Electric cars are great. They are better for the environment and can save you loads of money on gasoline.
But they still have their fair share of problems.
For starters, the infrastructure to charge these cars is still a ways off. There simply aren’t a lot of charging stations. And for those who charge their cars at home, well, they all tend to do so during the evening, which can create a strain on power companies.
BMW is helping tackle this by paying its customers to not charge their car at night, at least in California.
The company has partnered with California’s utility company PG&E to launch a pilot program that enables the energy company to alert BMW whenever they want to cut back on power consumption. The car maker will then delay charging for up to one hour for selected drivers who have chosen to participate in the program. It will select these drivers based on their driving preference time, which they can submit in the BMW i Remote app. Drivers can also opt out of the program day to day.
Up to 100 chosen BMW i3 (which comes in hybrid and all-electric models) owners in the Bay Area who also are PG&E customers will be participating in the program called BMW iCharge Forward. The trial is slated to last for the next 18-months.
Each will receive a $US1,000 gift card at the beginning of the program and each will be given up to an additional $US540 at the end of the program, depending on their participation levels.
BMW announced the program in January at CES, but just launched the program this week.
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