The alternating current charger, which is located in the heart of the shopping precinct, features two parking bays designated for the exclusive use of EVs and PHEVs.

The bays can be found on Whitley Road opposite the Protea Fire and Ice Hotel.

“In order for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to be successful, we need to firstly increase consumer confidence in the viability of electric vehicles and secondly make public charging easily accessible for customers who purchase these cars,” said Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW Group South Africa.

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“This public charging station is the first of three that we will be installing in the Melrose Arch precinct over the next two months. Similar projects will also be introduced in the future in major metropolis throughout South Africa,” he added.

Abbott said that Melrose Arch was the ideal location for the first charging station.

“Our strategy is to locate charging stations in central areas like shopping centres where customers spend most of their time and can enjoy the convenience of quickly charging their cars while they are shopping or enjoying a meal in the surrounding restaurants,” he said.

BMWcha450x700The charger also features signage that BMW says will be added to all future stations.

“The signage is simple and clearly indicates that the designated area is an electric vehicle and plug-in electrical vehicle charging facility, the type of charger it is and what cars can use it,” explained Abbott.

Abbott added that the new charger was not part of the Memorandum of Understanding the German automaker signed with Nissan earlier this year. But the station can charge any EV or PHEV with the Type 2 plug charging cable.

To activate a free charge, BMW i3 and i8 owners need to swipe their ChargeNow cards as per the prompts on the AC charging station. ChargeNow cards are issued to all BMW i customers upon the purchase of BMW i vehicles, free of charge.