BMW is working on making life easier for electric vehicle (EV) owners. The carmaker is developing wireless charging technology as a part of a joint venture with Daimler, thereby allowing drivers to charge their EVs without any cables. The wireless technology will be able to fully charge BMW i8s under two hours.
With the new technology, BMW says, EV owners will only have to position their cars over a base plate in the ground. The base plate will transfer electricity at a rate of 3.6kW through an alternating magnetic field. There will be one coil in the car and one embedded in the base plate that will allow transfer of electricity. The connection can be established via a Wi-Fi connection and the charging process can be activated through a button inside the car.
BMW said its tech will also be able to cope with more complex electric vehicles and larger batteries, and will be able to transfer current at a rate of up to 7kW if required.
BMW, however, isn't the only carmaker to explore wireless charging technology. Nissan and Toyota are both working on similar systems. It has also rumoured that inductive charging could also be used on UK roads in the future.
While BMW hasn't yet set a date by which it aims to bring the technology into the market, judging by the rate at which electric vehicles are being sold in the UK - latest figures place sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles up by over 50 percent in the first six months of 2014 - it can be expected that the technology will be out by the end of the decade.