By on July 16, 2014

Mercedes S 500 PHEV

Daimler and BMW just announced a collaboration to help speed up development for wireless charging of both EVs and PHEVs, with the former’s Mercedes S500 PHEV as the test subject.

Autoblog Green reports the system in question will use coils in both the vehicle and charging platform, the latter installed in a garage floor or other stationary point. The system will charge an EV or PHEV at a rate of 3.6 kW, with an efficiency rating of 90 percent.

As for the guinea pig, the S500 PHEV will come with 436 horsepower and around 480 lb-ft of torque between its twin-turbo V6 and hybrid powertrain. In turn, the sedan can travel up to 20 miles on electric-only power, and net the chauffeur 84 mpg on the way to and from his employer’s private resort. The S500 PHEV is due in showrooms this September.

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12 Comments on “Daimler, BMW Collaborate On Wireless Charging...”

  • avatar

    Nikolas Tesla envisioned a world where we would get electricity wirelessly from some sort of suspended electric grid. Pretty neat to see some of that coming into practice.

  • avatar

    Wireless charging parking spots would not only be the best solution to EV, but would give you the gnarliest testicular cancer since Lance Armstrong.

    Have you ever seen a horse being gelded?

    • 0 avatar

      You know, there’s a link between gasoline and testicular cancer:

      Can’t find anything on electromagnetic radiation and testicular cancer – other than the articles about cell phones. I suppose to be safe you could get a switch to turn it off before you get into the car. I wonder what it would do to the chipmunks that run into my garage just to taunt me? If it were to fry them, that alone would be worth the expense of buying the system!

      One issue – I hope this thing is salt resistant. Corrosion that causes salt water to seep into the pad could be a problem. You could be in for a big surprise when you step out of your car when the floor is wet from the winter snow melt.

  • avatar

    Out of all the problems that need to be solved for widespread electric vehicle adoption, I would think the fact that you need to take 15 seconds to plug in a cable is probably at the bottom of the list.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree completely.

      “an efficiency rating of 90 percent.”

      You know how to avoid losing 10% efficiency? Plug it in. Wireless things work less well when it’s cold, or when one of the contacts is dirty, etc etc. You know what gets dirty? The underside of your car.

      • 0 avatar

        Surely the whole point of wireless charging is the lack of contacts, so who cares if the bottom of the car is dirty?

        Basically this is a transformer with an air core, not a particularly efficient coupling for coils. Normal steel cores concentrate the magnetic flux, with air you’re spraying the flux all over the place relatively speaking.

        Lowering the car and its coil closer to the one in the floor helps, so the Germans can now make air springs standard too.

        • 0 avatar

          If you’re going so far as to have a lifting/lowering mechanism anyway, why not just go ahead and make physical contact? It’s not rocket science after all. And certainly more efficient than an air-core transformer.

          • 0 avatar

            Indeed, lifting and lowering would be a complicated process full of expensive and (usually unreliable) air suspension components. Just plug it in! This is creating needless complexity on something which was already complex enough to begin with.

  • avatar

    Since someone else has already commented on the 90% efficiency rating, I’ll pass on that one, but I can’t pass on the other.

    ONLY 3.6kW charge rating? That’s a minimum 10 hours for a car like the Nissan Leaf and almost 25 hours for an 85kW Tesla! Bloomin’ plugging into a standard 15 amp wall socket would waste less electricity and charge just as quickly. A 220volt dryer outlet would be twice as fast. A standard Type-2 charger would be faster still. About the only type of car where this would be effective is something along the lines of a Chevy Volt, that can only go 40 miles on battery alone.


  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    Even if the wireless charging were at efficiencies comparable to wired charging, and even if the wireless receiver were built into the car (rather than being an expensive extra), it’s still (lots) more expensive to trench your garage’s floor than it is to attach a charger to the wall.

    The latter, I already did ( , got a really good price on a refurb) , and install was maybe 1m of 6ga wire and 1hr of an electrician’s time. The former? I would reckon the install cost would be at least $2k all by itself.

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