BMW Offers The First Factory-Fitted Wireless Inductive Charger For The 530e iPerformance

Electrified vehicles will become more mainstream when they’re more convenient to charge up than fueling a conventional automobile with an internal-combustion engine. And BMW is taking a big step towards that goal with the launch of its wireless charging system.

Available initially for the 530e iPerformance PHEV, the wireless charging matt does away with the plug-in part of the plug-in hybrid equation. Just park your 5 Series on top of the charger, and the system does the rest. It works pretty much like a wireless charging pad for a phone or electric toothbrush, but obviously on a much larger scale.

The system encompasses a GroundPad placed on the driveway (or wherever the car’s being parked) and a CarPad affixed to the underside of the vehicle. The two devices create a magnetic field at a distance of about eight centimeters (3 inches), and charge at 3.2 kW to fill up the battery in just three and a half hours. No plugs, not even any buttons are required to be pressed. No fuss, no muss.

Production starts in July. The wireless charging option is being offered first in Germany under lease, but will soon follow to the US, UK, Japan, and China. And you can bet there’ll be more models offered with the system in the near future, too.

The automaker touts this as the world’s first “factory-fitted, fully integrated inductive charging facility for the high-voltage battery in a plug-in hybrid vehicle.” This in addition to the plug-in fast-chargers that BMW’s Designworks studio is designing for the Ionity joint venture (with Daimler, Volkswagen, and Ford) for implementation across Europe.

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  • eye.surgeon

    Aftermarket Tesla products do this also, but it’s much slower and much less efficient than hardwire charging. When owners realize they’re paying for 30% more electricity for the convenience of skipping a 10 second plug-in when they get home, they will likely not opt for this.

  • TheBelltower

    3 1/2 hours to charge a car wirelessly? Compare that to plugging it in the conventional way, which would take less than an hour to charge this small battery.

    Unless you are getting the energy from solar, this is horribly wasteful. This is not progress.

    • Dennis James

      When WiFi first appeared, its speed was much lower than the cable networking. And yet, look where we are today. Convenience wins every time.

      • Sébastien

        It’s a bit different, I’ve yet to see a car used on the couch etc 😀

        • Six_Tymes

          lol

      • Six_Tymes

        “look where we are today”. massive cancer rate increases, but yes you are correct in saying convenience wins every time, its a shame in some instances.

      • Status

        Wifi is still slower than hardwire connections.

    • Six_Tymes

      oh, less efficient? meaning a loss in transfer? if yes, then you are right, not progress, just convenience

  • WHY NOT PUT THIS ON THEIR FULL ELECTRIC CARS FIRST?

  • Six_Tymes

    very interesting Great Idea. everyone else is kicking themselves and thinking, why didnt we think of that! after all, the idea is most likley right in front of them, their phone.

  • eb110americana

    With today’s semi-autonomous systems, we’d be better off with a car that parked itself directly over a charging port that then articulated to plug itself in automatically. I could see this wireless system being beneficial if built into parking spaces though.

  • I seriously dont understand how these wireless charging thing works.

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