Wireless charging technology has been around for a little while, but it has grown in interest the past couple of years. For phones that is. BMW, one of the car makers that offers wireless charging in its vehicles is taking it a step further. It’s bringing a wireless charging pad for cars. Yes, to charge your car.
The big charging pad is made for the 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid car. It’s pretty cool, bringing the convenience of cable-less charging to vehicle owners.
The pad connects to a 220V outlet, while sensors on the car helps you steer to the right spot.
The BMW 530e can charge up in about 3.5 hours at 3.2kW of power. The cool thing is, this has similar charge speeds to plugging it in via conventional cord.
The technology is still in testing and under evaluation in the US and Canada.
BMW is said to have plans to launch the wireless charging system early next year in other countries, specifically for the 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid sedan.
Other plug-in hybrids like the 330e, 740e, and X5, as well as full-electric i3 and i8 cars will have support for the wireless charging system in the future.
We’re still several years away from a commercial rollout, still, BMW will be one of the first manufacturers to offer this feature for its vehicles.
While we’re on the subject, a company called Plugless has an inductive charging technology to wirelessly charge an electric vehicle (EV). Its Wireless Charging Station uses tow aligned magnetic coils to send power to the EV over an air gap.
The Plugless system supports several EV makes, covering nearly half the North American EV market, which is roughly a quarter of a million EV drivers in the US alone.
Its Gen 1 System can charge up the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt with a power output of 3.3kW to 7.2kW.
Meanwhile, its Gen 2 System supports the Tesla Model S and BMW i3. It has a continuous charging out of 7.2kW.
Separately, Qualcomm has its Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) system for EVs. It quick-charging WEVC system supports power transfers from 3.7kW up to 22kW with a single primary base pad. It has an impressive wireless power transfer efficiency of 90%+.
Its technology has been used at the FIA Formula E Championship on the all-electric formula race cars.
Wireless charging for vehicles is still in its nascent stage, but the reality is sooner than most of us will expect.
Via The Verge