BMW is bringing BMW’s global Induction Charging Pilot Program to the US. The pilot program began in Germany in 2018. The pilot program is available in the state of California for 200 interested, qualifying residential home customers who are able to charge inside an enclosed garage space. Availability is based on 200-equally equipped 530e program lease vehicles.
The pre-qualification process begins with an online questionnaire to help determine location suitability. The next step involves a 530e Readiness Survey about the garage and local electric grid. Approved participants will then receive a confirmation number to take to one of 33 participating CA dealers to complete the 36-month lease of the 530e Sedan. Qmerit will then complete the residential hardware installation.
All costs, expenses and expenditures associated with the initial installation, maintenance and de-installation of the Ground Pad Module are covered by BMW. Participating dealers cover thirteen CA counties including San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Alameda and Sonoma counties in Northern CA and Orange, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Santa Clara, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties in southern CA.
BMW Wireless Charging enables electric energy from a main power supply, via installed GroundPad, to be transmitted to a vehicle’s high-voltage battery without any cables when the vehicle is positioned over an induction base pad. This can be installed in the garage, for example, and the charging process started as soon as the vehicle has been parked in position without any further input from the driver.
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 conducted over a distance of around three inches. The GroundPad generates a magnetic field. In the CarPad an electric current is induced, which then charges the high-voltage battery.
The system has a charging power of 3.2 kW, enabling the high-voltage batteries on board the BMW 530e iPerformance to be fully charged in around three-and-a-half hours with an efficiency rate of around 85%.
BMW Wireless Charging helps the driver maneuver the 530e into the correct parking position with the help of a WiFi connection between the charging station and vehicle. An overhead view of the car and its surroundings is displayed in center Control Display with colored lines that help guide the driver into the correct spot. A graphic icon shows when the correct parking position for inductive charging has been reached. This can deviate from the optimum position by up to 2.75 inches longitudinally and up to 5.5 inches laterally. All components that conduct electricity are protected from rain and snow, and driving over the GroundPad will not damage it in any way.
During charging, ambient electromagnetic radiation is limited to the vehicle undercarriage. The GroundPad is permanently monitored and will be switched off if any foreign matters are detected.