Germans are known for their groundbreaking innovations and ideas. That’s why the automotive sector is fast forward in the country. The latest outbreak of innovation comes from the BMW side. A Wireless Charging system for their electric cars. It is the world’s first form of factory-fitted, fully integrated inductive charging facility for plug-in-hybrid vehicles. BMW Wireless Charging option can be ordered now as a leasing-option for the BMW 530e iPerformance in Germany, which is subsequently followed by the UK, the US, Japan and China.
The contactless transmission of electricity works with the help of electromagnetic field. The wireless charging system enables electric energy from the main supply to be transmitted to vehicle’s high-voltage battery when the vehicle is positioned over an inductive charging station (GroundPad). A secondary vehicle component, which is a ‘CarPad’, fixed underside of the vehicle. This pad can be installed in a garage or wherever the vehicle is being parked. The charging process started as soon as the vehicle has been parked in the position. The contactless transfer of energy between the GroundPad and CarPad is conducted over a distance of around eight centimetres. While GroundPad generates a magnetic field, an electric current is induced which charges the high-voltage battery. This will make charging a battery vehicle even quicker and simpler than refueling a conventional petrol or diesel car.
This same inductive charging technology is widely used for charging electronic devices like mobile phone, trimmers and electric toothbrushes. The BMW system has a charging power of 3.2 kW, enabling the high-voltage batteries on board the BMW 530e iPerformance to be fully charged in around three-and-a-half hours. BMW Wireless Charging also helps the driver to maneuver into the correct parking position. Via a WiFi connection, a communication between the charging station and vehicle is being established. An overhead view of the car and its surroundings then appears in the Control Display with coloured lines that help guide the driver while parking. A graphic icon shows when the correct parking position for inductive charging has been reached. This can deviate from the optimum position by up to seven centimetres longitudinally and up to 14 centimetres laterally.