You know that if Apple does it everyone else is going to follow suit soon — which must be why BMW is bringing wireless charging to their line of hybrid electric vehicles. Actually, the German auto-maker’s decision to let drivers wirelessly top-up their vehicles likely has little to do with Apple but it’s a nice little comparison all the same.
BMW has shown off a wireless charging pad for its 5 Series iPerformance hybrids which is able to charge up a flat battery in about 3.5 hours. Without having to go to the trouble of plugging anything into anything else. The charging pad is laid on the floor and the car’s systems direct the driver on how to position the vehicle just so over the little magic box.
Once that’s done, the vehicle — in this case a BMW 530e — starts charging the moment that the engine turns off. It may require more finesse when parking but at least drivers won’t have to fiddle about with cables later — which is also the main reason we’re so fond of smartphone wireless charging pads here at Stuff Towers.
BMW’s wireless charging is currently being tested for the States and for Canada, prior to approval and rollout in those countries. If the Americans don’t have it yet, it’s not very likely to show up in South Africa first but other countries are going to have a crack at it as early as next year. It’s not only the 5 Series hybrids that’ll be getting it, either — the company is going to offer versions for other iPerformance models as well as the BMW i3 and i8.
So we’re going to be behind the curve for a while yet but we do often like to look on the bright side — at least any charging kinks will be worked out by the time BMW’s wireless charging tech makes landfall in South Africa.