Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Transport

BMW Developing EV Charging Network To Challenge Tesla’s?

The pseudo-rivalry between BMW and Tesla Motors looks set to continue into the foreseeable future, judging by recent comments made by BMW’s head of EV sales and strategy for North America.

BMW is apparently looking to spread its new DC charging stations all throughout the US next year — chargers utilizing an SAE standard plug, thus working with nearly every EV out there except for Tesla’s and Nissan’s.



Given the recent pseudo-drama between the two companies, this certainly isn’t surprising, and is very likely what’s been in the works the whole time. Still, does BMW really think that it will outcompete Tesla in the US EV market? I’m not sure what I think about that, but it doesn’t seem like a bet that I would make.

BMW’s new charging technology is impressive, though — a DC charger that only weighs ~100 lbs, is only 24″ high and 17″ wide, and provides enough juice to deliver an ~80% charge in just 30 minutes. With the low weight and space requirements, it does represent a real improvement on the standard technology currently out there.

The head of EV sales and strategy for BMW of North America, Jacob Harb, called the new charger a “game changer” in an interview with AutoGuide, also noting that 2015 would be “the year of infrastructure.”

GAS2 provides some more thoughts on all of this:

BMW is naturally interested in expanding the EV charging infrastructure, so customers considering a BMW i3 or i8 will feel they can drive their cars anywhere. It is possible to drive a Tesla coast to coast today, but only via a limited number of routes. BMW wants its owners to be able to take a detour through Pocatello or South Succotash if they want to.

There is a tug of war going on between established auto makers and upstart Tesla. Even though Tesla says anyone can use its patented recharging technology, no one has accepted the offer. The issue is not getting the electricity from the charger to the battery. The issue is the shape of the plug and standardizing the low voltage control network that prevents the car from being moved while connected and keeps the charger informed about the status of the battery.

The BMW charger uses an SAE standard plug that fits every other electric car except for Tesla and Nissan. Resolving this conflict is critical. Just imagine how chaotic the auto industry would be if you could only fill up your Ford F-150 at a Ford sponsored gas station?

Eventually, this is likely to be resolved through the emergence of a victor, with the losing party (or parties) then being forced to adopt the approach of the winning one. Personally, I find it hard to see BMW cracking the EV market in the US… but I could be wrong.

Image Credit: BMW

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica member, supporter, or ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

New Podcast: How NVIDIA Is Bringing Autonomy To Automakers

Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!


Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports


EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats


Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Clean Power

Quartz published an article recently with a headline stating that Tesla is the world’s most shorted stock — even more than GameStop, which got...


Europe’s third largest auto market, the UK, saw 13% plugin electric vehicle market share in February, up 2.3× from 5.7% a year ago. The...

Clean Power

A few years ago, Tesla announced a plan to start building next-level Superchargers. These Superchargers would be huge (a lot of stalls), include lounges...


UBS has completed a tear-down of the Volkswagen ID.3 and given the car a "best in class" rating.

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.