The hardware for wireless charging consists of an inductive charging station (GroundPad), which can be installed both in a garage and outdoors, and a vehicle component (CarPad) mounted on the vehicle underbody. The contactless transmission of energy between the GroundPad and CarPad takes place over a distance of eight centimetres. The GroundPad generates a magnetic field. A current is induced in the CarPad which charges the high-voltage battery. The ground pad is continuously monitored for foreign objects; as soon as such a foreign object is detected, the system switches off the charging process.
The system has a charging capacity of 3.2 kW. This means that the high-voltage batteries in the BMW 530e iPerformance can be fully charged in around three and a half hours. At around 85%, the efficiency of the overall system is already close to the level for charging with cables, where around 92% is currently achieved.
When the parking position is reached, the charging process is automatically initiated as soon as the driver has switched off the engine. This will make charging even easier than refuelling, BMW advertises. The optional equipment for wireless charging is to be available only for leased vehicles.