Monday, January 21, 2013

BMW i Selects Schneider Electric as Strategic Partner for Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment

The Concept i3 charging from a custom made BMW i branded EVSE. Will this custom wall box be available?

BMW i announced today they have formed a partnership with Schneider Electric and The Mobility House to provide electric vehicle charging equipment for BMW i customers.

From The Mobility House website:

Munich. BMW i is continuing its strategy of customer-friendly electric mobility consistently. These now have a far-reaching partnership with Schneider Electric and the Electric Mobility Services The Mobility House (TMH) was closed. The agreement includes services such as testing the house wiring at the customer site, supply and installation of the charger (wall box) as well as maintenance and other services. Future owners of BMW i3 and i8 can connect their vehicle safely and quickly charge it at home or at work. The partnerships support the overall goal, at launch of the BMW i3 customer-friendly and efficient charging options offer by allowing a convenient store in the garage. The BMW i3 will be the first electric car in the market, which was conceived from the beginning as such. The launch is planned for late 2013. Alexander Efthimiou, Director of Product Management drives kits and e-mobility project, said: "With BMW i, we adopt a holistic approach to electric mobility. Our offer will not be limited to the sale of the BMW i3. In our numerous global pilot experiments with electric vehicles, we have been listening carefully and offer from launch of the BMW i3 under the umbrella term of "360 ° ELECTRIC" solutions for all customer requirements of future electric motor home, such as. Also an easy access to public charging infrastructure The professional installation of the wall box to load the BMW i3 and i8 at home is in our view one of the key factors for the successful market introduction of electric vehicles. We are pleased with Schneider Electric and The Mobility House found the two internationally experienced partner in the electric mobility in implementing our strategy to have. " "With this partnership, Schneider Electric offers all BMW customers with an efficient, customer-friendly and sustainable charging infrastructure," said Philippe Delorme, Executive Vice President, Partner Business, Schneider Electric. "BMW and Schneider Electric share the same vision for electric vehicles, and we are confident that this collaboration includes the right way." Raffeiner Thomas, CEO and founder of The Mobility House is convinced: "With BMW i electric vehicles to customers globally to a serious alternative. The consistent focus on a holistic approach to electric mobility will not only set in Germany necessary, important momentum and accelerate the uptake of electric mobility. With BMW as a partner, we set this target to the different markets and provide customers with tailored solutions for electric mobility from one source. "

For the MINI-E program BMW chose Clipper Creek EVSE equipment and moved on to use equipment from AeroVironment for the ActiveE program. The switch to Schneider Electric demonstrates how the electric vehicle charging equipment is still in it's infancy and how manufacturers are still trying to figure out who to partner with. I'm sure BMW put a lot more effort into sorting out who would offer their customers the best products and services this time around since they will finally be offering a production EV to the public as compared to the relatively small pilot programs of the MINI-E and ActiveE. Instead of a couple hundred customers that need EVSE equipment, they will be catering to tens of thousands of new customers every year.

There is no word yet as to whether BMW i will be offering a custom designed wall charger as seen in the picture (presumably made by Schneider Electric) or if that was just for show and BMW i customers will use the standard EVSE's that Schneider Electric currently offers.

The one thing I like about the current EVSE they offer is the option to wire it to a 240V plug and install a 40amp 240V outlet in your garage. This allows you to unplug the unit and take it with you. You can then install a similar 240V outlet at a destination you frequent, say like your parents house and you wouldn't have to buy another EVSE, you would just take it with you when you visit.


  1. Tom, do you know why they left AeroVironment? Where there charging issues on the ActiveE cars or installation problems that you are aware of?

    Has any other EV maker used Schneider?

  2. No I don't know exactly why Neil. I am sure this was something that BMW took a lot into consideration before they partnered with Schneider though. The AeroVironment EVSE's work great and I don't know of anyone that had any problem with them.
    The cars have had charging issues on some Coloumb units and early on the ActiveE wouldn't charge on a Schneider EVSE but that issue was resolved.

    No I don't know of any other manufacturer that has partnered with Schnieder to date. Schneider is a huge, international company. I'm sure that played a role int he decision since the i3 & i8 are 'world cars' and will be available just about everywhere BMW sells cars.

    1. Please see
      The best in the world. Why? Smaller, more types, cannot "die"(Schneider~s can "die")...etc..

  3. I have just received a Schneider Electric quotation for installation of a domestic electric vehicle charging point to install my new BMW i3 - which is due to arrive in 2 weeks time. Why does Schneider Electric want to charge me £6,106 to fit a BMWi Wallbox Pure when the BMW website states: "The BMW i Wallbox Pure is £315.00 fitted and includes survey, standard installation, VAT"? I am not a happy customer!

    1. I don't know your particular situation Paul. Every installation is different. Perhaps you currently don't have the capacity and need to upgrade your service?

      You can always call your own electrician if you aren't happy with Schnieder and let them do the installation