BMW i Ventures has invested in German electric vehicle charging start-up HeyCharge, whose proprietary system enables EV-charging without an internet connection.

Traditionally, EV chargers require an app or RFID card and a proper internet connection to begin activation. Yet most underground garages do not have an internet access point, or the ability to install such boxes.

Chris Cardé, Founder and CEO, HeyCharge, first recognised the problem after bringing home his first electric car to a Munich apartment building.

With 56% of Germany and 46% of Europe living in apartment buildings, and 37% of renters in the US, this is an obvious next step for the expansion of EV charging stations, but the current reliance on internet connectivity is holding scalability back. That’s why HeyCharge has made its mission to help get a cheap, commercial, scalable solution to this section of the population.

HeyCharge’s patent-pending technology, SecureCharge, eliminates the need for an on-site internet connection, allowing the app and chargers to communicate directly over bluetooth with the HeyCharge App. This maximizes availability of the system while minimizing latency between the phone and the charger. When combined with Access Point, HeyCharge’s simple and effective hardware component, total costs can be reduced up to 80% in buildings.

As the number of EVs on the road increases, there will be a large need for a scalable charging option that fits into consumers’ everyday lives. “The rapid growth of the electric vehicle market in coming years will necessitate greater infrastructure build-out of charging solutions around the globe,” said Kasper Sage, Managing Partner, BMW i Ventures.

“HeyCharge is the first company to enable EV-charging without internet connection, which is a key enabler to cover untapped white-spots. With HeyCharge’s technology, it becomes attractive to install chargers in locations that before would have not been commercially viable.”

“In addition to our full wallbox, the HeyCharge Access Point is a bring your own wallbox device that places the bare minimum for access control and consumption invoicing on the building side, allowing for a fast and easy installation that can be made by any electrician in minutes,” explains Cardé. “We are excited to use this investment to scale our product globally and bring low-cost charging options to consumers. HeyCharge’s solution makes EV charging not just scalable but also more cost-effective and accessible so that easy EV charging is made possible wherever you live or work,” he adds.