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BMW launches wireless charging

BMW with charger

BMW’s new charging pad has an efficiency rating of 85%

BMW i has launched a factory-fitted, fully integrated inductive charging facility for the high-voltage battery in a plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Like many wireless charging solutions being developed by other companies, BMW’s wireless charging utilises a base pad over which the vehicle parks in order to transmit electric energy from the mains supply to the vehicle’s high-voltage battery without any cables.

The BMW Wireless Charging option can be ordered now as a leasing-option for the BMW 530e iPerformance.

BMW Wireless Charging consists of an inductive charging station (GroundPad) and a secondary vehicle component (CarPad) fixed to the underside of the vehicle.

The contactless transfer of energy between the GroundPad and CarPad is conducted over a distance of around eight centimetres. The GroundPad generates a magnetic field. In the CarPad, an electric current is induced, which then charges the high-voltage battery.

With a charging power of 3.2 kW, it can charge the high-voltage batteries found in a BMW 530e iPerformance in about three and a half hours. It has an efficiency rate of around 85%, according to BMW.

Once the battery is fully charged, the system switches off automatically.

The system also features a WiFi connection to help the driver manoeuvre their vehicle over the charger by providing information about the station’s surroundings and adding guidelines on the vehicle’s control display.

The vehicle’s position over the charger can deviate from the optimum position by up to seven centimetres longitudinally and up to 14 centimetres laterally.

“The launch of this technology sees the BMW Group move another step closer to an infrastructure that will make charging the battery of an electrified vehicle even simpler than refuelling a car with a conventional engine,” the company said in a statement.

The company aims to start production in July. The product will be offered first in Germany, follow by the UK, US, Japan and China.

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