Monday, May 28, 2018

BMW launches wireless plug-in hybrid charging for German market, with other regions soon to follow.

Photo: BMW Group PressClub Global.
The BMW Group announced today that a touchless charging station is now available as a lease option in Germany for the BMW 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid. According to BMW, the launch in Germany will be followed by offerings in the UK, the US, Japan and China.

Touchless charging has been a thing for a while now, for devices ranging from electric toothbrushes to smartphones. In the electric car space, automakers and aftermarket accessory manufacturers have advanced wireless technology for electric vehicles and hybrids to various levels. For example, Evatran, a U.S. company based in Richmond, Virginia, on their website claims status as manufacturer of "the world's leading autonomous charging station," with their Plugless product.

BMW's wireless charging solution enables electric energy from the main supply to be transmitted to a vehicle’s high-voltage battery without any cables when the vehicle is positioned over a base pad, which can be installed in a setting such as a residential garage. The charging process starts autonomously as soon as the vehicle is parked in position over the charging pad.

Called a GroundPad, BMW's 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. According to BMW, the GroundPad can be used indoors or outdoors, regardless of weather conditions.

Through WiFi communication with the vehicle, the system also assists the user with proper positioning over the pad when parking the BMW 530e iPerformance.

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