BMW has done what no other car manufacturer has been able to do: engineer a wireless charging station for one of its electric vehicles. Designed for its BMW 5 Series iPerformance EV, the oversized charging pad connects to a 220-volt outlet and is capable of charging the 530e hybrid in 3.5 hours without a cable. This is the true definition of disruptive technology.
BMW Wireless Ground Pad
With manufacturers focused on developing the next-best-thing in wireless technology for smartphones, like the Pi Wireless Charger, BMW is hoping to provide its drivers with an amenity that is poised to disrupt the entire electric vehicle industry. The convenience-factor is off the charts and the power capabilities – on par with a Tesla PowerWall 2 Inverter. Equipped with a 9.4 kWh battery, BMW’s 530e iPerformance can go from an empty battery to fully powered up in 3.5 hours at an impressive 3.2 kW of power. Compared to the plug-in outlet, BMW’s wireless pad yields the same level of power.
Built-in Sensor Technology
Now for the coolest part of BMW newest wireless technology. With built-in sensor technology capable of communicating with the charging station, drivers just need to follow the blue lines on the center of the display and guide their BMW above the ground pad. As soon as a green code appears and you position yourself directly above the charging plate, your car is ready to receive a full charging blast. When you switch off the ignition, the charging starts automatically.
“As soon as the vehicle is positioned over the base pad and the charging process begins, an alternating magnetic field is generated which transmits electricity between the coils,” explained BMW.
So this new charging pad will all the new rage for electric vehicles owners? Unfortunately, the wireless station won’t be available in the U.S. for some time. A BMW North America spokesperson told The Verge, “the technology is still in the testing and evaluation phase for the U.S. and Canada – still needing UL approval as well.” For other countries, BMW plans to unveil its charging station in the next year (only on its 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid sedan).
So how does the technology work?
According to BMW’s launch video, “the primary coil in the wireless charging station generates an electromagnetic field. From there, the secondary coil in the car then transfers the energy to the high voltage battery pack.” BMW claims that its charging station is easier than refueling and exponentially more convenient than plugging in your electric car.
“The electricity is transmitted without cables or contacts across a gap of several centimeters, at a charge rate of 3.3 kW,” said BMW. “The high-voltage battery of the BMW i8 can be fully recharged in less than two hours using this system – which is approximately the same amount of time required with a wired connection.”
BMW hopes to integrate its wireless innovation into its line of PHEV’s (330e, 740e, and the X5). This also includes the i3 and the i8 all-electric vehicles but at a later date. Without a specific launch date scheduled and no specific price determined, there are still some details BMW needs to iron out before bringing its charging pad to market. But make no mistake, BMW’s wireless vehicle charging station will be grabbing the attention of the electric vehicle and consumer technology industries worldwide.
Looking at the specs on BMWs site you end up with
- Electric motor output: 83 kW/ 113 hp
- 2.0 liter 4-cylinder motor output: 135 kW/ 184 hp
- Overall output: 185 kW/ 252 hp and peak torque at 420 NM (310 lb-ft)
- CO2 emissions are at 44 g/km
- Driving Range: 650 km (404 miles)
- Electric Driving Range: 50 km (31 miles)
- 0-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds and a top speed of 235 km/h
- Battery pack capacity of 9.2 kWh.
- Fuel economy: 1.9 L per 100 km (148.7 mpg)
In June 2014, a study by Frost & Sullivan estimated that aftermarket inductive charging systems like BMW’s will cost about 30-percent more than a plug-in system.
About BMW’s 530e iPerformance
- Up to an EPA rated 71 MPGe.330e iPerformance
- Charge when you want with a regular cable
- eBoost technology for more torque and instant acceleration
BMW has one goal – to build the best performance vehicles possible. So BMW took the advanced dual-engine technology engineered for the BMW i8 and created BMW iPerformance. These evolved BMW vehicles are faster off the line and more efficient than ever. Whether you charge up or fuel up, BMW iPerformance is the epitome of The Ultimate Driving Machine®.