We’ve seen several prototypes of wireless inductive charging systems for EVs, but no one has managed to introduce the system at a large scale. Well it looks like BMW is ready to bring the technology to the masses, since it will introduce its wireless inductive charging system this summer.
According to Car magazine and Autoblog, BMW’s wireless inductive charging system will go into production in July and will be available as a lease option for the 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid. Buyers won’t be able to buy the wireless charging mat, but instead will only be able to lease it and in the U.S. it will only be available initially in California.
How does the system work? You can think of the system as a larger version of the wireless inductive system that wirelessly charges your toothbrush or cell phone. BMW’s floor mat measures about 35 inches long and 31.5 inches wide and 0.8 inches thick. The system sits on the floor and has to be plugged into a 220-volt outlet. The mat houses a primary coil that transmits 3.2 kilowatts of power to a secondary coil at the bottom of the 530e plug-in hybrid. It takes about 3.5 hours to fully charge, which is about 30 minutes longer than using a charging cable.
To operate it, the driver uses the infotainment screen to help position the 530e over the charging mat and once positioned over the mat, charging can be started by simply pressing a button inside the car. The charging mat can work inside or outside and has the ability to automatically turn off it detects another object is in the way, like a cat.