BMW Introduce Wireless Car Charging
BMW is the first manufacturer to offer customers wireless charging for their car as they introduce the GroundPad...
BMW is taking all the effort out of charging your plug-in hybrid by using inductive charging. This is the same technology used to charge electric toothbrushes and in wireless phone charging pads. It uses two coils, one embedded in the charging unit and one in the item to be charged. An electromagnetic field is set up between the two coils when these are in close proximity which is the force that allows contactless charging to take place.
You will need to have a charging pad installed where you usually park. This can be inside or outside as all electrical components of the GroundPad are fully weatherproofed. You will also need a CarPad installed on the underside of your vehicle. These installations will be completed by professionals in the same way as WallBox installations.
Once both the GroundPad and CarPad are installed, all you will need to do is park over the GroundPad to charge your BMW. To make sure you are parked correctly the BMW can recognise the GroundPad and guide you to it. Once you are close enough coloured directional lines will ensure you are parked in a position that will allow charging to occur via the BMW's infotainment system. When you are in the right place a green circle will appear over the bonnet to let you know you can now turn the car ignition off.
Charging will not begin until the ignition has been turned off and will automatically stop once the battery is full. Initially, this method of charging will only be available with the BMW 5 Series 530e plug-in hybrid but will eventually become available to all hybrid and electric BMW's.
The GroundPad has a 3.5 Kilowatt charging capacity which means it can charge the battery of the 530e in around 3.5 hours from empty to fully charged. The GroundPad system is around 85% efficient which is slightly less efficient compared to a plug in charge. It will also emit ambient radiation. Because of this, the system is designed to stop charging if any foreign object is detected such as the family pet.
When your BMW is charging you will be able to check progress on your smartphone via the BMW app. BMW believe wireless charging in this may makes charging your hybrid or electric car even more simple and hassle free than refuelling at the petrol station.
Production is due to begin in July with the GroundPad due to go on sale in the UK by the end of the year.
Does the GroundPad make you more likely to choose an electric or hybrid car?
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