BMW Announces Plans to Bring Wireless Charging to the 530e iPerformance Plug-In Hybrid – The Drive
BMW is coming out with a “comfortable way to charge your BMW plug-in hybrid” according to a new video. The automaker is expected to be first to the market with wireless charging capabilities for an electric or plug-in hybrid car.
At least one company has experimented with this kind of technology before, but BMW may be the first brand to make it commercially available.
It works kind of like wireless charging for a cell phone, but for a car. You simply put a charging pad on the floor of your garage. The infotainment screen guides you to park right where you need to for the wireless charging to work. Charging starts automatically and you get a full charge in 3.5 hours. You can even monitor the charging on your smartphone to see how much juice you have and when your battery is expected to be full.
At first, this new tech will only be available for the BMW 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid. Unfortunately, wireless car charging won’t be available in the U.S. for some time. We reached out to BMW asking if and when this industry-exclusive technology was coming stateside and were told that it’s “currently in the testing and evaluation phase by BMW [North America] and will require UL certification for implementation in the U.S.”
UL is an American safety organization that serves 104 countries. UL stands for “Underwriters Laboratories” and it’s an OSHA approved company that tests, inspects, and certifies products for commercial availability. When BMW wireless charging gets the UL stamp of approval, it will be a step closer to your garage.
We also asked BMW if we can expect to see this technology available for the Mini Cooper S E Countryman plug-in hybrid or the upcoming Mini EV, but BMW was unable to confirm or deny Mini wireless charging. The BMW eDrive plug-in hybrid system was introduced for the BMW brand and eventually made its way to Mini, and we’re guessing something similar will happen with wireless charging.
While it’s hard to say when it will be available and pricing is a mystery, this is still pretty exciting technology that can bring us closer to widespread EV adoption.