BMW Highlights ChargeForward Partners

PG&E

The ChargeForward program is an innovative system that allows drivers to access renewable energy. This pioneering program was made possible through BMW’s unique partnership with PG&E. By working with energy providers in this first-of-its-kind partnership, BMW and PG&E demonstrated how renewable data from utilities can be shared with automakers to create programs for drivers that allow their vehicles to charge with more renewable energy. The partnership helps align renewable electricity consumption with energy generation, with hopes in the future for further grid optimization. 


UC Berkeley Transportation Sustainability Research Center

BMW partnered with UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center, which specializes in sustainable transportation, to evaluate and report results from the most recent phase of the pilot. As the lead research partner, UC Berkeley created a model and found that programs like ChargeForward can reduce greenhouse gas emissions of EVs by an additional 32 percent annually; and can increase the additional kWh of renewable electricity. The benefits of smart charging can create grid savings of about $325 per vehicle in California. 

Stay tuned to learn more about the ChargeForward program. 


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What Makes ChargeForward Unique?

The future of electric vehicles depends upon increasing consumer access to reliable, clean energy resources. ChargeForward serves as one of the most innovative smart charging programs. With over 400 BMW drivers around the San Francisco Bay Area participating in Phase 2 of the program. The program integrates drivers, automakers, and grid operators to balance supply and demand on the grid while providing renewable energy benefits.  As the adoption of electric vehicles grows, innovations like ChargeForward will further accelerate the shift from fossil fuels toward a more sustainable driving future. 

Here’s what makes ChargeForward unique: 

Innovative Technology 

ChargeForward uses vehicle telematics to transform electric vehicle charging to access more sustainable energy sources. BMW’s investment in this pioneering system has allowed automakers, drivers, and utility companies to maximize the use of green energy by electrified vehicles. 

This is how the system works: when a driver plugs in their vehicle, instead of immediately charging, the vehicle sends data on its current state of charge and projected unplug time to BMW. BMW simultaneously receives data from the utility about energy prices and current grid and renewable energy conditions for the vehicle’s specific location.

Next, the system considers the vehicle’s charging costs, and the driver provides input to the optimization based on their preference for the lowest charging cost or highest renewable energy use. Using these inputs, BMW is able to calculate the optimal charge windows for each vehicle and relay the charging signals to the vehicle through its vehicle telematics system. 

Daylight Charging Hours

Smart charging technology helps integrate renewable energy into the grid by allowing EVs to charge when there is high renewable energy generation, or when electricity is inexpensive. Smart charging during the day aligns with peak solar energy generation and helps utilities incorporate more renewables into the energy supply.

BMW’s ChargeForward program reduces use of fossil fuels in the charging process, with no impact on the drivers’ mobility needs. Drivers that charge at home at night can shift away from peak hours to low-cost overnight times, while still having a full battery in time for the morning commute. This opportunity for grid benefits is even greater for commuters who can plug in at work. 

Unique Partnerships

Through ChargeForward, BMW is pioneering partnerships between automakers and utility companies. Through its direct relationships with drivers through the program app and partnerships with local utility companies, BMW is paving the way for smart charging. 

Traditionally, grid operators maintain the balance of energy sources by increasing or decreasing generation in response to daily, hourly, and minute-to-minute changes in customers’ electricity consumption. However, with smart charging programs like ChargeForward, utility companies and automakers can better overcome challenges posed by uneven renewable energy integration and provide low-cost green energy solutions to drivers. 

In the future, smart charging will be critical to supporting renewable energy generation and integration—enabling EVs to minimize their carbon footprint, thereby mitigating climate change and reducing pollution. As part of its commitment to sustainable mobility, BMW is proud to bring bold innovations and new solutions like ChargeForward to life. 

Check out the full ChargeForward Report below.


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Did You Know: BMW’s ChargeForward Program

Did you know that you can reduce the carbon footprint of your electric vehicle by around 30 percent?  The US-based ChargeForward program, led by BMW, has found that a typical EV using smart charging will use an additional 1200 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy per year, equal to a three-month supply of electricity. Programs like ChargeForward also help to increase the capacity of renewable energy on the electricity grid and enabling greater renewable usage. What’s more, these significant carbon savings won’t impact your driving schedule, as they are generated entirely digitally and remotely.  

Learn more about the benefits of ChargeForward: Here


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Adam Langton Discusses BMW’s ChargeForward Program

As the world continues to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, the BMW Group is taking the lead by investing in the future of mobility through programs like ChargeForward.  The ChargeForward program is helping drivers cut their carbon emissions by switching from gasoline to electricity while also accelerating the adoption of renewable energy. We recently spoke with Adam Langton, Energy Services Manager, and ChargeForward Program Lead, at the BMW Group to learn more about this innovative technology. 

Check out his full interview below!


Q: Tell us about your background, your role at BMW, and your overall responsibilities?  

A: Currently, I develop and commercialize energy and data products related to BMW’s electric vehicles. My main role is to lead the development and implementation of the ChargeForward project, but I also develop other energy and data products that both generate revenue and help BMW achieve sustainability outcomes. I have been with BMW since 2015, and I am based at BMW’s Mountain View Technology office in Mountain View, California.

Q: In your own words, how would you describe the ChargeForward Program? What do you feel is the most innovative aspect of the program?  

A: ChargeForward has two key innovative features: the use of telematics to manage charging directly through the vehicle and the use of utility renewable energy data to optimize vehicle charging.  

Telematics: BMW is the first OEM to use the vehicle telematics system to communicate charging messages directly to the vehicle. This method means that we can smart charge the vehicle wherever it charges – at home, at work, or on the go. We use the BMW ConnectedDrive communication system in the vehicle, so there is no need to modify the vehicle or install new hardware at your home/work. As all BMW electric vehicles can access the ConnectedDrive network, any BMW electric vehicle can participate, making it easy to share this technology throughout California and beyond. 

Utility renewable energy data: The ChargeForward pilot was the first time that an automaker partnered with a utility to share renewable energy data and use this as a basis for vehicle charging optimizations. Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), the utility for the San Francisco Bay Area and most of Northern California, provided BMW with an hourly forecast of renewable energy generation. BMW used this forecast to time the charging to the utilities’ expected renewable generation. The use of this forecast meant that BMW could adjust the timing of vehicle charging specifically to the renewable energy conditions unique to each hour of the day in Northern California. When scaled, this functionality can make it possible for utilities to add more renewable energy to the grid in the long-term, as it gives them greater confidence that demand for that electricity to be available despite the variability in weather conditions. 

Q: As the project manager of ChargeForward, what led the inspiration behind pioneering the program at BMW?  

A: The inspiration behind the project was to see how we could expand the BMW sustainability benefits beyond the vehicle itself, to include the way it is used. The i-Brand was built from the ground up with sustainability as a core design principle. This is reflected in the sustainable materials used in the vehicle and the efficient manufacturing process to reduce energy and water consumption used to manufacturing our electric vehicles. ChargeForward takes this sustainability concept and empowers drivers to take simple actions to consume more renewable energy and reduce their carbon footprint.  

ChargeForward joins together two of the key technologies in the fight against climate change – electric vehicles and renewable energy – and helps make both of these tools more effective. Creating a ‘win-win’ opportunity for the automotive and the electricity sector is needed to help both sectors manage the significant transformational challenges required to meet the challenge of climate change. 

Q: In terms of partnerships, can you tell us more about how your collaboration with both UC Berkeley and PG&E helped play a role in the development of the program? What kind of partners could you envision contributing in the future?

A: UC Berkeley served as the research partner for the ChargeForward project. Specifically, we worked with the Berkeley Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC). The TSRC was an ideal fit for us because they are focused on understanding how sustainability outcomes can better be achieved in the transportation sector. The TSRC provided a team of researchers that helped analyze our results and evaluate the impact of each of the studies included within the larger project. TSRC used the data we collected in the project to develop a model which served as a basis for understanding how charging behavior and renewable energy outcomes could be improved under different future circumstances. For example, TSRC modeled a scenario where all drivers charged their vehicles at work during the day, which helped us understand the potential to absorb solar energy during times when it is plentiful on the grid. 

The partnership with PG&E provided us with expertise in how to design studies and tests that would be relevant to the grid. The most important aspect of this partnership was PG&E’s willingness to be a pioneer in sharing renewable energy data with us to use in optimizing charging. This data helped us measure our use of renewable energy and also served as a new communication tool with customers – for the first time, EV drivers could measure the renewable energy content of their charging. 

In the future, we envision partnering with more utilities so that we can expand ChargeForward to other parts of the US. 

Q: How does smart charging reduce carbon emissions and promote the use of renewable energy?  

A: Smart charging reduces carbon emissions and promotes the use of renewable energy by shifting the time of charging to align with the best opportunities to charge on the grid. Unlike traditional fossil fuel energy, renewable energy cannot be controlled. Solar energy is available during the day when the skies are clear and wind energy is available during windy times of day. The conditions that support renewable energy can change every hour, making it hard to predict the best times to charge your vehicle. When our drivers use smart charging, they are giving us the control of their charging so that we can start and stop charging to align with the dynamic conditions on the grid. Our drivers provide their departure time and then allow us to manage the charging for them, so they can maximize renewable energy without having to think about it. Our drivers can ‘opt out’ of smart charging if their plans change and they need to start charging immediately to get a full battery. At any time during smart charging, our drivers can click a button in the app which will direct the vehicle to fill up the battery as quickly as possible. 

Q: As we look towards the future, what kind of advancements do you expect with smart charging technology? Which potential solutions will these innovations bring to current urban mobility challenges?  

A: In the future, we expect that smart charging will grow in value as vehicle battery sizes get larger and vehicle-to-grid technology matures. Larger battery sizes will mean that drivers will have even more flexibility in when they charge their vehicles. With a larger battery size, drivers will be less dependent on charging every day to meet their range needs, but instead can optimize their charging over the course of multiple days – providing more opportunities to capture renewable energy. A sophisticated system to coordinate charging between vehicles and renewable energy will give utilities greater flexibility to add renewables to the grid without having to fear the impacts of grid imbalances. 

‘Vehicle-to-grid’ functionality also has the potential to greatly expand the benefits of smart charging. While smart charging allows charging to be shifted to different times of day, ‘vehicle-to-grid’ or V2G allows the battery to discharge to the grid, allowing the vehicle to absorb excess renewable energy and discharge that energy during times when demand for electricity is high. For urban dwellers, this kind of functionality not only helps to support renewables on the grid but could also serve as a backup power source during outages or during emergencies. 


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BMW Releases ChargeForward Report

In the US and other parts of the world, electricity grids are transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable resources. As an increasing number of states and local governments are setting ambitious clean energy targets aimed at reducing carbon emissions, utility companies are seeking technological solutions to integrate renewable energy on the grid. 

The BMW Group is leading the charge of accessing and storing renewables on the grid through its innovative ChargeForward program. The pilot program is a collaboration between California-based utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), and UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center. 

The aim: to use as much solar energy as possible while contributing to the overall stability of the electricity grid. This is made possible through the ChargeForward application that allows participants to input when they’ll use their vehicle. While the vehicle is parked, and at a charging station, this information allows the BMW charging control system to regulate the charging process; enabling the vehicle to charge during non-peak hours and when GHG emissions are the lowest.  

Recently, the ChargeForward program finished the second phase of testing and released its report. The report highlighted many different findings that can help drive clean energy forward in the transportation sector, including: 

  • Smart-charging EVs have the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 32% on average in Northern California studies. 
  • Smart charging can enable EVs to accept an additional 1,200 kWh of renewable energy per vehicle per year. This is the equivalent of 3,500 to 5,000 miles of additional zero carbon travel.
  • Telematics data from automakers are a critical enabler of smart charging programs as it provides a holistic view of a driver’s mobility needs and helps facilitate daily charging during non-peak hours. 
  • ChargeForward vehicles can create an average of $325 in estimated grid savings annually per vehicle in California.

 “Electric vehicles can make a significant contribution here, not only as a flexible resource to help balance the grid, but also as a tool to enable the grid to support more renewable energy in the long term,” says Adam Langton, who manages the project for the BMW Group. 

As green energy initiatives move forward, flexible programs like ChargeForward will become more relevant to consumers and utility companies.

Learn more about the ChargeForward program here and follow us on Twitter for more updates on programs like these. 


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BMW Releases Safety Assessment Report of Autonomous Vehicle Testing

The BMW Group is committed to providing a thrilling driving experience while simultaneously ensuring safety for all. In collaboration with its partners, BMW is taking the next step in the future mobility by creating a scalable technology platform for a fully automated driving experience. Beginning in 2021, the BMW iNEXT will feature the BMW Group’s first secure Level 3 function for motorways and allowing drivers the option to use stable, safe, and fully-automated driving features. 

These innovative technologies are more important now than ever before. Automated vehicles present the potential to shape the future of mobility and increase safety and efficiency. BMW is committed to ensuring safety. Since the launch of the BMW Vision iNEXT concept in 2018, the BMW Group has pioneered the development of conditional driving automation with safety in mind. 

This Safety Assessment Report outlines our comprehensive approach to safety in automated driving, guided by the rules of the road set by lawmakers. By ensuring safety for all road users, we are plotting the course for the future of automated mobility.

Read the full report here


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BMW Electromobility Partnerships: Veloz

To achieve our climate goals, the BMW Group is playing a leading in producing and promoting electromobility options. Electromobility refers to electric powered mobility options this includes cars, e-bikes, electric motorbikes, and e-buses. At BMW, we have been working to make electromobility more viable within our product range. As electromobility options become more common, we are continuously challenging ourselves to do more. In fact, in 2019 BMW sold over 504,000 electric vehicles worldwide, setting ourselves apart as more than an automaker but a driver of change.  

Our path towards electromobility for all is centered upon the goals and initiatives we’ve developed through public-private partnerships. For example, we’re working to voluntarily align our fleet and apply uniform standards to help the US State of California to meet its goal to reduce emissions by 3.7% per year between 2022 to 2026. 

Our partners such as Veloz are also integral to our electromobility awareness and initiatives. Veloz is a nonprofit organization made up of a high powered, and diverse board and members from key sector companies, agencies, and nonprofits. Through their work, Veloz is accelerating the shift to electric cars through public-private collaboration, engagement, and policy education innovation. One key initiative is the Electric for All campaign that is geared towards drivers in California to steer them away from fossil fuels by educating them on the numerous benefits of electric cars. By electrifying the California market, Veloz is changing the world’s auto market.  

As we look towards the future of sustainable individual mobility, the BMW group strongly believes in the importance of public-private partnerships. It’s clear that as companies continue to transition to electromobility, innovative approaches and diverse partnerships will be essential for driving progress. 


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The Road to Sustainable Solutions

At the BMW Group, we have a consistent approach throughout the company: deliver on our promises. For us, sustainability isn’t just a trend; it’s a call to action to act beyond the present and towards the future. We have dedicated ourselves to making a positive impact on environmental and climate protection. In 2012, BMW created a set of sustainability goals running through 2020 focusing on three distinct areas: products and services; production and value creation; employees and society. So far, we’ve already fulfilled or are in the final stretch of achieving almost all of them.  

Sustainability is an integral part of the Group’s corporate strategy and business model, efforts that are recognized globally. In 2019, the BMW Group ranked among the top companies by renowned sustainability ratings as well as the only German carmaker to be listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) in the “World” and “Europe” categories. We are convinced that the success of any enterprise comes from your actions. Global challenges, such as climate change, motivate us to develop innovative products that provide forward-looking solutions.   

As drivers of innovation, we are committed to taking a leading role among automakers. The BMW Group is avidly working to increase urban mobility through stakeholder engagement with cities, support for electromobility, emissions limits, and continued developments of regulatory frameworks and products. In 2019 alone, BMW delivered over 146,000 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids to customers worldwide. That means we now have more than half a million electrified vehicles on the roads across the globe.   

Furthermore, the Group is continuously incorporating new standards from the regulatory code and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into our overall objectives. The SDGs aim to ensure that economic progress is both environmentally friendly and socially equitable. We wholeheartedly believe that companies, governments, and other organizations each have a role to play in achieving the SDGs and are committed to supporting these shared endeavors.  

Looking forward, the BMW Group plans to continue to expand our efforts globally. 2020 serves as a transformational year, as it marks not only the endpoint of our current sustainability goals but also gives us the freedom to implement even more ambitious strategies.    

“Now, we are going even further: we have set ourselves ambitious targets to successfully tackle a variety of new challenges. For this very reason, we have decided to fully incorporate our sustainability strategy into the BMW corporate strategy. This will fully ensure that the company’s thinking and actions are aligned in a sustainable manner. For me, this is how environmental and climate protection can achieve a real impact – across the company and within society.” – Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management.   

Read our full report: https://bit.ly/2JS06qX


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Meet the 2020 Women of BMW

Here’s to the women who are empowering, inspiring, and leading others!


As Women’s History Month draws to a close, we’re taking another moment to recognize each of the #WomenofBMW chosen by their colleagues! We thank them for sharing their inspirational stories and thoughtful reflections on being women leaders in the automotive industry. Now more than ever, we need to celebrate those making exceptional positive impacts on their workplaces and communities. Thank you to the Women of BMW for all that you do!



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Building a Better Los Angeles: 2020 Mobility Lab

How can public space be used better in a metropolis like Los Angeles? What incentives should be created to further increase the adoption of electric vehicles in communities in California? And how can we further improve and ease mobility by better coordinating public transportation services and the availability of on-demand mobility? City administrations, researchers, companies and citizens cannot answer questions like these on their own. They must advise and act together so that urban decision-makers can set the right course in good time.

This past January, the BMW Group Mobility Lab in Los Angeles, California brought together approximately one-hundred scientists, visionaries and decision-makers to discuss how to make the ‘city of angels’ more agile, sustainable and livable, as well as, exchange ideas in an all-day “thinking and discussion laboratory” about the future urban mobility. 

“Until now, traffic routes have mostly been designed for cars, but they should above all be available to people,” explains Lisa Errion Saums, Vice President of Government and External Affairs for the Americas Region at the BMW Group. “Mobility and quality of life in urban areas must not be a contradiction in terms. We want to find solutions for this,” said Saums at the beginning of the event. She emphasized: “The BMW Group is committed to sustainability and wants to play a leading role in this.” 

The Mobility Lab featured four workshops that dealt with different approaches to public transportation, electromobility, the scarce commodity of urban space and urban autonomous driving, and discussed, to what extent, the gap between private vehicle traffic and local public transportation can be closed by car-sharing approaches or (app-driven) shared rides. 

Other topics included: how to implement efficiently – and in a socially equitable manner – a road pricing system in Los Angeles, how increasing digitalization can better interlink transportation options and services, and how the search for parking spaces could be organized much more intelligently.

Overall, participants were convinced that more accessible mobility options can impact urban development positively and can help reach social, economic, and environmental targets. However, the complex system of different offerings and operators require the commitment and willingness to adapt of all involved. 

At the BMW Group we are truly inspired by the drive and innovative power of the stakeholder community in LA and aim to contribute transportation expertise and technologies to collectively help build an (even) better Los Angeles.

Download the 2020 Mobility Lab presentation here.


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Open Manufacturing Platform Welcomes New Members

The Open Manufacturing Platform, otherwise known as OMP, has expanded and now has new steering committee members and working groups. Founded in 2019, the OMP works to help manufacturing companies accelerate innovation at scale through cross-industry collaboration, data-sharing, and accessing new technologies. 

The BMW Group has been an original member of the group along with Microsoft. New additions to the group include:  Anheuser – Busch InBev, Bosch Group, ZF Friedrichshafen AG. Through its work the steering committee has approved a number of working groups to focus on core areas of importance in the industry including IoT connectivity, semantic data models, autonomous transport systems, and more. 

Learn more at: http://bit.ly/32LjAGe


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BMW Partners with NY Fashion Week

BMW of North America returned to NYFW as the Official Automotive Partner to celebrate the road less traveled and to highlight the inspiring voices who are driving change in fashion and culture. Through this partnership, BMW presented a digital content series highlighting four fashion industry notables and the unconventional paths which have led to their success in addition hosting multiple engaging experiences on site. 

Read the full article: http://bit.ly/2uVU70s


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MINI USA Launches Ordering For EV Mini Cooper

MINI USA has just launched ordering for the all-new battery electric MINI Cooper SE. The vehicle makes electric mobility more “MINI” and is a creative solution to create a highly efficient car with a small carbon footprint while being fun to drive, and accessible to consumers.

Read the full story: https://bit.ly/2Srn4c3


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BMW Receives Green Car Technology of the Year Award

Recently, BMW received the Green Car Journal’s Green Car Technology of the Year Award for the company’s cutting-edge Inductive Charging Pilot Program. The program allows participating BMW customers to test the wireless inductive technology to charge their vehicles eliminating the need for plug in charging. The program also makes BMW the first automotive manufacturer to allow consumers to use this technology. 

“BMW Wireless Charging represents a milestone in the evolution of vehicle electrification, making owning and driving a plug-in hybrid vehicle an even more seamless experience,” said Ron Cogan, Editor and Publisher of Green Car Journal, “Today’s pairing of BMW’s innovative inductive charging and 530e plug-in hybrid illustrates how the future of automatic electric vehicle charging can be as simple as parking your car. It’s a deserving winner of 2020 Green Car Technology of the Year™.”

Starting in Germany, the Inductive Charging Pilot Program expanded to the US in mid-2019 and became available to select residential home customers in California. The Wireless Charging is made up of an Inductive Charging Station otherwise known as the GroundPad and a secondary vehicle component known as the CarPad, that is fixed to the underside of the vehicle. The contactless transfer of energy between the GroundPad and CarPad work together to generate a magnetic field, which allows for the safe transfer of energy with a high efficiency rate.

Read more: http://bit.ly/3bkse2u


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Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom” Receives BMW’s and UNAOC Intercultural Innovation Award

The Muslim-Jewish American “Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom” is one of the ten organizations awarded this year with the Intercultural Innovation Award, given by the BMW Group and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. The award focuses on selecting highly innovative grassroots projects that promote dialogue and intercultural understanding while making vital contributions to prosperity and peace in global societies. The organization went through a highly competitive selection process with over 1200 applications from 128 countries. 

The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom is a Muslim-Jewish grassroots organization focused on inter-faith engagement geared towards building the respect, trust, and relationships necessary to prevent and combat hate, negative stereotyping, and prejudice. As a movement of thousands of women and girls, the organization is changing the way the two faith groups view one another to celebrate their commonalities and respect their differences. 

During the course of the year, the selected projects, including the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, will have the opportunity to utilize expertise and resources from the BMW Group and the UNAOC. In addition to the monetary prize, the finalists will have training activities, workshops, and will become members of the “Intercultural Leaders” network where they will receive customized project support. 

The BMW Group has been working for many years now to promote intercultural understanding and dialogue. Beginning in 1997, the BMW Group Award for Intercultural Learning was presented to 40 innovative projects aimed at fostering a sustainable and open relationship between different communities. In 2010, the BMW Group began to award individual consultancy from company associates in addition to the prize money. In 2011, BMW started a partnership with the UNAOC where they established the Intercultural Innovation Award. This model of collaboration between the United Nations and the private sector creates a deeper impact while utilizing each partner’s expertise to grow and sustain each individual project. 


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MINI’s Accelerator, URBAN-X, Graduates Sixth Cohort

URBAN-X, a startup accelerator geared towards reimagining city life, recently graduated its sixth cohort of startup companies during an official ClimateWeek NYC event in Brooklyn. The startup accelerator invests $150,000 per company to build solutions to combat climate and related challenges. Read more: http://bit.ly/33hx9fJ


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Smart Vehicles Are Getting Smarter with BMW ChargeForward

With communication technology and smartphone connectivity, how much more intelligent can smart vehicles get? BMW i is taking eco-friendly technology to the next level with smart electric vehicle charging – making the most of renewable energy while keeping public electric grids stable.

Partnering with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) BMW – is testing its “ChargeForward” program in the Bay Area, with the goal of supporting utility grid balance of supply and demand and renewable energy goals. Launched in 2015, 350 owners of electrified vehicles in the Bay Area are utilizing ChargeForward and reducing their energy consumption in the process.

“Our target is to offer charging power generated with the lowest possible CO2 emissions at most attractive prices to drivers of our electric cars,” says Dr. Joachim Kolling, Head of BMW Group Mobility and Energy Services.

ChargeForward supports BMW’s holistic sustainability vision, which includes electric mobility and sustainability initiatives. Phase 1 of the ChargeForward pilot demonstrated the capability of the program to charge BMW i3 vehicles while lowering electricity operation and maintenance costs. By improving grid conditions, this program is ultimately expected to help California realize its climate goals and reduce the total cost of EV ownership for consumers. 

Through this program, which is supported by a California Energy Commission grant, BMW will further explore the strategic management of a vehicle’s charging over time and space, including home, public and workplace charging, by aligning charging with wholesale energy market data and renewable generation.

To learn more about the program, visit https://www.bmwchargeforward.com.


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Meet the Women of BMW

At the BMW Group, we rely on a diverse and inspired workforce to collaborate on the creative and future-focused solutions that drive innovation. That’s why, in celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re honoring the Women of BMW who make important contributions to our company, our customers and our communities.

These women, who are members of BMW Group teams across the United States and come from various backgrounds and fields of expertise, are valuable teammates and leaders in their roles within our organization.

We sat down with the first-annual Women of BMW honorees to find out about their careers, insights and what drives them each day. We invite you to take a moment and learn about these dedicated women and congratulate them with kudos on Twitter with #WomenOfBMW.


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LA CoMotion

In November, LA CoMotion brought together global mayors, leading technologists, public transit providers, as well as venture capitalists, start-ups, and mobility experts all with one shared vision—to transform every city in the world through the urban mobility revolution. The event included a Leadership Conference and a Mobility Festival, which provided attendees the opportunity to gain insights from mobility leaders and a first-hand immersive experience with the latest mobility tech.

MINI showcased the future of urban living and discussed its role and approach to solving urban mobility problems with NewCities.

MINI + Innovation

As an iconic urban brand, MINI has carried forward its roots as a visionary of efficient urban mobility that maximizes creative use of space to innovate beyond cars. MINI’s approach focuses on the future of electrified mobility, impactful design, urban living, and the important interplay between these areas.

MINI brought an Urban Living Cabin to the mobility festival to demonstrate how the creative use of space translates to real solutions for how we live, work and interact in our cities. Through URBAN-X, A/D/O, MINI Living, and MINI Fashion, the MINI brand is evolving into a lifestyle brand, investing in urban-tech startups, championing new approaches to urban living, and rethinking life, work, and play in urban environments.

Fireside Chat – The Human Connection

During LA CoMotion, BMW AG board member Peter Schwarzenbauer sat down for a fireside chat with Greg Lindsay, Senior Mobility Fellow at NewCities to discuss the human connection to future mobility. According to Mr. Schwarzenbauer, “The BMW Group has more responsibility than just creating cars. As a carmaker, the BMW Group sees its role in helping cities organize mobility to better serve citizens and provide service and product offerings across the entire mobility chain. The future shall be with zero accidents and zero emissions.” Watch the conversation in its entirety here.

No individual or group can revolutionize urban mobility on their own—forums like LA CoMotion play an important role in bringing together the movers and shakers of the mobility space and encouraging collaborative solutions.

One such collaboration is with the LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI), which was also supporting and partnering with LA CoMotion. Mr. Schwarzenbauer took the opportunity to meet with LACI President and CEO to tour the facility in close proximity to LA CoMotion and discuss BMW’s partnership and support for their work to accelerate transportation electrification and zero emissions goods movement. Learn more about BMW’s partnership with LACI here.

Caption: BMW AG board member Peter Schwarzenbauer touring the LA Cleantech Incubator with President and CEO Matt Petersen and Alex Mitchell.

Looking to the future of technology and mobility, Mr. Schwarzenbauer believes, “With view to augmented and virtual reality I believe humans will want to meet other people in person. Mobility can help create this room for human connection. Electrification can be highly emotional and fun.”


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Accelerate Zero Emissions by 2028 Olympics

The unprecedented Transportation Electrification Partnership—convened by the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) —released the 1.0 version of their Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap, setting the goal to move toward an additional 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution beyond current commitments—through accelerating transportation electrification—by the time the world arrives in Los Angeles for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“Using the deadline of the Olympics in 2028, we can use the LA region’s can do attitude along with California’s leadership to make things possible that were never before,” said Mary D. Nichols, Chair of CARB. “That’s why this partnership is so powerful and critically important to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, cleaning up our air, and leading the transition to a zero-emissions future.”

The Roadmap also includes targets for the deployment of charging infrastructure, electric buses and medium-duty electric delivery trucks, among other targets. The Roadmap will be a key tool that other cities and regions outside Greater Los Angeles can use to inform their own efforts to move towards zero-emissions, working to combat climate change in the manner inspired by the Paris Climate Accord.

“The BMW Group is excited to be part of the LACI Transportation Electrification Advisory Group helping to identify ways to reduce GHG emissions and air pollution by accelerating zero emission mobility,” said Lisa Errion Saums, the BMW Group’s Vice President of Government and External Affairs for the Americas. “The targets elaborated in the ZEV roadmap are very ambitious and require a substantive investment in infrastructure, additional financial and non-monetary incentives and continuous customer education and outreach. In order to reach these ambitious objectives joint efforts from all stakeholders involved are needed. LACI is bringing together an unprecedented partnership of local government leaders, utilities, regulators, start-ups and carmakers to work collaboratively and achieve regional transportation electrification faster. The BMW Group is committed to help transform mobility in L.A. to meet air quality and climate goals.”

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BMW i and TED join Next Visionaries

In the hopes of discovering the next big idea in mobility, BMW i and TED laid down a challenge. What would the future of mobility look like? There were no constraints on time frame or existing technology. The Next Visionaries project was conceived as a free form exercise in innovation and ideation with the goal to surface some truly breakthrough concepts.

Ideas poured in from around the world. Nearly 200 visionaries from 42 countries offered their own perspectives for how we will be moving in the near and distant futures. Presented exclusively by BMW i, the TED Salon curated talks around the theme Speed of Change. The session considered the rapid evolution and transformation taking place in cities worldwide and posed such questions as: How can we keep them humane places in which to live and work? What smart technologies can make transportation of people, goods and ideas flow efficiently? And how can architects and designers use materials and style to preserve and distinguish local cultures?

The jury went on to crown Sandra Phillips as the competition winner thanks to her vision of car sharing, which pays particular attention to social and extra-urban factors. “Like all the other finalists, Sandra Phillips has thought outside the box. Her concept is already quite advanced and also considers the aspect of social change,” says Hildegard Wortmann, Senior Vice President Brand BMW and member of the Next Visionaries jury, providing some background on the decision.

Nikolas Peter, Member of the Board of Management of the BMW Group, likewise emphasized the relevance of social aspects when it comes to shaping the future: “For more than 100 years, the BMW Group stands for visionary thinking and technological advancement. We always put people in the center when considering future development. For us, it is crucial that innovation first and foremost delivers added value for our customers, employees and society.”

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