BMW Introduces Factory-Fitted Wireless Charging For 530e iPerformance

JUN 16 2018 BY MARK KANE 8

BMW, as promised a few years ago, finally introduces wireless charging as a factory-fitted option to the market.

BMW 530e iPerformance wireless charging

At first, the 3.2 kW system with 85% efficiency over the ≈8 cm gap will be offered for the BMW 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid.

Read Also – Plugless Chargers Have Now Provided 1 Million Hours Of Wireless Charging

Production will start in July, so customers will be able to order 530e with the system with vehicle component (CarPad) and installation of the a Inductive Charging Station (GroundPad) at home.

Because the system is fully integrated within the car, a WiFi connection enables it to display an overhead view of the car and its surroundings in the Control Display with colored lines that help guide the driver while parking over the GroundPad – deviation from the optimum position can be up to 7 cm longitudinally and up to 14 cm laterally.

Initially, sales will begin in Germany, followed by the UK, the US, Japan and China. Pricing has not yet been announced.

BMW 530e iPerformance wireless charging

More in the press release:

Electromagnetic field is the key to contactless transmission of electricity.

BMW 530e iPerformance wireless charging

BMW Wireless Charging enables electric energy from the mains supply to be transmitted to a vehicle’s high-voltage battery without any cables – when the vehicle is positioned over a base pad. This can be installed in the garage, for example, and the charging process started as soon as the vehicle has been parked in position (without any further input from the driver). The launch of this technology sees the BMW Group move another step closer to an infrastructure that will make charging the battery of an electrified vehicle even simpler than refuelling a car with a conventional engine.

Available to customers as an option, BMW Wireless Charging consists of a Inductive Charging Station (GroundPad), which can be installed either in a garage or outdoors, and a secondary vehicle component (CarPad) fixed to the underside of the vehicle. The contactless transfer of energy between the GroundPad and CarPad is conducted over a distance of around eight centimetres. The GroundPad generates a magnetic field. In the CarPad an electric current is induced, which then charges the high-voltage battery.

The 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. And with an efficiency rate of around 85 per cent, charging with the BMW Wireless Charging system is very efficient, too.

Inductive charging: even easier than refuelling.

BMW 530e iPerformance wireless charging

BMW Wireless Charging employs the same inductive charging technology already widely used for supplying power to devices such as mobile phones and electric toothbrushes to now also recharge the high-voltage batteries in electrified vehicles. The principal benefit here is the unrivalled ease of use, as drivers no longer need to hook up their plug-in hybrid car using a cable in order to replenish its energy reserves. Instead, as soon as the vehicle has been parked in the correct position above the inductive Charging Station, followed by a simple push of the Start/Stop button, the charging process is initiated. Once the battery is fully charged, the system switches off automatically.

BMW Wireless Charging also helps the driver to manoeuvre 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.

The GroundPad can also be installed outdoors, where it may be used regardless of the weather conditions. All components that conduct electricity are protected from rain and snow, and driving over the GroundPad will not damage it in any way. During charging, ambient electromagnetic radiation is limited to the vehicle undercarriage. The GroundPad is permanently monitored and will be switched off if any foreign matters are detected. The BMW Group also offers an installation service for BMW Wireless Charging, on request.

The launch of BMW Wireless Charging is further proof of the BMW Group’s ongoing commitment to creating a user-friendly and practical charging infrastructure. Back in 2015, the company was presented with the Momentum for Change Award from the United Nations in recognition of its achievements. In its role as one of the co-founders of the IONITY joint venture, the BMW Group is currently teaming up with other carmakers to set up a Europe-wide fast-charging network with up to 350kW charging power for electric vehicles that should boast around 400 stations by 2020. In addition, the ChargeNow service, originally launched by BMW I, now offers access to more than 130,000 aggregated charging points in 32 countries. It is the largest global network of its kind.

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8 Comments on "BMW Introduces Factory-Fitted Wireless Charging For 530e iPerformance"

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” a WiFi connection enables it to display an overhead view of the car and its surroundings”
No, just no.

Cordless charging could advance EV sales with a standard.

Wireless charging is probably an important feature in new cars.
I’ve seen Mercedes and Audi install and test chargers of different types. Some that can be under ground too.
If charging infrastructure is widely enough developed, the car can change almost every time it is parked.

“Carpad is 890 Euro, Groundpad is 2,315 Euro

Good. More EV miles are good. The most important mile of range is the first one if a car is charged at all, because it’s used every time.

I also hope these weak PHEVs, having all the base equipment, will be easily upgradable to good BEVs or strong PHEVs with future higher-density batteries.

This will definitely drive sales due to the novelty of it all. Too bad they aren’t offering it on the i3, though.

“This will definitely drive sales”
Disagree this has any significance for the vast majority of use cases. In any covered parking place (for a detached-residence garage or underground parking facility), it only takes a few more seconds to plug in, just like plugging in a phone. Since there’s unlikely to be a single standard in use for the car part (location & distance on car footprint would need to be standardized) , it’s only useful for private residential. 85% efficiency is crappy, not good, and will waste a lot of energy.
Larger-pack BEVs which will be the rule, not the exception going forward will need 7kWh+ (net) AC overnight chargers.

A solution in search of a nonexistent problem.