Last year, we brought you a news story all about BMW’s announcement that they would be bringing wireless vehicle charging to the masses. In a new press release, sent out earlier this week, the brand has now confirmed that it is officially coming in July of this year!
This offering of wireless technology will make BMW the first car manufacturer to offer a consumer wireless charging solution. Initially available solely with the new plug-in hybrid 530e iPerformance, the simple system consists of little more than a charging pad (named the GroundPad) on the floor of the garage or parking space in which the car is kept.
In order to initialise charging, the car’s birds-eye-view camera system and front facing camera guide the driver into place, so that the GroundPad is placed perfectly underneath the 530e’s CarPad (a charging pad attached to the underneath of the car). Once in place, the driver simply needs to turn off the vehicle for charging to automatically begin.
The new induction pads then use an alternating magnetic field between a coil inside the GroundPad itself and a coil integrated into the car’s CarPad to wirelessly charge the battery without any point of contact.
Utilising a 3.2kW current, the 530e’s battery can be wirelessly charged from empty to full in around three-and-a-half hours.
BMW say that their new wireless charging solution is even easier than refuelling – requiring you simply to drive into a certain position, we tend to find ourselves agreeing. The brand have announced that the new technology will be launched primarily in Germany but subsequent launches in the UK, USA, Japan and China will follow shortly after.