. Also, I did not find any good charging station for 3-phase 230V available for the i3, but there are some coming to the market later this year.

          1. That matches my experience pretty well. Our standard charger charges with roughly 2kW (Rated 10A, but more close to 9A in real life), and that is probably why we see a slightly higher consumption after preheating, because the recharge takes longer and starts later in the preheating cycle. But like I said before, I use 16A normally, with the option to turn it up to 20 or 25 if needed (which is very rare). I don’t know about the topping up the batteries with high frequency, but we do the same. Remember that BMW doesn’t let you fully charge or discharge the batteries and only have 18,8kWh usable out of 22 kWh. Do you have any information on EVSEs that can consume three phases, and only charge on one?

          2. I have been in contact with several EVSE manufacturers, and some of them have either plans or even working prototypes of DC-charging stations for home use: 3-phase 230V input with Mode 4 (CCS) output. That seems to be the easiest way to use 3-phases for charging any EV irrespective of their AC charging capabilities. Hopefully, BMW i3 does not have any unexpected limitations when charging with DC as opposed to AC.

            None of the manufacturers wanted to disclose much details, but at least one replied that they plan to have a (reasonably priced) product on the market this year.

          3. I did RFI for my company parking lot and don’t expect prices better than 13-15000EUR for 20kW DC charger… 🙁

          4. Pity BMW 20kW DC is not available for public, just for dealers so far…

          5. The currently available public charging stations cost 15-20 thousand EUR. These are intended for public environment, such as parking lots, and thus have very different technical requirements they have to satisfy (robustness, availability, etc.). The manufacturer I have been in contact with has a plan for a charging station for domestic use, and thus priced much lower.

          6. Makes sense, but at the price range Lubos references, that’s still way too much. At least in my opinion. My guess would be that the i3 will work just fine with e.g. 20kW DC.

  24. I am about to order a i3 REX and would like to get the opinion of other owners regarding the option of having rapid DC charging fitted to the car.
    I live way down south at the South coast of South Africa and we have now facilities for fast charging…..yet, but maybe one day, at public places such as shopping centres etc. they will be installed…?!?! Me concern is, as it has to be fitted into a new vehicle before delivery and cant be done later. It would also improve the cars resale-value it fitted. Is it really needed???
    Thanks for any ideas…

    1. In the way I use my i3 REX, I do not see the need for the DC fast charging port but it’s nice to have just in case. I’m in the east cost side of U.S.A. and there are just few DC fast chargers around where I live and where I work but I have never used any of them yet since I got my i3, 8 months ago. I simply use my home EVSE. Still, my suggestion is just get it, just in case you might need to do quick charging. Here in U.S.A., BMW has worked with NRG eVgo network to provide free DC fast charging until the end of this year.

      1. Thanks Al & Hendrik, for your thoughts. I3 has only been lodged here a few months ago and until we see any official fast charges are fitted it may take years, but then we ought to look into the future and be prepared. I would use the i3 also as a extra vehicle, sort of fun car and I do very little mileage (retired). 25 years ago, I built 3 electric cars (Micky Mouse, compared with i3!!!) back in Switzerland and I still miss them, now with all this new technology, who can’t say no? Guess I will have that feature fitted and hope for the best.

    2. Same here. We have it installed in our BEV, but bever used it. We charge at home during the night and drive in the day. But, it’s our secondary car, not the primary one. If it was our primary car, I would absolutely need it, as AC in the i3 maximum 7,4kW, which would take too long during commuting or similarly.

  25. If you have 3-phase at home (even with 16A protection or so) it is possible to use Accelev 2-phase charger with speed up to 5kW (it divides load onto two phases equally).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *