The respective industry giants plan to create “Connected Home Charging” – a holistic charging ecosystem that will allow customers to connect their BMW or MINI EV with their smart home network. The ultimate aim is to build EVs into the daily motions of a carbon-neutral, sustainable household.
Together, they will create a common interface that combines three previously separate systems: BMW Group EVs, customers’ smart home networks and the energy grid.
The BMW Group will be responsible for the vehicles, charging hardware and customer interface. Meanwhile, E.ON will provide installation and servicing at customers’ homes and will supply sustainable energy tariffs.
Connected Home Charging will be available in several European countries in the second half of 2023 and will lay the foundations for hardware and networking as a holistic package solution.
Intelligent charging control will materialise in one of two ways: solar-optimised charging, which redirects as much electricity from a home’s solar panels directly into your EV, and load-optimised charging, which optimally balances the amount of electricity available across your home.
The ecosystem presents a huge potential to save costs and increase household self-sufficiency.
The groups intend to enable bidirectional charging in the future, making it possible to use the fully-electric vehicle’s high-voltage battery as an energy storage device and feed the stored electricity back into the customer’s own household or the power grid at a later time.
The BMW Group and E.ON are incorporating the results of a highly successful research project conducted in Germany towards the end of 2022, the “Bidirectional Charging Management — BDL”. This project acted as a field test for bidirectional charging, and found that it was a very promising way to increase the security of renewable energy. Perhaps more importantly, the system was found to be easy to integrate into everyday life and worthwhile from the customer’s perspective.
These developing ecosystems are an exciting glimpse into what we can expect from a sustainable future. Technology will always continue to progress, but the importance of easy integration, accessibility, and day-to-day user benefits cannot be overlooked. We need the positive impacts of change presented clearly and undeniably for a successful transition into sustainable living.