BMW i has launched what it claims world first in the form of a factory-fitted, fully integrated inductive charging facility for the high-voltage battery in a plug-in hybrid vehicle. Production will start in July.
As part of its NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy, the BMW Group has developed groundbreaking charging technology that greatly enhances the ease of use and everyday practicality of electrified vehicles.
BMW Wireless Charging option can be ordered now as a leasing-option for the BMW 530e iPerformance. The product offer starts with Germany, subsequently followed by the UK, the US, Japan and China.
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).
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.
BMW Wireless Charging consists of a Inductive Charging Station (GroundPad) 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.
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 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.
The company is also 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. .
Source: BMW Press Release