There's been a lot of talk about adding wireless charging features to cars, though the main focus has been to try and figure out how they can charge up as you drive around. But you have to start somewhere, and BMW has confirmed that it will be starting to produce its inductive charging pad in July.
BMW originally announced this last September, but only gave a vague "2018" release date which is generally rather unhelpful. Fortunately Car Magazine says that sources at BMW have confirmed that the pad will be ready for release before the end of the summer. That means, given the July production date, we're probably looking at something around late August or early September.
If you had your heart set on using inductive charging on your car, you naturally don't have a lot of options. One, in fact, because BMW will only initially be making the pad available for the 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid, and even then it will only be available if you have some sort of lease deal. TechRadar does point out, however, that the pads can be modified work with the BMW i3 and i8 hybrid, since they are used as the Medical and Safety car in Formula E and use inductive charging to stay topped up without having to worry about being plugged in.
According to BMW the wireless charging pad is capable of full charging the in three and a half hours, guiding drivers into the right position and automatically engaging once the engine has been switched off. It also has a proximity sensor to switch off the inductive charging features should an animal (like your cat) decide to take a snooze under the car. It has been confirmed that support for the pad will roll out to other electric cars BMW has to offer, though it's currently unclear when and which models will be included.
It's a nice idea, albeit slightly limited in its inception, though I do wonder just how much more convenient it makes home charging. If you have a garage then there's no conceivable reason why you wouldn't have a plug-in charging box installed. That way you don't need to be exact with your parking, but hey, everyone has their preferences. [Car Magazine via TechRadar]