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BMW i Charge Forward program

Merrill

Merrill
Jan 23, 2013
3,706
1,260
Sonoma, California
I like the thinking on this and the concept but do not totally understand why you would need to do this if you charge your car at off peak times. Also would you not want to save money on your kWh usage I always charge from midnight to 7am. Maybe someone can tell me what I'm missing.
 

bollar

Disgruntled Member
May 1, 2013
2,667
878
Southlake, TX
Gee, I like the $1K a month payment for participating! I would do it, but probably wouldn't be invited because I'm already a good citizen and charge off-peak.
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
9,937
4,851
Wow $1000 per month is a whole lot of money just to delay charging a bit. I'm sure a lot of people would gladly participate, but I'm sure the number of spots available is very limited.
 

dmckinstry

Model X 2019
Jul 9, 2011
1,428
1,853
Medical Lake, WA (near Spokane)
Wow $1000 per month is a whole lot of money just to delay charging a bit. I'm sure a lot of people would gladly participate, but I'm sure the number of spots available is very limited.

It's got to be a publicity stunt. There's no way it would save anyone (individual, BMW or utility company) anywhere near $1000 a month. Now 100 - 1000 cars, yes. But not one car.
 

tmac

Member
Jul 12, 2013
48
0
Maine
I like the thinking on this and the concept but do not totally understand why you would need to do this if you charge your car at off peak times. Also would you not want to save money on your kWh usage I always charge from midnight to 7am. Maybe someone can tell me what I'm missing.

You are correct they do not need to ask you to unplug or decrease at night. I saw a study that said the unused nighttime electricty could handle 77 million EV !
This is really very exciting and could usher in a whole vehicle to grid program

I think the term is demand side management. It has been used for years in pilots. It works wonders.
The best example is signing up customers to agree to have the hot tub or pool heater shut off for an hour or two. Truly non essential items. The homeowner would likely never notice this.
Multiply this to thousands or millions of hot tubs and suddenly PGE is able to save serious money on cranking up a Peaker plant in the middle of hot summer day

This tiny program is likely to work out the bugs.

Like other commenters I am happy to sign up for this program if my local utility wants to pay me $1000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Jaff

Active Member
Aug 15, 2010
3,135
318
Grimsby, Canada
Agree completely, it is a PR stunt...besides, what would happen in the following scenario...

...you are at work...the boss give you the afternoon off, so you decide to take in a ball game...you go home...plug in your "low range" i3 (because you used 80 % of your total charge when you travelled back and forth to work)...you call your friend, take a shower, go to leave the house 2 hours later only to discover that your charge session was delayed, and you now cannot get enough charge to pick up your friend and get to the game...

I purposely put 2 high power chargers (Roadster & Model S) in my house because I do not want to be inconvenienced if my plans change (and I need to recover range quickly)...I realize that most of the time, my plans don't change, but still, this would inconvenience me...am I missing sumpin here?


It's got to be a publicity stunt. There's no way it would save anyone (individual, BMW or utility company) anywhere near $1000 a month. Now 100 - 1000 cars, yes. But not one car.
 

Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,217
7,007
Delaware
I have heard of such a thing, plugging in a bunch of car batteries to help the grid.
$1000 a month is amazing.

I think the authors of this article made a mistake. The other discussion about this program I've seen has said it was a $1000 one time incentive on signing up, not every month.
Walter
 

Doug_G

Lead Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
17,880
3,346
Ottawa, Canada
I think V2G sounds great at first, but then you realize (a) your car already charges at night and uses power during the day, and (b) you don't want to wear out your expensive EV battery. A true grid storage pack would probably be built differently - and less expensively - than an EV pack.

Maybe V2G would be useful for emergencies, but then you're faced with the question of whether you want electricity or transportation...
 

David99

Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,850
7,021
Brea, Orange County
Not a new concept. I have heard of this before. It makes a lot of sense to use the massive storage EVs have to help taking the edge off peak demand. Especially in the future when EVs have larger batteries than today.
 

ggr

Expert in Dunning-Kruger Effect!
Mar 24, 2011
6,976
27,511
San Diego, CA
I think V2G sounds great at first, but then you realize (a) your car already charges at night and uses power during the day, and (b) you don't want to wear out your expensive EV battery. A true grid storage pack would probably be built differently - and less expensively - than an EV pack.

Maybe V2G would be useful for emergencies, but then you're faced with the question of whether you want electricity or transportation...

This isn't V2G, it is just about load management by turning off charging at peak demand times. Most cars won't be charging at that time anyway, so I think it is pretty ridiculous.
 

CHG-ON

Still in love after all these miles
Jun 24, 2014
3,079
636
Santa Cruz Mountains, USA
This isn't V2G, it is just about load management by turning off charging at peak demand times. Most cars won't be charging at that time anyway, so I think it is pretty ridiculous.

Agreed. I really don't see much opportunity for load balancing except for those who plug in at their daily destination (work, malls, etc). I am curious as to how they could ID the participating cars when they are not charging at home. Also, that 1K/mth must be a mistake. Not sustainable or cost effective for PGE. But...such a deal!
 
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Doug_G

Lead Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
17,880
3,346
Ottawa, Canada
This isn't V2G, it is just about load management by turning off charging at peak demand times. Most cars won't be charging at that time anyway, so I think it is pretty ridiculous.

I don't charge my car at peak hours unless I NEED to charge my car at peak hours. So the program would be utterly useless for me. And many other EV drivers I'm sure.
 

adiggs

Active Member
Sep 25, 2012
4,209
11,533
Portland, OR
The $1k/month is clearly a fee to entice owners to participate in the beta / trial of the program, and is not an ongoing fee for general participation.

I expect that one outcome BMW is testing is the size of the benefit that can be realized per participant in a broader audience, and other characterizations of that load balance benefit. When that is well understood, then BMW will be able to provide data to power companies regarding the size of the load they can shift at different times of day, and that will provide an ability to monetize that load shifting.


On balance, I say kudos to BMW for giving this a whirl. It's the closest thing I've seen yet of an example of somebody other than Tesla doing something where I think to myself "they might be ahead of Tesla on this idea". I don't see this as a source of sustainable competitive advantage for BMW, but it might prove to be valuable IP that they can leverage with other auto makers, or that they can use to leverage themselves into a completely new business - aggregator of electric car charging demand that lets them fill a role within the power generation (really power shifting) segment.

I don't know if that will really prove valuable or not. Today there aren't enough electric vehicles to move that needle in a noticeable way. But if California was 50% electric vehicles, would fleet level management of the charging requirements make for a noticeable dent in California's electric requirements? We're at least years, if not decades, away from that problem / opportunity. It's very possible we're so far ahead that the small numbers testable today won't yield meaningful information.

But that's the nature of experimentation - have a coherent hypothesis, with a means for testing that hypothesis and expected results of the hypothesis is a true description of an underlying process.


Why BMW thinks they need to incent their owners with $1k/month to participate is beyond me. If Tesla was doing something like this in Oregon, they could ask and I would volunteer to participate for free most likely. A free car or house payment monthly though wouldn't be turned down!
 

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