BMW Is Getting Serious About Wireless EV Charging


If electric cars are ever to take off in America, they’ve simply got to be more convenient than gas cars. It’s not enough that you can plug in your EV at home though, as BMW is one of many companies working to take the plug out of plug-in cars. This week BMW again showed off its wireless charging system on the i8 hybrid supercar.

If you’ll recall, a wirelessly charging BMW i8 first appeared as a pace car for the Formula E series. Working alongside Mercedes-Benz, BMW is hoping to bring inductive charging (the formal name) to homes in the not-too-distant future. How’s it work? The short version is magnetic fields, though BMW claims they’re not nearly powerful enough to present any sort of health risks for home occupants. These things won’t sizzle your bacon while you sleep.

Without a plug, the BMW i8 and wirelessly recharge its 7.1 kWh battery pack in just 2 hours, while the larger battery in the i3 would take most of the night to top off. The standard parking assist system will help drivers align the battery with the wireless transmitter to ensure maximum efficiency, and once you take plugs out of the equation, the convenience factor goes up exponentially. There are currently a handful of wirelessly recharging electric bus concepts, but relatively few options for charging personal transportation.

And if there’s anything Americans love, it’s a big heaping pile of convenience. If electric cars can undercut gas cars by being easy to operate and maintain, it won’t be long until most of American gets on the EV bandwagon.

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.