Several automakers have teased the idea of a wireless charging pad that would make it easier to charge electric cars without a pesky cable, but BMW is ahead of the game. The automaker just unveiled a wireless charging pad for the 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid that recharges the battery just like a Sonicare toothbrush.
With the new charging pad, 530e owners simply park over the pad, which is connected to a 220-volt outlet, and it will recharge – without having to connect any wires. Special sensors on the car help guide drivers over the charging pad; once parked, the 530e can be completely recharged in around 3.5 hours.
The technology is ready for public consumption, but it’s not known when it will be available in the U.S. since it hasn’t been approved. Outside the U.S., buyers will be able to purchase the wireless charging technology early next year, but it will only be available for the 530e iPerformance vehicle. A wireless charging system for models like the i3 and i8 will reportedly be made available at a later date.
We also don’t know how much the wireless charging system will cost, but by the time it does arrive in the U.S. hopefully it will be compatible with the rest of BMW’s lineup.