BMW to Test Wireless Charging in California

BMW AG is launching a wireless charging program in California for 200 buyers of the carmaker’s 2019-model 530e, plug-in hybrid sedan.

The California initiative follows similar tests that BMW debuted last year in Germany. Participants must live in a residential home with an enclosed garage.

BMW will cover all costs associated with the installation, maintenance and de-installation of the ground pad modules. Charging starts when the car is parked over the induction pad. the pad generates a magnetic field that transfers electricity to a vehicle-mounted receiver connected to the car’s lithium-ion battery.

BMW says the system charges at 3.2 kW with an efficiency of about 85%. At this rate, the car’s battery can be fully recharged in less than four hours.

A wi-fi connection between the base pad and the vehicle helps drivers correctly position the car. An overhead view of the car and its surroundings appears on the center infotainment display screen. A graphic icon indicates when the correct parking position has been reached (within 3 inches longitudinally and about 6 inches laterally).