Many direct current fast chargers aren't exactly practical, even for stores that expect a lot of traffic; they're frequently massive, power-hungry and expensive. BMW knows that's a problem, which is why it just brought its i DC Fast Charger to North America. The device is small and light enough to be wall-mountable, but it can give an i3 an 80 percent charge within 30 minutes; that's very handy if you only need to make a quick stop at a restaurant or the mall. The charger is compatible with EVs from most major automakers (Teslas need not apply), and businesses can put it on ChargePoint's network to either make some cash or simply let drivers know when it's unoccupied.

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BMW's i DC Fast Charger

Don't expect to buy an i DC Fast Charger for personal use in the US, at least not yet. The speedy power supply will initially be available for BMW i Centers and "authorized BMW partners" in the country this August. It's just as well, since each charger costs $6,548. That's trivial for companies like NRG, which will install at least 100 units across California, but it would negate the fuel savings you get by driving an EV. Still, the arrival should lead to more public power stations -- and that may be all the incentive you need to ditch conventional cars.