BMW Will Soon Have a GroundPad Wireless Inductive Charger For Its PHEV Models [News]

BMW GroundPad wireless charging
[Photo: BMW]

You knew this was coming eventually.

BMW is offering a more convenient way to charge up your electric car when you get home each day. Right now, the notion of actually plugging in your car to charge it over night is, for some, a nuisance. With this device, however, that may be about to change. Inductive charging, or the ability to wirelessly charge devices using an electromagnetic field, has been around in smartphones for a few years now. Now, BMW wants to bring that technology to the world of cars with its wireless charging system, the GroundPad.

The company is supporting to feature in the BMW 530e PHEV first, and it works as you’d expect. When you get home each night, just park your car on top of the charging mat, and the system will charge the car for you. No more having to fumble around with cables. There are actually two charging pads in the equation – the one over which you park, and then another affixed to the bottom of the car. When you’re parked, a small electromagnetic field pumps current into the car.

The system charges a 530e at 3.2 kW, so it takes about three and a half hours to charge its battery. That’s less efficient than just plugging it in, of course, but that’s the trade-off you make for the sake of convenience. BMW also claims the GroundPad can be installed outdoors and works regardless of the weather conditions.

BMW plans to start production in July, and is only offering it under lease in Germany for now. Beyond that, they’ll offer the feature in the U.S. as well. Compatibility will likely spread to other future plug-in hybrid models, including the 3 Series, 7 Series, and the X5.

Stay tuned to for more updates!