Friday, 17 April 2015

BMW i ChargeForward Program

The concept of V2G sounds interesting but it requires infrastructure that is currently not available at all places. So even if you want to participate in a V2G program, you may have to wait till the electric utility in your area launches a V2G initiative. However, if you are one of those few lucky ones who own a BMW i3 and live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can volunteer to be a part of BMW i ChargeForward program which is an combined initiative of BMW and PG&E in which you can earn unto $1540.

What is the goal of the project ?
When there is a high demand for power and consequently, price of electricity is high, your utility (PG&E) in this case wants to purchase as less power as possible. Most of the times you don't realize this because it is the utility who purchases power on your behalf. You can help your utility to avoid purchasing some of the power by postponing the charging of your car. The utility, in turn, passes on some of the savings the incurred to you.

How it works ? 
The program will run for 18 months during which PG&E will request BMW a load drop at certain times. BMW, in turn, will send a signal to your BMW i3 app asking you to postpone the charging of your car. If you resppnd accordingly, you are given incentives based on your participation level.

What makes the program great for EV owners ?
1. Does not withdraw any energy from your battery : Means no worry of not having enough charge to make it back to your home or damaging your battery.
2. Great incentives : The program offers monetary incentives of upto $ 1540
3. No restrictions on mobility : Even if you volunteer to participate in the program, it is totally upto you to postpone your vehicle's charging or not. BMW has a back up battery bank to use in case no one volunteers to postpone the charging of their car. However, you are paid according to your participation.

Where can I find more information ?
While this article summarizes the crux of the program, you can visit BMW i ChargeForward for more information.


  1. Well, this certainly aims at minimizing the problem of unequal distribution of demand, but V2G essentially means supplying electricity back to the grid. I am not sure whether this program comes under V2G. Can you clarify on that?

  2. Initially, such services were called V1G, in which electric vehicles (EVs) do not supply energy to the grid, but still help the grid in load leveling (i.e, more uniform distribution of demand) by charging at appropriate times. V2G was a term specific to those scenarios in which there is a bidirectional power flow between the grid and the EVs. However, these days, V2G has become an encompassing term for both V2G and V1G and V2G is used in a system where EVs provide services to the electric grid.

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  4. Hi Archana! this is really nice I hope this happen in Europe, I let you our products you can see in the website:

    1. Thank you so much. I visited your website but I know a very little bit of Spanish, so couldn't understand much. But I understand you are making products for electric cars and I really appreciate it !