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BMW, Daimler Developing Wireless Charging System

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 7/9/2014 Karla Sanchez

Everything seems to be going wireless these days, and soon enough, plug-ins may not have to plug in at all. BMW is the next automaker to announce it's working on a wireless charging system, pairing with Daimler to develop a charger that not only gets rid of the cable, but also reduces the time it takes to fully charge a vehicle.

Together, Daimler and BMW have been jointly developing a universal wireless charging system that makes the whole charging process less of a headache. No more having to attach the vehicle to the wall or charging unit. Instead, the two companies have developed a much simpler system that consists of only two coils and a plate. A secondary coil is installed in the vehicle floor, while a primary one is embedded within a separate base plate that sits underneath the car. The vehicle begins to charge thanks to a magnetic field generated between the two coils with a charging rate of 3.6 kW. The average time it takes for a vehicle to be fully charged at that rate is three hours, but BMW charged the i8 using a prototype in just two hours. In an effort to cut charging times down even more, the German automaker reports it's looking into increasing the rate to 7 kW. BMW Conductive Charging© Provided by MotorTrend BMW Conductive Charging

After parking over the plate, charging begins by pushing a button within the vehicle's own operating system. A feature transmitting data via a WiFi connection between the car and plate helps in positioning the car above the plate. The system works in any type of weather, and will not harm cats or dogs that like sleeping underneath cars since it will shut off if it detects a foreign object in its path.

Nissan, Volvo and Toyota are other automakers that have been developing a wireless battery recharging system like this one.

Source: BMW

BMW Conductive Charging© Provided by MotorTrend BMW Conductive Charging

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