BMW Cuts The Cord In Wireless EV Charging Pilot Program

BMW will pilot wireless charging of the BMW 530e plug-in hybrid sedan in California.

BMW will pilot wireless charging of the BMW 530e plug-in hybrid sedan in California.

BMW

Charging an electric vehicle is a fairly easy straightforward process: after you park and exit the vehicle, you take the charger and plug it into the vehicle's port. And yet, people forget to do this frequently. BMW is removing that friction point in plug-in hybrid vehicles, and will test wirelessly charging them.

Before you get too excited about the prospect of buying a BMW equipped with wireless charging components, it's just a pilot program and is limited to residents with an enclosed parking garage in certain counties in California. And it's only for the BMW 530e plug-in hybrid sedan.

Customers that qualify for the program will lease one of 200 vehicles with a ChargePad fixed to the vehicle's undercarriage for 36 months. BMW is contracting with Qmerit to install a charging pad in the residence, and will cover all costs for the installation, maintenance, and removal of equipment.

The charging process requires no intervention from the driver. As the vehicle approaches the wireless charger, colored lines and an overhead view of the car on the display screen will help guide the car into the correct spot, and alert them when the correct parking position for inductive charging has been reached. As soon as the driver presses the Start/Stop button, charging will begin.

The GroundPad creates a magnetic field that is limited to the vehicle undercarriage and induce a current that the ChargePad will use to charge the battery. When it's fully charged, the system shuts off automatically.

BMW says the wireless charging technology has an 85% efficiency, and its 3.2 kw charging power will take 3.5 hours to fully charge the 9.2 kwh battery.

Besides being a lot easier, there are other advantages to going plugless. By taking driver effort out of the equation, there's a better chance the battery will be fully charged the next time they get in the vehicle. There's also one less thing cluttering the garage and creating a trip hazard as the charging cable stretches across the floor, not to mention the reduced chance of damaging the port by driving over the cable when it's plugged in.

If you're not in the market for a BMW 530e or don't want to wait for the feature to become commercially available in your state, you can always install an aftermarket wireless charging solution. But costs won't be covered by the manufacturer.




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Charging an electric vehicle is a fairly easy straightforward process: after you park and exit the vehicle, you take the charger and plug it into the vehicle's port. And yet, people forget to do this frequently. BMW is removing that friction point in plug-in hybrid vehicles, and will test wirelessly charging them.

Before you get too excited about the prospect of buying a BMW equipped with wireless charging components, it's just a pilot program and is limited to residents with an enclosed parking garage in certain counties in California. And it's only for the BMW 530e plug-in hybrid sedan.

Customers that qualify for the program will lease one of 200 vehicles with a ChargePad fixed to the vehicle's undercarriage for 36 months. BMW is contracting with Qmerit to install a charging pad in the residence, and will cover all costs for the installation, maintenance, and removal of equipment.

The charging process requires no intervention from the driver. As the vehicle approaches the wireless charger, colored lines and an overhead view of the car on the display screen will help guide the car into the correct spot, and alert them when the correct parking position for inductive charging has been reached. As soon as the driver presses the Start/Stop button, charging will begin.

The GroundPad creates a magnetic field that is limited to the vehicle undercarriage and induce a current that the ChargePad will use to charge the battery. When it's fully charged, the system shuts off automatically.

BMW says the wireless charging technology has an 85% efficiency, and its 3.2 kw charging power will take 3.5 hours to fully charge the 9.2 kwh battery.

Besides being a lot easier, there are other advantages to going plugless. By taking driver effort out of the equation, there's a better chance the battery will be fully charged the next time they get in the vehicle. There's also one less thing cluttering the garage and creating a trip hazard as the charging cable stretches across the floor, not to mention the reduced chance of damaging the port by driving over the cable when it's plugged in.

If you're not in the market for a BMW 530e or don't want to wait for the feature to become commercially available in your state, you can always install an aftermarket wireless charging solution. But costs won't be covered by the manufacturer.




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