The BMW i3 has been a popular electric vehicle choice since its launch in 2013 thanks to its fun-to-drive performance, impressive electric range, and unique urban-centric design. However, like any EV owner, i3 drivers need to be able to easily charge their vehicle when staying at hotels during road trips. Fortunately, more and more hotels are installing EV charging stations to accommodate their eco-conscious guests.
In this article, we’ll highlight the top EV hotel charging stations compatible with the BMW i3. We’ll provide an overview of each charger along with pros, cons, key specs, and other considerations to help you find the best EV charging experience during your next hotel stay.
Chargepoint Express 250
The Chargepoint Express 250 is one of the most common Level 2 EV charging stations found at hotels across North America and Europe. This unit provides up to 7.2kW of power output, which can add about 25 miles of range per hour to an i3.
It’s designed for simple plug-in charging via the industry-standard J1772 connector, making it compatible with all EVs in North America, including the BMW i3. The Chargepoint Express 250 is hardwired for permanent installation and has an all-weather outdoor-rated enclosure.
Many hotels provide the Chargepoint Express 250 for complimentary guest charging, while others require payment via the Chargepoint app. This charger features a rugged touchscreen interface for operating the station and managing payment. Overall, the Chargepoint Express 250 is a convenient, powerful, and widespread charging option for i3 owners.
Compatible with i3 via J1772 plug
7.2kW output adds ~25 miles per hour
Rugged outdoor-rated enclosure
Touchscreen and Chargepoint app for access
May require payment at some hotel locations
Hardwired installation limits placement flexibility
Tesla Wall Connector
While Tesla’s exclusive Supercharger network is intended for fast charging during road trips, many hotels have installed Tesla Wall Connectors for overnight guest charging. This provides an extremely convenient option for Tesla owners, including BMW i3 TESLA Edition vehicles with Tesla’s modified powertrain.
The Tesla Wall Connector provides up to 11.5kW of power output when installed with the appropriate electrical capacity. For Model S and Model 3 Tesla vehicles, this can add over 35 miles of range per hour. With the i3’s smaller battery size, expect to add about 25 miles of range per hour.
The Tesla Wall Connector uses Tesla’s proprietary charging connector for a high-speed charging experience. Like all Tesla products, it has an elegant, minimalist design made with quality materials. The major downside is that it’s only compatible with Tesla vehicles.
Up to 11.5kW for rapid 25 mph per hour charging
Sleek, high-quality Tesla design
Convenient for i3 TESLA Edition and Tesla owners
Only compatible with Tesla vehicles
Requires more involved hardwired installation
Electrify America DC Fast Charger
While most hotels only offer Level 2 charging, some hotels are beginning to install DC fast charging stations for their guests. Electrify America is one of the leading DC fast charging networks expanding across the USA and Europe. Their stations can output between 50kW to 350kW.
The i3 is limited to 50kW charging, which can still add about 90 miles of range in only 30 minutes. This makes DC fast charging ideal when you just need a quick boost before getting back on the road during a trip in your i3.
Electrify America stations use the Combined Charging Standard (CCS) connector, which is compatible with the i3’s DC fast charge port. As public DC fast chargers, they require payment via the Electrify America app or RFID card. Still, having ultra-fast charging access at your hotel is incredibly convenient.
Add 90 miles in 30 minutes
CCS connector matches i3’s DC port
More hotels adding fast charging options
Limited to 50kW charging speed
Payment required to use station
Minimal locations currently
EVmatch Commercial Charging Station
EVmatch is a company that provides premium commercial charging stations designed specifically for hospitality locations like hotels and other public venues. Their simple “MatchBox” charger uses the J1772 connector to deliver 7.2kW Level 2 charging for EVs like the BMW i3.
It features an integrated 17-inch LCD touchscreen that can display branding, advertising, or other messaging for the hotel while also providing an easy interface for guests. The EVmatch system allows full-control and access management via the cloud. Hotels can choose to provide charging as an amenity, build it into the room rate, or require payment.
Overall, the EVmatch system combines convenience, power, and flexibility in a sleek charging station form factor that accentuates upscale hospitality locations.
7.2kW J1772 charging for 25 mph added per hour
Large integrated touchscreen display
Complete cloud-based access and control
Custom branding and access options
Requires hardwired installation
Higher hardware cost than basic Level 2 stations
Volta Level 2 Charging Station
Volta Charging specializes in advertising-supported EV charging stations located in high-visibility areas like hotels, restaurants, and shops. Their stations feature large interactive digital displays that show imagery, promotions, or ads from sponsors.
For drivers, the benefit is getting free EV charging while shopping or during your hotel stay. The Level 2 Volta stations output around 6kW to 7kW, allowing i3 drivers to add 20-25 miles of range per hour.
The Volta charging unit has a slim, modern profile with the large illuminated screens designed to catch attention. The J1772 cable can reach vehicles parked front-first or backward in a spot. Overall, Volta stations deliver solid free Level 2 charging in exchange for viewing sponsored content.
Free J1772 charging up to 7kW
Sleek, eye-catching design
Interactive digital ads and content
Lower power output than premium chargers
Limited to sponsored locations
Hotel guests driving the BMW i3 have several excellent EV charging station options for conveniently and quickly recharging their battery overnight or while parked. Mainstream Level 2 stations like the Chargepoint Express 250 provide 7kW+ charging through an affordable, widely compatible J1772 plug.
For Tesla drivers, the Tesla Wall Connector offers proprietary high-speed charging up to 11kW. New DC fast charging stations from Electrify America enable you to add 90+ miles of range in just 30 minutes. Premium stations like EVmatch allow hotels to provide branded charging experiences with complete access control.
The key for i3 drivers is looking for hotels that offer the most convenient and fastest chargers that fit their vehicle’s connection type. With more hotels adding EV charging amenities, reputable stations like the ones profiled here will help ensure you can spend more time enjoying your stay and keep your BMW i3 battery powered up for the journey ahead.
Vendor Spotlight: RelayPro Hotel panic buttons are a new requirement for hotels, but they don’t have to be a new expense. RelayPro was recently approved by Marriott, IHG and Choice hotels and has been installed in nearly 2,000 properties. RelayPro is BOTH a 4G/Wi-Fi walkie talkie and a cutting-edge panic button with VOICE communication.