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BMW’s i-di­vi­sion has launched the first-ever fac­tory-fit­ted, fully in­te­grated in­duc­tive charg­ing fa­cil­ity for its plugin hybrid ve­hi­cles that, on pa­per, make charg­ing even eas­ier than re­fu­elling. This in­ge­nious de­vice en­ables elec­tric en­ergy from the main elec­tric­ity sup­ply to be trans­mit­ted to the ve­hi­cle’s bat­tery pack with­out any ca­bles. The BMW Wire­less Charg­ing con­sists of an In­duc­tive Charg­ing Sta­tion (GroundPad), which can be in­stalled either in a garage or out­doors, while a sec­ondary ve­hi­cle com­po­nent (CarPad) is fixed to the un­der­side of the ve­hi­cle. The con­tact­less trans­fer of en­ergy be­tween the GroundPad and CarPad is con­ducted over a dis­tance of around eight cen­time­tres. The sys­tem has a charg­ing power of 3.2 kW, en­abling the car’s bat­tery pack to be fully charged in about three-and-a-half hours.

The principal ben­e­fit is the un­ri­valled ease of use, as driv­ers no longer need to hook up their plug-in hybrid car us­ing a ca­ble. In­stead, as soon as the ve­hi­cle has been parked in the cor­rect po­si­tion above the charg­ing pad, the process is ini­ti­ated by a sim­ple push of the stop/ start but­ton. Once the bat­tery is fully charged, the sys­tem switches off au­to­mat­i­cally. With pro­duc­tion set to start in

July, BMW is lead­ing the way in the de­vel­op­ment of in­duc­tive charg­ing tech­nol­ogy that greatly en­hances the ease of use and ev­ery­day prac­ti­cal­ity of elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

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