BMW i4 Forum banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Especially if your i4 is going to be your first EV ever, it can be quite challenging to find out where to charge and which charging cards to choose. I expect that American, Asian and European charging networks will be quite different so I have created this post especially for the European territory.

I am very interested to hear:
  • about the current infrastructure in your country and the possibilities and challenges it may present
  • about your travelling plans and any challenges they may present
  • about any questions you may want to pose to other forum memers located in the countries where you plan to travel
  • about the charging networks that you plan to use and your experiences (availability, pricing, charging speed, malfunctioning etc)
  • the actual charging speeds that you i4 will allow
  • about the charging cards that you will be using and their possibilities and limitations
  • about the cost per KwH in your country
  • about the applications (including BMW onboard software) that you use to navigate your route and required charging stops, and your experiences with them
  • whether you will use your i4 for international traveling and if not, your alternatives
From what I have read so far I know there are forum members in Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium. Which is a good start. Not coincidentally this includes the countries where EV's are fiscally stimulated (N, DK, NL and maybe others). Germany of course is present as it is "die Heimat" of BMW. It may take a bit longer for the South of Europe to follow.

My preparations and experiences in the Netherlands, France and Spain will follow soon.
Looking forward to hear from your experiences!

1115
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
I don’t currently own an EV, so my info maybe isn’t the best. But I live in Norway, and here there is a pretty well-built Supercharger network allowing you to drive to most places without a problem. There are about 4-5 other providers as well, and they mostly offer 50kW charging, since they were established when Leaf and e Golf were popular. About 1/4 of them offer 200kW fast charge.
Tesla is about 0.18 eur per kWh. The others vary from 0.3 to maybe 0.5.

I’m not too concerned with going abroad with the car, but Sweden, Denmark, Germany France and Italy would be likely destinations. No idea how the status is in those countries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Instead of using several third party apps for the planning of our route and charging stops, it would be nice of course if the on board BMW navigation system would be at least as good as Tesla's.
This is what BMW has to say about it (google-translated from the Dutch i4 price list):

6C4 BMW Connected Pack Professional.
- Remote Services.
Remotely control your BMW, send destinations to your car and check vehicle location and maintenance status using the My BMW App. (unlimited runtime, available for Apple iOS and Android.)
- Personal Assistant Service.
24/7 unlimited access to a Personal Assistant via the BMW Call Center. For example, they can assist you in finding a destination, planning your trip, opening hours of restaurants and even booking hotels.
- Connected Navigation.
Real-time traffic information, proactive route proposals, transfer of destination information from other apps and suggested alternative routes calculated online.
- Connected Parking.
Proactive proposals for parking facilities and display of payment options at the destination entered, information about the probability of free parking spaces along the street and integration of ParkNow (Parkmobile) for starting and stopping parking sessions automatically. ParkNow charges separately for the use of ParkNow.
- Connected Charging.
Easily find all information about charging stations and receive proactive parking and charging proposals. You can also set specific loading time slots to only load when you want. Thanks to eRoutes, charging stops are automatically added to your route if the current range is not sufficient.
- Smartphone integration.
Wireless and convenient use of your smartphone in the car via Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto. Control of messages, navigation and entertainment via the iDrive system and display on the Central Information Display. (unlimited duration)
- MyModes.
Stimulate different senses including seeing, hearing and feeling through the intelligent interplay of different vehicle functions.
- Connected Music
Listen to unlimited music via your own streaming music service. Fully integrated into OS8 for easy and safe operation.

Sounds promising!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Thank you Hans for all the info.
I live (for now) in Greece where the infrastructure is minimal BUT (a big but, I hope) things are about to change for the better.
In 2022 I may be dividing my time between Greece and France, so I'm already checking the infrastructure there, plus the countries between (Italy) because I'm planning most of my back and forth trips to be with the i4.
(Greece to Venice by boat and then like 600 Km to Cannes)
I'll get back with more information and I would also like to hear from people from France, Italy and Spain about the charging possibilities in their countries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
I was also interested in this, and looked at how the i3 handle this. When typing a destination the idrive will notify if you are out of reach, and find nearby charging stations. If the i3 is online, you will also be able to see in the idrive system whether the charger is in use or not.

So I assume that the idrive 8 system will be much more developed than this, as the i3 system is very old.

1142


1143


1144


1145


1146
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
In Poland we have few small providers, one big private (Greenway) and few state owned (as crappy as other politically driven companies (without roaming etc)
We have mostly 50kW single chargers but slowly growing 75+ ones plus 2 to be built by Ionity
Problems we face are mostly due to old power grids (without investments) and Polish law that enforces each charger to be inspected by state agency (UDT)
 

·
Registered
420i Grand Coupe --> i4 eDrive 40
Joined
·
9 Posts
In Dutchland there is the highest density of charging units. Almost every every village has 4 or more; usually 22 Kw. Faster charging, 75KW and above, see the map from the BMW app
1149
 

·
Registered
420i Grand Coupe --> i4 eDrive 40
Joined
·
9 Posts
All the charging stations (source BMW app). Ionity seems quite OK for fast charging next to highways.
World Map Light Product Font
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In Germany there is the highest density of charging units.
Very promising developments in Germany indeed. This was in the news today (google-translated from autoweek.nl):

Germany is shifting to the next gear when it comes to charging infrastructure. The Ministry of Transport there is presenting an extensive plan to have so many charging points available by 2025 that charging should become 'like refueling'.​
Until 2025, the Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) will make 500 million euros available. In comparison, 300 million were available between 2017 and 2020. Up to 60 percent of the money is financed for new charging stations to be installed, but then the government also wants to have something to say about it. Ultimately, for example, 50,000 charging points must be added, of which at least 20,000 are fast charging points with DC chargers.​
By means of specific tenders, good, strategic locations for these chargers are monitored. For example, the first 1,000 fast chargers must provide a national network, with charging capacities of up to 300 kW. Empty spaces on the charging card must be filled in in this way and a comprehensive network of fast chargers must be created throughout Germany.​
German traffic minister Andreas Scheuer puts his ambition into words: “The next fast charging station must be reachable within 10 minutes. […] Charging should be possible anywhere and anytime in Germany, because only in this way can we make people enthusiastic about the switch to an electric car.” He adds: “Citizens should be able to charge their electric car anytime and anywhere – along the road, in the restaurant, at the sports field and at the supermarket.”​
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
idrive will notify if you are out of reach, and find nearby charging stations
Inside, will the i3's idrive system look for charging stations close to your location at that moment, or is it able to plan charging stops along your route? And does it use some sort of intelligence in order to reduce your travel time as much as possible, for instance by taking into account charging speed at different charge levels, desired remaining battery level at arrival etc.


PS
Nice location, looking out at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (y)
Nice temperatures too! What's the average range of the i3 at these temperatures?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
in Norway, and here there is a pretty well-built Supercharger network allowing you to drive to most places without a problem.
Inception, I guess you are talking about the Tesla Supercharger network?
How good is the coverage of the other providers. Would you be able to travel into most parts of the country if not using Tesla's network?
How is the situation up in the North. Is an electric road trip to the North Cape possible?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Inception, I guess you are talking about the Tesla Supercharger network?
How good is the coverage of the other providers. Would you be able to travel into most parts of the country if not using Tesla's network?
How is the situation up in the North. Is an electric road trip to the North Cape possible?
Check Bjørn Nyland on YouTube - he is one of the best EV tester in the world ;) and he does arctic Circle drive test on most of his tested vehicles
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Inside, will the i3's idrive system look for charging stations close to your location at that moment, or is it able to plan charging stops along your route? And does it use some sort of intelligence in order to reduce your travel time as much as possible, for instance by taking into account charging speed at different charge levels, desired remaining battery level at arrival etc.


PS
Nice location, looking out at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (y)
Nice temperatures too! What's the average range of the i3 at these temperatures?
Sorry but I don't own a i3, so all info is just what I could find online. But I'm quite sure you are able to plan a route and include charging stops along. But how intelligent it is, I don't know. but I believe the i4 will be much more intelligent and also use the cloud to optimize the route based on other drivers behavior and speed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Please find below a very nice video of autoweek.nl. They have travelled through Germany using free chargers only, which seems to be fairly simple to realise.
So do your math and plan your holidays in Germany. By the way, the chargers they used are free and fast at the same time.


Please note: the video is in dutch but by turning on the subtitles you can automatically translate to your language.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Inside

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
As promised I will give you an update on the current status of charging in the Netherlands.
This is a small country with dense population. Electric driving has been stimulated a lot by the government. As a result there are many electric cars on the roads. Tesla's but also early Hyundai's, Nissan Leaf's and BMW i3's. And now the second generation of electric cars can be seen a lot too: Taycan's, Peugeot 208, Opel Corsa, Polestar 2, Mercedes EQ and of course the various Audi E-Trons.

The charging infrastructure has kept up with the developments and is actually very good. Hyperchargers are available on the main roads. Main providers FastNed, Ionity, Allego, Shell, Tesla and I may be forgetting a couple of others. There are many chargers in cities, villages and on secondary roads. Supercharges (50 kWH) mostly on the terrain of gas stations and slower chargers (11 kWH) in the streets, mostly located at parking spaces. In the main cities a charger is never further away than a couple of minutes by foot. Many companies have their own chargers installed to keep their lease fleet charged at all time.

Below an overview of chargers in the Western part of the country (from the BMW charging app). A region of about 250 km's from North to South and 150 km's from West to East:

1344


The West of the Netherlands is the region with the main cities, industry and commerce. In the North, East and South East there will be less chargers available, but it is safe to say that you can drive throughout the whole country without any charging issues what so ever.

My BMW dealership advised me that if you would be faced with an urgent charging issue (in the Netherlands or any other European country) you can always go to the nearest local BMW dealership. They will allways help you out. Note that the chargers at the dealerships are most probably not shown in the various apps.

For a start I will be using the BMW charging card, the Shell recharge card and the Chargemap card.
I will probably use the Shell card as my main card because the BMW card does not allways give you the best charging tarifs.
The ChargeMap card is there, just to be safe. I expect to mainly use it on my regular travels into France. Being a French company ChargeMap should be widely accepted over there. I will decide after delivery of the car whether more cards will be required. I may consider ANWB (very good locally) and Plugsurfing (widely accepted in Europe).

So while I am not worried at all about charging in the Netherlands, it may be more challenging in other European countries. My business travels by car will normally not go any further than Belgium, Germany, France. But my holidays may also bring me as far as Luxembourg, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. I am eager to hear about the quality of the charging network in those countries. And let me know if my charging cards will be sufficient in your country. I am planning to do all longer holidays (normally about 3 weeks) with the i4. In case of very challenging destinations I will just have to convince my wife that all of her stuff will easily fit into the MX-5 :cautious:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Very interesting developments in Germany again. Google translated from here:

Shell offers the charging of e-cars at the lantern

E-cars can also charge electricity on street lights. This is exactly what the energy multinational Shell wants to promote in major German cities. Overview: These lantern loading systems already exist!​

1367
There's something going on in terms of charging infrastructure for e-mobility in Germany: The number of public charging stations is growing rapidly, the purchase and installation of domestic wallboxes are subsidized with 900 euros per charging point . And yet charging your own e-car is still a problem for many owners. How practical would it be to park your e-car at a street lamp overnight, when visiting the cinema or the hairdresser, and draw electricity from it?​

Shell wants to offer the lantern shop in major cities

Street lamp charging
Shell partner Ubitricity is already making lantern charging possible in Berlin.​

There are already plans for implementation. For example, Shell is pursuing lantern parking with a charging facility . The energy giant had taken over the Berlin start-up Ubitricity . "We are very interested in seeing our standard-compliant lantern charging points in operation across Germany. At the moment, public tenders for the expansion of public charging infrastructure are in preparation or are already underway in many major German cities," said an Ubitricity spokeswoman for AUTO BILD on request . Many cities tended to set up smaller pilot projects first and then publish larger tenders. But one is in talks.​

Ubitricity: sockets like docking stations

The on-street charging provider for electric vehicles Ubitricity operates the largest public charging network for electric vehicles in the UK. There, 2,700 lanterns or bollards are equipped with sockets such as docking stations. "SimpleSockets" have also been installed in Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia . In addition, Ubitricity technology has an electricity meter integrated in the charging cable and a mobile electricity contract linked to it . In addition, the electric vehicles become smart electricity storage systems in the grid during the connection time.​

Koblenz University of Applied Sciences shows how electric car charging can be done with lanterns

Siemens had previously invested in Ubitricity. The company was also interested in working with the Koblenz University of Applied Sciences . A practical solution has been researched there since 2018 with the support of Energieversorgung Mittelrhein (evm). In July 2021, the patent for an innovative charging option was applied for, and the first prototypesin Remagen and Koblenz could take place in 2021 . The special thing about it : the charging performance should be in the range of fast chargerslie. Research results have shown that a road train can be continuously supplied with 102 kilowatts (kW) and even with 145 kW for one hour . This power would then to individual charging points divided . Tests have already shown how much electricity is actually needed to charge a fleet in an underground car park.​
Second advantage: only existing components are used , additional earthworks would not be necessary. All that needs to be done is an upgrade with add-on or ancillary cabinets, on which the charging station can then be installed, according to the researchers. And: The costs would be reduced by 30 percent compared to a conventional expansion of the charging infrastructure .​

Bureaucracy slows down developers
Prof. Johannes Stolz explains the shop at street lamps
Prof. Johannes Stolz from the Koblenz University of Applied Sciences explains the conversion for lantern charging.​
© Koblenz University of Applied Sciences​

According to project manager Johannes Stolz, the plans for a larger-scale deployment are already in the drawer. However, there is a problem in the way: the bureaucracy . "The municipalities manage themselves to death. The devices are not standardized, the responsibilities are unclear - these and other objections slow us down again and again," the professor of the engineering department explained to AUTO BILD. Here are several companies interested in the charging concept , so pride. Meanwhile, we have given the hurdles in the public space and at discounters requestedwhose private parking lots also have light poles. Proud: "The university doesn't want to make a lot of money with it. We basically just sell our knowledge."​
Enercity: E-car charging for residents
A Renault Zoe charging on street lights
At Enercity from Lower Saxony there is little charging power, but the purchase is cheap.​
© Enercity​

Energy service provider Enercity operates the future project "charging lantern" in Langenhagen (Hanover region) . Charging boxesare mounted on street lamps at five locations ; the existing access to the low-voltage network is used for charging, which reduces effort, costs and space requirements. According to Enercity, retrofitting a street lamp with a charging point costs around 2500 euros, only half of what it would cost to build and connect a conventional charging station. The maximum charging power is only 4.6 kilowatts , which means that the charging stations are more interesting for residents who use their electric cars want to charge overnight .​

Lantern provides light, electricity and WiFi
In the Bavarian town of Donauwörth , the city and the energy supplier Lechwerke (LEW) have equipped three multifunctional masts (Smart Poles) with a charging station and a WLAN access point in addition to LED street lighting under the project name "iLamp" . The charging capacity is 11 kilowatts , which is on par with conventional public charging stations. The service can be used with almost any charge card.​

Further projects for the lantern shop in large cities
In the Ruhrpott metropolis of Essen there are 15 intelligent street lamps, set up by the energy multinational Eon , the city and the Essen utility and transport company (EVV).Five of them are equipped with e-chargers with a full 22 kW of power for free electricity. In addition, the "Smart Poles" provide data on parking space usage and air quality as well as high-speed WiFi internet. Innogy has been testing a similar smart lantern since 2018 in a charging park on the A60 in the Trier region. As early as 2015, EnBW presented under the title "SM! GHT" presents multifunctional street lighting with a charging connection for e-cars. A year later, four street lights each with the option of charging electric cars were inaugurated in Munich and Leipzig .​
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Great map. Although a bit overwelming at first it really shows in which countries it is not yet safe to travel without really thorough preparations: Spain, Portugal, Italy, Poland, Tchech republic, Hungary, Croatia, Servia, Greece and further East. Unfortunately it does not show the far North (northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
@Hans remember it shows 200+ kW only
Croatia has free (still) elen chargers (ok 50kW but for free I won’t complain)
Poland indeed as I mentioned earlier (plus those ionity are under construction still)
North of Norway isn’t that great (according to Bjørn)
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top