Car enthusiasts everywhere have been rejoicing with the news that it may soon be possible to wirelessly charge your car.
Two recent reports, one by Car Magazine and the other by Autoblog, have confirmed that German multinational BMW will start producing an inductive charging pad in July for release in the US and Europe end of summer.
A world-first production
“BMW will begin building its world-first production-ready inductive charging systems in July 2018 – and it’s set to work with many of the firm’s plug-in hybrid models (PHEVs),” wrote Car’s Gareth Evans.
The automotive blog reported that BMW said market-specific details would be revealed “before the end of summer 2018” and that the tech would be “available exclusively on a leasing deal with a 5-series 530e iPerformance.”
Autoblog reported the luxury automobile maker said the tech will be launching full-scale exclusively in Europe while in the US the mat would "be a pilot program limited to the 530e in California only."
BMW has been eyeing wireless car charging for a few years now. The company had even signed an agreement with German multinational automotive corporation Daimler four years ago to cooperate on spearheading the technology.
"The user no longer needs a charging cable between the car and socket in the wall to supply the energy storage unit of the car with new energy. In future, the vehicle will simply drive over a flat station and non-contact charging is started – for example at home, at work or even on the road during a stopover," had stated the agreement.
Their vision is now here albeit a bit slow: the new inductive mat is said to be approximately 15% slower than plugging the car into the wall. There is an estimated time of around 3.5 hours to charge the 530e's very small 9.2 kWh battery.
An increased convenience
Regardless, the development still presents an increased convenience for car owners particularly considering the technology is elegantly and efficiently designed for optimum user experience. The mat has been well-thought out from charging procedures to safety features.
The new system is equipped with an in-car display on the infotainment screen that guides drivers on how to position the vehicle over the mat. Once the car is in properly stationed, the driver can simply press a button inside the car to start charging.
An app powered by Wi-Fi reports to the driver all progress. The mat is also suitable for use indoors or out and capable of detecting intruding objects such as household pets avoiding any potentially dangerous situations.
The new mat is also compliant with high safety standards. The charging system’s field strength is well within regulatory limits, while the resulting electromagnetic radiation from operation is less than that of a standard kitchen hotplate.
The new mat is in line with BMW's 100th-anniversary corporate campaign unveiled last year highlighting themes such as innovation and electro-mobility. “Our philosophy of constantly looking to the future and setting high standards of innovation is what drives the day-to-day work of BMW Group associates,” had said Bill Mc Andrews, head of Communications Strategy, Corporate Communications and Market Communications.