BMW introduces new charging tarifs in Europe

The BMW Group has introduced a new tariff structure for its charging services BMW Charging and Mini Charging in 19 European countries. Only one of the two tariffs offers fixed prices at all available charging stations. In both cases, preferential conditions with Ionity cost more.

First, let’s get to the basics: after a one-time registration, BMW or Mini drivers are supposed to get access to 173,000 charging points in 19 European countries via app or charging card. The vast majority (162,000 charging points) are AC chargers, the remaining 11,000 charging points are operated with direct current. BMW has not yet revealed the number of HPC chargers with more than 150 kW.

As was previously the case, the two tariffs are called ‘Flex’ and ‘Active’. ‘Flex’ is aimed at customers who frequently and/or mainly charge at home or at their employer’s and only rarely need to use public charging stations. For this reason, there is no monthly basic charge in this tariff, but the charging processes themselves are billed “at operator-specific conditions”. In other words, to avoid unpleasant surprises, the customer must find out exactly what the conditions are at this charging point before charging.

BMW has not revealed the reasons behind the change to “operator-specific conditions” or explained “Flex” tariff is the respective press release. Previously, there were fixed prices per kilowatt-hour which comes to 0.39 euros per kWh for AC charging and 0.49 euros per kWh for DC charging. BMW Charging announced the move to customers in December.

In the “Acitve” tariff, customers who mainly or exclusively charge in public will receive uniform prices per kilowatt-hour but for a basic fee of 4.99 euros per month. AC charging will then cost 0.33 euros per kWh, between 8 am and 8:59 pm a blocking fee of €0.06/min will be charged after 180 minutes of charging – from 9 pm to 7:59 am this time charge will be waived. DC charging costs 0.39 euros per kWh, after 90 minutes of charging time 0.20 per min is charged. There is no night tariff without blocking charge for DC charging. The DC conditions have thus remained the same, but the price for AC conditions was previously 0.29 euros per kWh, so there is a small increase here in the new tariff model. When taking delivery of a new electric BMW, the “Active” tariff is free for 12 months.

“With our ‘Active’ tariff, energy costs in Germany are still up to 25 per cent cheaper than for comparable diesel-powered vehicles, even for those customers who cannot charge at home or at their employer’s and therefore have to rely on the public charging infrastructure,” says BMW board member for sales Pieter Nota. “We can thus clearly dispel the myth that electricity for electrified vehicles is more expensive than petrol and diesel.”

With the ‘Active’ tariff, however, the kWh prices mentioned only apply in Germany. In the other 18 countries, other conditions are charged (but uniformly within the country), which the customer should find out about before driving abroad. In Austria, for example, customers are charged by the minute (AC: 0.10 euros per min, DC, 0.47 euros per min), but in the Netherlands, drivers are charged by the amount of energy consumed (AC: 0.27 euros per kWh, DC: 0.41 euros per kWh).

Ionity is exempt from the DC conditions (also in roaming). Here, 0.79 euros per kWh is charged, meaning without the well-known and much-discussed ad-hoc price of the charging joint venture. BMW offers the ‘Ionity Plus’ package in both the ‘Flex’ and ‘Active’ tariffs. For a monthly fee of 13 euros, the kilowatt-hour at Ionity charging points then costs another 0.35 euros. While customers of all electrified BMWs (i.e. also the PHEV models and the i3) get the Monday charges of the ‘Active’ tariff waived for one year, the ‘Ionity Plus’ package is already included for one year for the iX3, iX and i4.

BMW had only renamed the charging services operated by DCS to BMW Charging and Mini Charging in July 2020 – previously the charging service was called ChargeNow.

Reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany (in German)


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