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BMW Offers Cash Incentive for Delaying Electric Car Charges

Paying too much for auto insurance can make driving stressful, but for select car owners, their vehicle can actually start making them money. Modern electric cars have exploded onto the market, and while consumers seem to be loving them, many city officials have warned owners of the impact mass charging could have on the grid. Simply put, if everyone is charging their electric vehicles at the same time, it could overwhelm the grid and cause problems.

The top 5 best-selling electric cars are…
1. Tesla Model S (approximately 6,800 sold)
2. Nissan Leaf (5,638 sold)
3. BMW i3 (3,087 sold)
4. Fiat 500e (1,889 sold)
5. Chevrolet Spark EV (1,276 sold)

The advent of electric cars has certainly created a “peak hour” of high energy consumption, but luckily, these fluctuations haven’t been severe enough to cause any grid-wide side-effects. In the future, as more and more people begin charging their new electric cars, problems could arise, so the concerns of city officials are certainly valid. In central and northern California, officials are taking action to prepare for the future.

In partnership with BMW, Pacific Gas & Electric will offer drivers of BMW’s all-electric i3 up to $1,000 in gift cards if they participate in an experimental energy-saving trial program. Utilizing a custom app created by BMW, i3 owners will charge only during designated times of the day. Participants can opt out, of course, but at a price. Each participant could make up to an additional $540 in gift cards at the end of the 18-month trial period, but every time a driver chooses to opt out and charge at an undesignated time, some of that bonus is taken away.

The program is called ChargeForward, and 100 participants were selected from a pool of over 400 applicants. Each participant was given access to the proprietary BMW app. The app will restrict charging hours when the grid is under too much pressure, cutting up to 100 kilowatts of charging between various car owners.

Even if these measures don’t take enough of the burden off of the grid, BMW has an interesting and mutually beneficial backup plan. By utilizing the old recycled batteries of MINI E electric cars, BMW has constructed an array of energy storage that i3 owners can draw from in an emergency. The batteries are charged by a massive 100-kilowatt solar-panel installation that also powers the site itself and contributes to the city’s grid.

Do you own an i3 and live in central or northern California? Would you participate in this program if it were available in your area? Contact your power company today for more information on whether or not this program will be available in your area in the future. Even though you might have missed this chance for $1,000, you can still give your budget a boost by switching to a more manageable California auto insurance policy. At Cost U Less, we specialize in finding an insurance policy that fits your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Call or click today!

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