You’ll soon be able to say goodbye to plugging up your EV up every night. BMW Group and Daimler have announced a joint venture in the development and implementation of a standardised technology for inductive wireless charging for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Fleet testing will soon commence on the Mercedes-Benz S 500 Plug-In Hybrid.
The system consists of two components – a base plate that contains the primary coil, located on the floor under which the vehicle parks on, and a secondary coil tucked away into the under tray of the car. Electrical energy flows through the alternating electromagnetic field generated by the two coils, charging the car wirelessly at a rate of 3.6 kW and at over 90% efficiency.
The current rate of charging will ensure that a typical plug-in hybrid could be fully charged in under three hours (in fact, it took less than two hours to charge an BMW i8 using a fully-working prototype). Moving forward, engineers are hoping to up the charging rate to 7 kW, which would be enough for a fully electric vehicle like the i3 (which has a higher energy storage capacity) to be fully charged overnight.
The wireless charging technology is unaffected by adverse weather conditions such as rain or snow, meaning that the setup can even be installed outdoors. Ambient electromagnetic radiation is also kept to a minimum, and constant monitoring of the space between the primary and secondary coils allows the charging to be halted instantly if a foreign body is detected. So, no unintentionally frying your cat, then.
Daimler has also announced revised performance and fuel efficiency figures for the S 500 Plug-In Hybrid. With a combined 436 hp and 650 Nm from both its 3.0 litre biturbo V6 and an electric motor, the top W222 S-Class hybrid will be able to sprint to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds (0.3 seconds faster than previously quoted) while returning just 2.8 litres per 100 km (3.0 litres per 100 km before) and 65 grams of CO2 per kilometre.