Wireless charging is coming soon to electric cars as well

science SCIENCE / TECHNOLOGY
Published:

Wireless car charging has been teased for a few years, but it's set to enter the consumer market officially this year after BMW confirmed it'll start production of an inductive charging pad in July.

Originally announced back in September 2017, and teased with a simple "2018 arrival", the German auto manufacturer has now provided more information on when we can expect to pick up the wireless charging pad for electric vehicles.

That's according to a report from Car, which sites word from from BMW that the pad will arrive "before the end of summer 2018", which means we're possibly looking at a late August/early September time frame.

BMW’s charging technology comprises a base pad with an integrated primary coil that can be installed not only in a garage, but also outdoors. A secondary coil is located in the underside of the vehicle.

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. When the driver parks over the pad in a car that has the wireless technology, blue lines on the car’s display guide the driver to the precise position to enable charging to begin. Green circles appear when the vehicle is perfectly aligned. Charging starts automatically the moment you turn off the ignition. 

An app keeps the driver informed of charging progress, and will also alert the driver to any disturbances to the process such as a cat or other animal resting on the pad. For the safety conscious, BMW says the inductive charging system’s field strength falls well within regulatory limits, while the electromagnetic radiation it produces is less than that of a typical kitchen hotplate.


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