After years of rumours, BMW have announced a world-first: wireless charging.
Customers purchasing the BMW 530e iPerformance will have the option to lease a fully-functioning, wireless charging facility.
Working in a similar fashion to a wireless phone charger, electric energy from the mains supply is transmitted to the vehicle’s high voltage battery when the vehicle is positioned over the charger.
The charging unit consists of a ‘GroundPad’ and a ‘CarPad’. The GroundPad is an Inductive Charging Station which is installed either outside or in a garage, and the CarPad is fitted to the underside of the car. The GroundPad generates a magnetic field, and in the CarPad an electric current is induced, which charges the battery.
Using the unit’s 3.2 kW charging power, BMW claim that the car can be charged fully in around 3.5 hours.
The ability to install this in the owner’s garage means the car can immediately start charging as soon as it’s parked above it, eliminating the need to plug a cable into the vehicle
Production of the wireless system begins in July, and will be available first in Germany, followed by the UK, US, Japan and China.
With this from BMW, and the announcement that Sweden are trialling a road that charges your car whilst you drive, the race for who will find the ideal electric car charging solution is well and truly on.