The Los Angeles Auto Show is typically a showcase for new green car technology and concepts, and the 2015 edition did not disappoint on that front. Along with a new Green Car of the Year winner, press previews coincided with announcements of free charging programs for buyers of the BMW i3 and Ford C-MAX Energi. Consumers on the lookout for attractive electric vehicle offers have reason to take notice.
Starting with the C-MAX Energi, a plug-in hybrid capable of going 19 miles in electric mode, Ford is offering three years of free Level 2 charging at EVgo stations around the country for Maryland and California customers who buy or lease a 2016 model. This offer is part of the new EV 1-2-3 Charge program from Ford and designed to facilitate the transition to electric car driving.
Customers who buy a 2016 C-MAX Energi will get access to four complimentary hours per session at a Level 2 (240v) station, which is more than enough for a car that only takes about 2.5 hours to charge. If you are using the MyFord Mobile app, the EVgo stations will appear in a pink icon beginning in December. Anyone buying a 2016 C-MAX between October 2015 and October 2016 will receive an EV 1-2-3 Charge registration packet in the mail to get started.
Another free charging incentive came from BMW for its all-electric i3. According to a company statement, customers in ChargeNow DC Fast markets who buy or lease an i3 will get two years of DC Fast and Level 2 charging at EVgo stations without a fee. With the longer range of the i3 and shorter charge time — as low as 20 minutes for 80% of range — this deal also has considerable appeal.
Buyers of the BMW i3 get access to unlimited complimentary DC Fast charging sessions and one hour of Level 2 charging (affording approximately 10 to 20 miles of range) if you are located in one of the 25 major U.S. markets. The list includes Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles, and Seattle, among other metropolitan areas.
For those who consider the DC Fast charging network severely underdeveloped, EVgo and BMW had an announcement on that front, too. The two companies will add another 500 DC Fast chargers to the 25 urban markets by the end of 2018.
If you are counting developments in charging from NRG EVgo, the network provider had a third announcement in three days regarding improvements in electric car infrastructure, and perhaps the most significant for drivers already using public chargers. EVgo joined with ChargePoint, the largest charging station provider, and Blink in announcing access under all three banners through the new ROEV Association.
Charging outside the home has been a stumbling block for EV adoption and sales. With these signs of progress from Ford, BMW, and charging station providers, plug-in drivers will have an easier time enjoying gas-free miles now and in the coming years.