The BMW 530e inductive charging pilot program received the Green Car Journal’s Green Car Technology of the Year award. The Pilot Program allows participating BMW customers to test and provide valuable feedback on using wireless inductive technology to charge their BMW 530e plug-in-hybrid sedans, instead of having to plug the vehicle in using a wall-mounted charging box. BMW is the first automotive manufacturer to make this technology available to customers in the marketplace.
The pilot program began in Germany in 2018, and expanded to the U.S. in mid-2019. Available in the state of California for a small group of qualifying residential home customers, the program included a 36-month lease of a specially equipped 530e sedan and home installation of the inductive charging equipment.
BMW Wireless Charging consists of an Inductive Charging Station (GroundPad) and a secondary vehicle component (CarPad) fixed to the underside of the vehicle. The contactless transfer of energy between the GroundPad and CarPad is completed over a distance of around three inches. The inductive charging components generate a magnetic field, which allows for the safe transfer of energy with an efficiency rate of around 85%.
The system has a charging power of 3.2 kW, enabling the high-voltage batteries on board the BMW 530e to be fully charged in around three and a half hours.
“BMW Wireless Charging represents a milestone in the evolution of vehicle electrification, making owning and driving a plug-in hybrid vehicle an even more seamless experience,” said Ron Cogan, Editor and Publisher of Green Car Journal and GreenCarJournal.com. “Today’s pairing of BMW’s innovative inductive charging and 530e plug-in hybrid illustrates how the future of automatic electric vehicle charging can be as simple as parking your car. It’s a deserving winner of 2020 Green Car Technology of the Year™.”