Start for Bidirectiona Charging Management (BCM) pilot project’s road trials

Bidirectiona Charging Management (BCM) pilot project enters key phase: the first vehicles for the customer pilot phase were handed over to their users at BMW Welt on 9 July. This means that customers are now in possession of 20 BMW i3 cars equipped with the new technology, with a further 30 due to be delivered to business users in the coming weeks.

The “Bidirectional Charging Management – BCM” consortium research project launched in May 2019 brings together companies and institutions from the automotive, charging infrastructure, energy and scientific sectors. They have teamed up to develop technological solutions for making electric mobility even easier and cheaper for users, with even lower emissions.

By adopting a holistic approach, the project aims to interlink vehicles, charging infrastructure and power grids for the first time in a way that facilitates the use of renewable energy – and at the same time increases power supply reliability. The research project will run for three years under the aegis of the German Aero-space Centre and with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Start of testing under everyday conditions.
Not only will electric vehicles with bidirectional charging capability be able to draw electrical power for their high-voltage battery when plugged into a compatible charging station or wallbox, they will also have the ability to reverse the process and feed energy back into the distribution network operator’s power grid. This will effectively turn the electric vehicles’ batteries into mobile energy storage devices that can also supply electricity when required. Integrating as many electric vehicles as possible into the power grid in this way calls for myriad innovations in terms of vehicle technology, charging hardware, charging management, communication interfaces with energy sector stakeholders and legal parameters.
Bringing about these advances is the task of the research project, in which the BMW Group is acting as consortium leader. It is joined by KOSTAL Industrie Elektrik GmbH (development of charging hardware), KEO GmbH (software provider for connecting the customers systems with energy suppliers), transmission network operator TenneT and distribution network operator Bayernwerk Netz GmbH (both energy system services), the Research Institute for Energy and Research Association for Energy e.V. (both FfE research into energy system and grid repercussions as well as measurement data evaluation), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT; research into electricity market and grid repercussions) and the University of Passau (user research).

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