BMW Patents Novel Way to Charge Electric Motorcycles

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The question around electric motorcycles does not seem to be “if” they will come but “when” they will come, and from that comes a slew of other questions on how we are going to handle mainstream adoption of this budding two-wheeled segment.

From this momentum comes ideas on how best to charge electric vehicles, and we already see the great debate about the various charging standards available to manufacturers. 

BMW Motorrad is tackling the issue was well, and patent applications show that the German brand has a very smart solution for how to charge motorcycles.

The idea uses the motorcycle form factor itself, namely the kickstand, and to couple (not literally) it with a wireless (inductive) charging scheme for easing recharging.

Inductive charging is nothing new, many current smartphones already use the technology, and it is something that has been talked about in transportation for quite some time – usually in the context of roadways that charge vehicles via electromagnetic induction.

To a large degree those ideas for inductive charging for vehicles are non-starters, but when it comes to using the idea of inductive charging for motorcycles, but BMW’s plan is to charge electric motorcycles by putting an induction coil into the motorcycle kickstand, which would rest on a charging pad on the ground.

Because there is direct contact between the motorcycle and the charging pad, the inductive charging system will have peak efficiency (though there will still be loses from the wireless system) to charge the battery.

The plan works best for parking stalls and home garages, especially if the motorcycle is going to sit there for a lengthy period of time.

The concept could be applied to petrol-powered bikes as well, as a replacement for trickle chargers that keep batteries fresh through long periods of non-riding.

For electric motorcycles though, it will take a bit engineering to get the charge times to a reasonable duration, and then there is the issue of fitting enough charging coils in the tight kickstand form factor.

Still, the idea holds merit and the technology is essentially already here to make it a reality.

With BMW Motorrad already with electric scooters in its lineup, and talk of future electric motorcycles to come, we could see this patent application come to life sooner than we think. Stay tuned.

Source: Bike Social

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.