BMW is quietly rolling out wireless electric car charging, though only a handful of people will be able to get access to the convenience tech at first. The automaker previewed its BMW Wireless Charging system last year, alongside the new 530e plug-in hybrid.
The system works with a wireless charging pad that’s designed to be put on the floor of a garage. When the BMW 530e pulls near the pad, guidance lines shown on a top-down view of the car through one of the dashboard displays help the driver position it.
In place, the car charges via a wireless power receiver mounted underneath, avoiding the need to plug it in manually. Although its 3.2 kW charging rate is not as quick as a wired charger could be – taking roughly 3.5 hours to fully charge the 530e’s battery – the convenience is expected to be the primary draw. After all, with most EV charging taking place at home, anything which makes that process easier has to be a good thing.
What BMW wouldn’t say last year is just when the wireless charging system would be available in the US. Now, through a pilot programoperated by Qmerit, the first 530e drivers will have access. That is, assuming they live in California and satisfy a couple of other criteria.