BMW South Africa is making public charging for its electric cars and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles easily accessible to encourage South African to purchase these innovative cars. It has installed the first phase of public charging infrastructure in Melrose Arch precinct, Johannesburg. By Gugu Lourie
The first BMW South Africa public charging infrastructure, which is targeting 150 electric vehicles, is located in the heart of Melrose Arch shopping precinct opposite the Protea Fire and Ice Hotel.
The public charging station can charge an electric vehicle like the BMW i3 to 80% battery charge in under two and a half hours.
To activate a free charge, BMW i3 and i8 owners need to swipe their ChargeNow cards as per the prompts on the AC charging station. ChargeNow cards are issued to all BMW i customers upon the purchase of BMW i vehicles, free of charge.
BMW i owners can also visit exclusive BMW i dealers (BMW Sandton Auto and Club Motors Fountains, Pretoria) to charge their vehicles.
The BMW i3 and BMW i8 were introduced in South Africa in March this year. With just six months on the market, 150 units of these models have been delivered to local customers.
“In order for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to be successful, we need to firstly increase consumer confidence in the viability of electric vehicles and secondly make public charging easily accessible for customers who purchase these cars. This public charging station is the first of three that we will be installing in the Melrose Arch precinct over the next two months. Similar projects will also be introduced in the future in major metropolis throughout South Africa,” says Tim Abbott, MD of BMW Group South Africa.
“Our strategy is to locate charging stations in central areas like shopping centres where customers spend most of their time and can enjoy the convenience of quickly charging their cars while they are shopping or enjoying a meal in the surrounding restaurants.”