A new wireless charging system has been launched by BMW i division for plug-in hybrid vehicles. This type of inductive charging is the first of its kind and BMW says that the production for BMW wireless charging will begin in July but pre-orders are already open
This charging option is in Germany for now but will be available in the UK, US, Japan, and China in the next rollouts. The system uses inductive charging through electromagnetic fields in order to charge a high-voltage battery in vehicles without the use of any cables.
There is a base pad that is placed on the ground and is plugged into a power source. When the vehicle is parked over the top of the pad, it begins inductive charging the batteries without the need of connecting any wires. The drivers can park the car for charging anytime and drive away whenever they want.
This charging option will be offered on BMW plug-in vehicles, starting from the 530e. The owner can install the GroundPad wherever he wishes based on where the vehicle will be parked most often. According to BMW, the GroundPad is waterproof and can work in all atmospheric conditions.
There is a CarPad that is fixed on the underside of the vehicle and acts as a receiver for the inductive charging. The system has a charging power of 3.2 kW as explained by BMW. This makes a charging time of 3.5 hours in the 530e iPerformance with an efficiency of 85%.
The communication between the two pads is conducted over secure WiFI and the driver is guided into the correct position by an overhead view of the car with coloured lines showing the best placement for maximum efficiency. There is room for 7 cm deviation longitudinally and 14 cm laterally.
All the radiation is held underneath the car and does not affect the driver or passengers. There are sensors present and they automatically shut off the charging if some foreign matter is detected on the GroundPad. Pretty cool, isn’t it?