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You Can Now Wirelessly Charge A BMW 5 Series

Technology / 4 Comments

Only this isn't just any 5 Series.

We've known about the BMW 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid for some time, but only this July will production get underway for the optional wireless charging pad. BMW has just announced that it's now taking orders for the system. We previously covered this new feature and though it looks really cool and in principle it's a great idea, there is one annoying drawback: a full charge from a depleted battery requires 3.5 hours. It's important to remember that the 530e iPerformance does not require this system to function; it's merely an extra.

Under its hood is a 2.0-liter turbo four with 184 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. It's combined with an electric motor that's good for another 113 hp and 184 lb-ft. In real-world driving, the car has a maximum range of 404 miles and can manage 31 miles purely in electric mode. But for those who want the latest tech toys, the wireless charging pad is right up your alley. When the vehicle is parked directly over the base pad, it enables electric energy from the mains supply to be transmitted to the car's high-voltage battery, sans cables. You know, like wirelessly charging a phone, only on a much larger scale. Of course this vehicle charging technology is new and will undoubtedly improve over time, which BMW is counting on.

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Customers will receive a charging kit that consists of a ground pad (which generates a magnetic field) that can be installed in a garage or even outdoors, and a secondary vehicle component fixed to the underside of the vehicle. The energy transfer is done over a distance of roughly eight centimeters. A total of 3.2 kW of power comes from the system that feed the sedan's high-voltage batteries. BMW adds that its inductive charging is easier than conventional refueling. The driver can monitor the charging progress via a WiFi connection between the charging station and the vehicle, which is then displayed on the main dash display. Customers in Germany will receive their charging stations first, followed by those in the UK, US, Japan and China.