BMW Inductive Charging Technology Presented at 2015 CES
At the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, we learned that the BMW Group has plans to introduce wireless charging for its plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. The Bavarian automaker installed the new inductive technology in the BMW i8 first.
BMW and Daimler are working together in developing inductive charging. It’s obvious that the German giants see the future of the green automotive technology in EVs and plug-in hybrids. It’s true that the all-electric BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles are pretty rare at this point, but we expect more of those in the future.
The inductive charging technology introduced at the 2015 CES consists of two coils. One is placed on the floor, while the other is located at the bottom of the vehicle. Using a magnetic field, the electricity is transmitted between the coils at 3.3 kW.
The BMW i8 has a high-voltage battery which takes less than two hours to fully charge using the inductive charging technology. Wire charging takes approximately two hours, too. The driver doesn’t have to do anything in order to start inductive charging. When the car is placed exactly above the base pad, the transfer starts automatically.
However, if there are some obstructions between the coils, charging isn’t possible. Since this is a high-end sophisticated technology, the charging process can be monitored remotely using a smartphone app. The app displays the current status, potential driving range and how much time remains to the fully charged state. The wireless charging technology can conduct the charging process even in snow or in the wet.
In the near future, the automaker will offer an inductive charging system with a more than doubled charge rate. The new system will charge the batteries with 7 kW. This means that they would install higher-capacity batteries in the future cars and the charging time is going to be shorter.