BMW i DC Fast Chargers arrive with an extra perk for i3 owners

Electric vehicles are a growing force on pubic roads, and to help spur their presence, BMW has rolled out its i DC Fast Chargers. With these chargers, i3 owners can juice up their car to 80-percent in half an hour, and there's the promise that the technology will "change the face of public charging".

The i DC Fast Chargers were launched at the Plug-In 2014 conference. Says BMW, the chargers were developed as a joint effort between it and Bosch Automotive Service Solutions. In addition to debuting its first i DC Fast Charger, the auto maker also revealed its ChargeNow DC Fast effort, which lets i3 drivers (in California) enjoy free charging.

The free charging is for 30-minute session at NRG eVgo Freedom Stations that have the DC Combo Fast Charging — the program will offer the no-cost charging "through 2015", giving owners a year of free-of-charge sessions. Drivers will use their ChargeNow cards, and need to sign up at to participate.

As for the Fast Chargers, BMW says that conventional DC fast chargers are quite large — about the size of your kitchen fridge, hefty in price, and pulling a lot of energy. The i DC Fast Chargers are different, measuring in at about half that size, more efficient, and cheaper. The first batch of these chargers will arrive at BMW i Centers in August in the US, says the maker.