BMW of North America has announced plans to expand its ChargeForward smart charging service nationally in conjunction with the launch of its i5 EV.
The OEM confirmed that owners of all its BEVs and PHEVs from model years 2018 and up will be eligible to enroll in the service throughout the lower 48 states. Once enrolled, it will provide customers with incentives for aligning their vehicle charging with times when renewable energy is highest on the grid.
While ChargeForward is already available in some states across the U.S. through partnerships with various utility providers, it will now be accessible to all electrified vehicle customers by utilizing carbon data specific to the electric grid in each region. This will allow drivers of electrified BMW vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint and support fluctuations in the electric grid while earning cash incentives.
The service works by intelligently setting a schedule that charges the vehicle during optimal times of the day. Charging is aligned to the times with the lowest carbon intensity in the customer’s city or region. Drivers can earn incentives when they agree to shift their EV charging to times when renewable energy is plentiful, and away from times when electricity is in high demand. The vehicle will complete its charging prior to a set departure time, ensuring that customers can meet their driving needs for the day ahead. Drivers can earn two types of incentives – cash incentives, by participating in up to 10 smart charging events per month, or Quarterly Carbon Dividend incentives, cash incentives paid out based on total customer participation and total carbon reductions.
The program is free for relevant BMW owners and fully digital, utilizing the Connected Drive system to communicate to the vehicle the best times to charge. Drivers can enroll online and do not need to install any hardware to participate in the ChargeForward service.