With pioneering innovations in the field of digital vehicle functions, the BMW Group is once again helping to make electric mobility more convenient and attractive. From mid-2023, a Plug&Charge function will be available in the first BMW models, enabling customers to charge electricity at public charging points without having to use a charging card or app.
The authentication required to start the charging process and for billing is carried out automatically by means of a data exchange between the vehicle and the charging station.
At the same time BMW Charging is expanding its extensive portfolio of charging services with this feature, provided by Digital Charging Solutions GmbH (DCS). Also, the new functionality allows Plug&Charge access to the IONITY charging network initiated by BMW.
The offer is characterised by its unique flexibility: The BMW Group is the first car manufacturer to integrate a multi-contract functionality into its Plug&Charge offering. This allows customers to digitally store their current multiple charging contracts from at least five different providers in the vehicle and use the charging stations of these operators in a particularly convenient way. For this purpose, the current and future standards of ISO-15118-2 and ISO 15118-20 have been integrated.
Charging easier than refuelling: The vehicle authenticates itself
Plug&Charge is a function that makes charging the high-voltage battery even easier than refuelling a conventionally powered vehicle. All the customer has to do is connect the charging point to the charging port of his vehicle – and data will flow via the charging cable in addition to electricity. There is no need to activate the energy feed-in using an app or charging card. Instead, the vehicle authenticates itself independently by transmitting the customer’s contract data. This means that at the end of the charging process, the electricity fed into the grid is also billed fully automatically.
Additional benefit of this system: Unlike activating the charging process via app, automatic authentication by the vehicle does not require an online connection at the charging location. This is particularly advantageous in underground garages.
Unique flexibility: BMW Charging Account, private and company contracts are stored digitally
Previous Plug&Charge solutions were always tied to a single, fixed electricity provider. The solution that will be available for BMW models in the future, on the other hand, offers a unique level of flexibility. The customer can digitally store the individual access data for several current multiple charging contracts in the vehicle. This gives him the option of accessing both his BMW Charging Account and other individual contracts while on the road. The only prerequisite for this: The corresponding providers must be connected to Hubject’s Europe-wide eRoaming network.
This flexibility, realised for the first time in the field of electric mobility, makes charging the high-voltage battery easier, especially for users of company vehicles with electrified drives. Not only can they use BMW Charging’s nationwide network, but they can also obtain electricity just as conveniently from providers with whom their employer has concluded a separate charging contract – for charging points on company premises, for example. In both cases, after connecting the charging cable, the customer only has to select and confirm the corresponding contract in the respective menu of the vehicle operating system to start the charging process.
The BMW Group will be demonstrating the “Multi Contract Plug&Charge” function in public for the first time at the Intercharge Network Conference, which is taking place in Berlin this month.