Wireless charging for cars finally available
Wireless charging for a car can be purchased for the first time in some European countries, among them Germany and the Netherlands. The offering manufacturer is BMW, on the BMW 530e.
The principle of wireless charging is known for years. Owners of an electric tooth brush can see that the battery in the brush is loading through induction charging via a magnetic field.
By doing so, one of the disadvantages of the (semi) electric car is solved: the owner doesn’t have to unroll a cable and/or plug-in anymore, he just has to position his car on the right spot and the battery is automatically charged.
At the launch of its new 5-Series last year, BMW announced this possibility, wireless charging for cars. From now on the system becomes available in Germany, soon also in the Netherlands. The system consists of a CarPad in the car (costing 950 euro in the Netherlands) and a charging plate to lay on the floor (2.380 euro extra).
A monitor on the dashboard guides the driver so that the system can work, the battery of the BMW 530e, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), can be charged in 3,5 hours at a capacity of 3,2 kWh. Radiation of the system is confined to the spot under the car and interrupted when a living creature comes in the vicinity.
To cut costs and promote a rapid expansion of the (same) system, this type of wireless charging has been developed jointly with Daimler, which will offer the system also very soon.
Not in Belgium
While Germany and the Netherlands have already jumped on board, the Belgian BMW importer has chosen not to offer this possibility in Belgium for the moment, reasons unknown. That’s a pity for two reasons: the bad loading infrastructure in the country and the laziness of PHEV clients who often have chosen this type of car because of tax incentives but omit plugging in.
Given the cost of the system and the relatively low charging speed, such a system is meant to be installed in safe spots like closed garages, where the car can charge for several hours. That’s why the above mentioned manufacturers, joined by Ford and the VW Group, are working on their own network of quick-charging stations throughout Europe, parallel to the one that Tesla has installed.
There have already been tests with wireless charging while driving (the road is actually a long charging plate), but today it still is really expensive and in developing phase.