Bet not too many knew BMW had its own wireless charging system, and now the company says it will offer it to its US customers.
We’ve been hearing for years that inductive charging or wireless charging systems are the way to go. But so far, only a handful companies offer wireless charging. It’s funny to think that a technology so prevalent as to be found in almost all bathroom charging electric toothbrushes is taking so long to make it into EVs and PHEVs. So what’s the holdup?
Efficiency. Cost. Accuracy and reliability. These may be some of the key hurdles and sources of delay, but BMW is apparently ready to push forward with its option nonetheless.
OK, so, finally no more untangling a charging cord when your EV needs a charge? BMW is offering its Wireless Charging Pad as an option for the 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid. The pad should be available in the US by the end of 2018. The system will use a base pad as the primary coil. It can be installed in a garage or outdoors. The secondary coil is on the underside of the vehicle.
Before you get too excited about the deployment of the charging system, however, BMW is being very pragmatic and cautious about its use. The company is doing a small test trial in order to better understand how its customers will use the technology — and if they will want to use it all.
Technically speaking, the wireless system charges at 3.2 kWh. BMW says it will completely recharge the PHEV’s battery in 3½ hours. It needs to be connected to a 220-volt (240V) outlet to work. BMW’s infotainment detects the pad as soon as the car parks over it, and the driver starts the charging at that point.
According to BMW Blog, the BMW 530e is just the test trial before more models will be offered with the charging package. BMW says the price hasn’t yet been fixed, but should be slightly above the current $900 BMW i Wallbox Pro. It was shown at the Detroit Auto Show.