BMW launch world's first wireless EV charging system
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BMW has announced an important milestone for plug-in full-electric and hybrid vehicles with the launch of the world's first factory-fitted wireless charging system.
The BMW Wireless Charging option can now be ordered as a leasing-option for the BMW 530e iPerformance sedan in certain markets, with the first wireless-ready vehicles due for production in July.
BMW Wireless Charging enables electric energy to be transmitted to a vehicle’s battery without any cables when the vehicle is parked over a base pad.
The pad can be installed in a garage with the charging process starting as soon as the sedan has been parked in position, without any further input from the driver.
Read our full BMW 530e iPerformance road test.
BMW say the launch of this technology is an important step to creating infrastructure that will make charging the battery of an electrified simpler than refuelling a car with at a conventional gas station.
The optional BMW Wireless Charging pack includes an Inductive Charging Station (GroundPad) and a 'CarPad' fixed to the underside of the vehicle.
The GroundPad is capable of transferring of energy to the CarPad over a distance of around eight centimetres. As the GroundPad generates a magnetic field, the CarPad induces the electric current which then charges the sedan's battery.
The system has a charging power of 3.2 kW, which can fully charge the BMW 530e iPerformance's battery in around three-and-a-half hours. Once the battery is fully charged, the system switches off automatically.
BMW Wireless Charging also helps the driver to manoeuvre into the correct parking position. Via a WiFi connection a communication between the charging station and vehicle is established. An overhead view of the car and its surroundings then appears in the Control Display with coloured lines that help guide the driver while parking. A graphic icon shows when the correct parking position for inductive charging has been reached.
The GroundPad can also be installed outdoors, where it may be used regardless of the weather conditions. All components that conduct electricity are protected from rain and snow, and driving over the GroundPad will not damage it in any way.
BMW say its Wireless Charging system uses the same inductive charging technology already used for supplying power to mobile phones, with the breakthrough coming in the ability to now recharge the high-voltage batteries in electrified vehicles.
Initially the charging system will only be available for cars sold in Germany, subsequently followed by the UK, the US, Japan and China.