MAY 14, 2018 06:35 AM PDT

Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging Pads From BMW

WRITTEN BY: Julia Travers

In May 2018, German car manufacturer BMW announced that it was beginning production of its wireless electric-vehicle charging system in July of the same year. This charging innovation is intended to serve its hybrid plug-in electric line and will first be made available for its 5-series 530e iPerformance.

BMW wireless charging tech, credit: BMW

BMW’s product relies on inductive charging, which creates an electromagnetic field -- an invisible area of energy that is an electrical and magnetic field combined -- between two objects to transfer energy. It’s referred to as a charging pad system and is made up of a primary coil in a pad on the ground and a correlating one under the car. Together, they essentially form a transformer – a device which transfers energy. This is the same technology that is used to wirelessly charge cell phones.

“Essentially you’ve got two physical coils, one which converts energy into an electromagnetic field that can travel wirelessly, and one which converts that floating field back into energy again ..." David Nield of Gizmodo said of inductive charging.

According to BMW:

An alternating magnetic field is generated between the two coils, through which electricity is transmitted without cables or contacts at a charge rate of up to 3.2kW. This form of power supply to the high-voltage battery is extremely convenient for customers and involves a charging time of around 3.5 hours.

This charging time is comparable to plug-in options, which can take from a half-hour up to 12, depending on the battery size, state and charging point. Many owners of EVs charge their cars overnight. BMW’s new charging system can be installed in a home garage or in an outdoor private or public setting, meaning it could increase and add variety to current EV charging station options on the road. According to Digital Trends, it works in any weather setting.

The BMW vehicles that work with the inductive pad are outfitted with guidance programs in their display screens. Blue lines guide the driver in and green lines alert them to being aligned over the pad correctly. When the car turns off, charging begins. The company states the electromagnetic field is within safety and regulatory limits, and that its electromagnetic radiation emission levels are less than what a kitchen hotplate gives off.

BMW plans to have this product available in Europe before the fall of 2018. California 530e drivers will also get to try it out in a limited pilot program.

BMW is not the only car manufacturer embracing wireless charging. For example, Tesla, Chevy and Nissan have compatible optional wireless charging accessories from the American company Plugless for their EVs, which BMW does with its i3 model as well. Meanwhile, U.S-based Qualcomm is developing charging while driving tech, called Dynamic Electric Vehicle Charging, or DEVC.

2017 was the top year so far for EV sales overall, with 199,826 sold – up more than 25 percent since 2016. As more drivers embrace electric driving technology, convenient, drive-up, no-plug charging will likely become more popular, prevalent and expected.

The BMW wireless charging product can be viewed in the video below.

Sources:

Digital Trends

BMW

Gizmodo

About the Author
  • Julia Travers is a writer, artist and teacher. She frequently covers science, tech and conservation.
You May Also Like
JUL 25, 2018
Technology
JUL 25, 2018
3D Model of The Human Heart Ventricle
In a study published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, scientists of Harvard University, in collaboration between SEAS, Wyss, Boston Children's Hospita...
JUL 25, 2018
Videos
JUL 25, 2018
How Dangerous is a Lightning Strike to an Airplane?
Lightning frequently strikes airplanes as they fly through the clouds thousands of feet above the Earth’s surface, but is there any reason for airpla...
AUG 07, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 07, 2018
Why Does the James Webb Space Telescope Keep Getting Delayed?
The James Webb Space Telescope is set to become NASA’s latest and greatest space-based observatory, superseding the Hubble Space Telescope as the big...
AUG 22, 2018
Neuroscience
AUG 22, 2018
Testing For Cognitive Decline Made Easier
In any form of disease, the sooner a diagnosis is found, the sooner treatment can begin. Finding a health problem early is the best way to increase the cha...
AUG 28, 2018
Neuroscience
AUG 28, 2018
Magnetic Stimulation and Memory Formation
With rising rates of dementia, the subject of memory and how to stay mentally sharp is a common focus for research studies. The brain has an elaborate syst...
SEP 01, 2018
Videos
SEP 01, 2018
Modeling the Blood Brain Barrier on a Chip
Organ chips are great for studying parts of the human body that are challenging to explore....
Loading Comments...