BMW's 'ChargeForward' strategy could earn electric car owners some extra money

<i>Image: BMW Group</i>
<i>Image: BMW Group</i>

At the Governor’s Global Climate Action Summit (12–14 September 2018) in San Francisco, the BMW Group presented the results of its ChargeForward project in favour of maximizing the use of electricity from renewable resources to charge electric cars.

The main findings are:

• Electric vehicles can help to stabilize the public grid and maximizing the portion of renewables.
• Drivers are willing to change their charging habits in order to align with renewables, given the right messaging and incentives.
• Energy companies can help increase daytime charging with renewables by supporting companies in adding workplace charging.
• Sharing data with other drivers is a motivator for many participants.
• Programmes like ChargeForward improve customers’ understanding of how the grid works, which helps them become more educated energy consumers.

The bottom line is that owners of all electrified cars could be able to make their high-voltage batteries available as a flexibility buffer for power generated from renewable sources.

WATCH: BMW's big electric plan - 25 new EVs on the way

At the same time, they could receive bonuses by charging their vehicle at the best possible time of day – and therefore maximising the proportion of solar energy they use – whether they are at home or out and about and using a public charging facility.

'Carbon-free economy'

Dr Joachim Kolling, Head of BMW Group Mobility and Energy Services, said: "Our target is to offer charging power generated with the lowest possible CO2 emissions at most attractive prices to drivers of our electric cars.

"As California advances toward a carbon-free economy, this collaboration demonstrates how utilities and automakers can partner to more efficiently utilize the grid through smart and managed charging.


                                                                           Image: BMW Group

Together we are paving the way for the rapid growth of electric cars and achieving a clean and sustainable energy future", adds Steve Malnight, Senior Vice President, Energy Supply and Policy Pacific Gas & Electric.

ChargeForward brings CO2-neutral electric mobility and efficient, environment-friendly electricity supply another step closer together.

The innovation project launched by BMW i and power supplier Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in the San Francisco Bay Area in California has been running since 2015. Currently, 350 owners of electrified vehicles from the BMW and MINI brands who also have a PG & E supply contract are taking part in the pioneering fleet trial.

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