Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has become an inspiration for some of the biggest names in the auto manufacturing industry, and this was proven yet again when Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (ETR:BMW) (FRA:BMW) North America’s head of electric vehicle sales strategies expressed plans to launch a Tesla-like supercharger network of electric vehicle recharging stations.
BMW charger quick, cost effective
Jacob Harb, head of electric vehicle sales and strategy for BMW North America said in an interview with AutoGuide that the network will include their “game changing” DC charger that will deliver an 80% charge in approximately 30 minutes. Electric vehicles from other brands will also be compatible with the network. Harp added that such chargers usually cost about $50,000 each and are similar to a household refrigerator in size. But BMW’s unit will cost just $6,500 and measures 24×17 inches.
Harb said that an official announcement will be made during the North American International Auto Show, adding that they want to set up those charging stations everywhere. Harb said, “I don’t think [Tesla is] going to be happy with how quickly these things roll out.”
With its own charging network, the company wants to make its electric vehicles more desirable for customers. BMW is eyeing the market dominated by Tesla at present, and the company believes that by providing a charging network, it will be able to attract more people toward its plug-in cars.
Plans to topple Tesla
Currently Tesla is outpacing other electric vehicle brands, including BMW, in terms of both technology and charging network. However, BMW tasted success with the i3 with around 1,000 units per month rolling out onto the streets.
Tesla set up 135 Superchargers stations in North America last year, making it easier for Model S owners to drive from New York to L.A. However, these chargers are limited only to Tesla cars, whereas BMW’s will make its charger available for other models and will be in line with the SEA standardized charging plug that is compatible with all other plug-in cars except for Tesla and Nissan.
Harb did not talk about the number of chargers BMW is planning to set up and has asked market watchers to wait for the official announcement.