If you’re a BMW i3 owner and live in California, you could get paid over $1,000 directly from BMW to not charge your electric vehicle during peak hours. It’s part of a trail program that sees the car company teaming up with PG&E, California’s utility provider, to try to offset heavy demand on the power grids. i3 drivers can basically be compensated for putting off their charging by an hour or more.
BMW has dubbed the program “i ChargeForward,” and those who’ve signed up get a $1,000 gift card right from the start, along with a second payment of up to $540 at the end of the 18 month trial in December 2016, depending on how many times they delayed their charges.
When PG&E needs to reduce the power demand, they’ll contact BMW who in turn will notify drivers. i3 owners submit a scheduled time they plan to use their car through the BMW i Remote mobile app, and that’s what the company uses to determine who they’ll choose.
Those with low batteries who need to leave within a few hours shouldn’t be selected by BMW, avoiding the possibility of someone being stuck. For those drivers who are selected for the delay, there’s still a choice to opt-out should they be departing soon and know they’ll need the juice in their car.