BMW expands ChargeForward incentive program to EV drivers in the contiguous United States


In order to further optimize the charging experience and help alleviate strain on local electrical grids, BMW USA announced it is expanding its ChargeForward incentive program to EV and PHEV drivers throughout the contiguous United States. The national expansion comes on the wings of the launch of BMW’s first all-electric 5 series, the i5.

Since 2016, BMW has been working alongside local energy companies to help implement, bolster, and maintain charging infrastructure amongst a booming EV landscape. Part of that process has included a unique charging incentive program called ChargeForward, which began with 2017 BEV and PHEV models like the i3.

ChargeForward utilizes grid data from local energy providers, to identify the ideal times for its customers to recharge their EVs, helping mitigate usage during peak demand by suggesting windows for “smart charging.” As a sweetener, BMW helps facilitate incentives to those in the program, whether it’s through local or federal dividend opportunities.

Previously, the ChargeForward program began as a pilot in California through a partnership with PG&E and has slowly expanded since. The charging incentive program has found success so far, so BMW is expanding its availability to a majority of the US.

The new i5 / Credit: BMW USA

BMW expands charging incentives throughout US

Following an evaluation of the program with the help of UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center, BMW USA has decided to expand ChargeForward to the contiguous 48 states.

According to BMW, incentives through ChargeForward are now accessible by US customers driving BEV and PHEV model years 2018 and newer. Those vehicles are equipped with Connected Drive services that enable access to regional electrical grid carbon data that can recommend the ideal times to recharge. Thomas Ruemenapp, vice president, engineering and BMW of North America, spoke:

The national expansion of BMW ChargeForward is yet another step in our endeavor to provide customers with the best possible charging experience. Empowering our drivers to play an active role in reducing carbon emissions and increasing their renewable energy usage is an innovative way to use vehicle charging to further the environmental benefits of electric vehicles.

The automaker states that those drivers enrolled in the program can qualify for incentives two different ways:

  • Receive cash incentives by completing up to ten smart charges per month.
  • Quarterly Carbon Dividend incentives in cash that are paid out based on total customer participation and total carbon reductions.

As part of a joint venture called ChargeScape announced in September alongside Ford and Honda, BMW says it intends to connect even more local utility companies to the ChargeForward program as a single point of contact for US EV owners.

BMW states that enrollment in the incentive program can be done entirely online without any additional hardware and ChargeForward is completely free and digital. Learn more here.

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