BMW introduces wireless charging option

BMW has introduced a factory-fitted, integrated inductive charging feature for its 530e iPerformance PHEV. The system can be ordered now as a leasing option in Germany, and will subsequently be rolled out in the UK, the US, Japan and China.

The BMW Wireless Charging system consists of a GroundPad, which can be installed in a garage or outdoors, and a CarPad fixed to the underside of the vehicle. The energy transfer is conducted over a distance of around 8 cm. The system has a charging power of 3.2 kW and an efficiency rate of around 85 percent.

The GroundPad can be installed outdoors, and can be used regardless of weather conditions. It automatically switches off if any foreign matter is detected.

The system helps the driver to maneuver into the correct parking position using a WiFi connection between the charging station and vehicle. An overhead view of the car and its surroundings appears in the Control Display with colored lines to guide the driver. An icon shows when the correct parking position for inductive charging has been reached. This can deviate from the optimum position by up to 7 cm longitudinally and up to 14 cm laterally.


Source: BMW

  • cw

    The loss of efficiency makes these wireless charging systems unacceptable to me. 85% just to not have to touch a plug? But I suspect most folks will not care and like it.

  • Bill Pollock

    Surely that 12ga x 2 wire (being generous…it looks more like 14ga co-ax) is not intended to carry enough current to charge a car in any reasonable time. Not to mention that it is hanging out there for any dropped shovel to cut. Our eCodes would require a 200mm buried metal conduit minimum, and at least 8ga x 3 for reasonable current.

    • Bill Pollock

      On the point of centering….what is to stop them from building in a 200 mm X-Y worm-gear driven self centering device internal to the car side receiver container?
      Think etch-a-sketch.

  • Dumitru Bojiuc

    Definitely, this is the future of charging any EV batteries. One reason would be the no preferred standard connectors and the whole mess around it, including the easy access and so on. Regarding the wireless charging efficiency versus through cable and the related connectors, let’s talk in few years from now about that. I am sure the inventors have already figured out that too. 🙂