Mercedes could bring wireless charging to the S-Class in 2017

What do you call a plug-in hybrid that you don’t have to plug in? No, really, I want to know.

Mercedes announced on Monday that it “should” have wireless inductive charging ready for the 2017 model year. Specifically, it aims to introduce the technology in its refreshed S500e plug-in, hybrid, full-size sedan.

The inductive charging won't replace the good-old plug charge port.

The inductive charging won’t replace the good-old plug charge port.

The production system will work like aftermarket or concept examples we’ve seen before. The S500e will have a coil mounted in the front underneath the car. Using visual prompts displayed on the in-dash screen, the driver will position that coil over the primary coil base plate.

Most people might place this plate on the garage floor or perhaps, as Mercedes suggests, “in a protected area in front of a carport.”

Once the coil is over the plate, Mercedes claims the system is 90% efficient. This means charging times will be nearly identical to those gained using a wall plug.

Presumably, Mercedes won’t make it too difficult for a driver to position the car over the plate. Because, let’s be frank, if you find yourself Austin Powers-ing the car back and forth to find the charging sweet spot, you might as well just plug it in.

Precise positioning concerns, however, could be solved with autonomous or driverless parking systems. It’s not clear whether Mercedes will include such a program along with the wireless charging. However, since it already has piloted parking in the all-new E-Class, it could implement a similar system for the S500e.

Of course, the inductive charging won’t replace the good-old plug charge port. So if you really enjoy the ritual of plugging in at night, you still can.

Published in Mashable.
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