Official: BMW developing inductive charging systems for electric and plug-in hybrid cars

Article by Andrew Christian, on July 8, 2014

BMW is not the first and will definitely not be the last carmaker to focus its attention over the development of systems for inductive charging of electric as well as plug-in hybrid cars. Still, the Bavarian carmaker officially released today the first details regarding its architecture and structure of inductive charging.

Its sophisticated charging station features the fast-charge facility for feeding cars with power at home or at work. According to BMW, the development objective in the medium term is to put solutions for inductive charging into production.

These solutions will be used on the BMW i cars such as the i3 and i8 but also for the upcoming plug-in hybrid models such as the X5 eDrive. Apparently, there is an advantage of inductive power supply over the conventional charging stations.

BMW and Daimler already signed an agreement on the joint development and implementation of a standardized technology for inductive charging of electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles. For those folks who don’t know how inductive charging works we will explain a little but this technology.

The system consists of two components: a secondary coil in the vehicle floor as well as a base plate with integral primary coil located underneath the car, for example on the garage floor. The electrical energy is transmitted via an alternative magnetic field generated between the coils at a charging rate of 3.6 kW.

This method has an efficiency factor of over 90 percent. BMW says that its i8 plug-in hybrid sports car can be fully recharged using induction in less than three hours.

Still, the company says that in the future, charging rate will be increased to 7 kW, which means you will be able to charge a vehicle in just 1 hour and a half.

What’s more interesting is that inductive charging is not affected by rain or snow, which means that the primary coil can be installed outdoors. A smartphone application will be available too, showing the battery’s charge status or the time remaining until charging is complete. [source: BMW]

Topics: bmw, plug-in hybrid

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