Induktiv Modernizes the E9X Platform with Wireless Charging

It's Sunday morning and in 30 minutes, you'll be cruising in your old school BMW with a group of friends. You've been waiting for this moment, to trounce the back roads all the way to redline after piloting a pedestrian daily for six straight days. There's only one thing that you wish your analog Sunday driver had from your daily: wireless charging.

It's true, we've gotten a bit spoiled by modern amenities and I still wish that BMW Classic would, someday, pull a Porsche and develop some trick OE CarPlay retrofit kits for all of us who are holding onto the naturally aspirated Bimmers of yesteryear. While we continue to cross our fingers, Induktiv has given us Bimmer faithfuls a touch of modernity that we so desperately crave. Its wireless chargers—now available for E46, E8X, E9X, and F30/F8X chassis—are the industry's best plug-and-play solutions. The E9X kit (pictured here) replaces one of two things: a simple storage tray or an even more antiquated car amenity: a mobile ashtray and lighter.

Induktiv's components are 100% engineered, designed, and assembled in San Diego, CA, and feature a 15W fast charging coil that works with all Qi enabled devices (including your AirPods). The trays are constructed from high quality injection molded ABS plastic, while the actual charging units are available in either a matte black or gloss carbon finish. The former is the way to go for a more OEM+ feel. A plug and play harness—which you'll only need if your car didn't come with the Smoker's Package—along with a T10 Allen wrench is included for easy installation.

The entire retrofit can be completed start to finish in under 30 minutes. The shift knob pulls directly upward. Once that's removed, the accompanying shift boot lifts up, too. I find it easiest to unseat the two retaining clips closest to the center stack first.

Starting from the back of the center console, use a plastic pry tool to gently lift the "lid" from its base. Once the most rearward retaining pins are unseated, you can carefully move forward, popping the trim progressively until the lid is fully separated.

Before getting too far, disconnect every plug on the trim piece. On my car, which has the Smoker's Package and iDrive, there were three total plugs before the lid was fully free of the console base.

The Smoker's Package ashtray is secured at each corner with four T10 Torx bolts. Once you remove these, the ashtray can be carefully removed from the console trim. If your car only has the OEM storage mat, simply push the rubber "knob" up from the inside of the existing tray.

Installation is effectively the reverse of removal. The four T10 Torx bolts affix the Induktiv tray and charger combo into the available console trim recess. Once properly fitted, the trim assembly is ready to go back into the car.

Even though the Smoker's Package required a bit more fiddling (four T10 Torx bolts) to get the OE ashtray out, the factory option makes the next step incredibly easy. Once the trim assembly is back in the cabin, you can forego Induktiv's included wire harness. This would typically route through the center console base and out the backside where it would mate with the rear seats' 12V lighter plug for power. By contrast, removing the Induktiv wire harness extension reveals an identical plug to the OE ashtray. Simply plug this into the factory plug and you're in business.

Next, reinstate all the other console lid plugs. Before fully seating the console lid onto the base, I turned the car onto accessory mode to verify that the Induktiv charger was successfully pulling power. With that confirmed, I pressed the lid uniformly into place and then reinstalled the shift boot and knob.

The entire process was incredibly straightforward and the charger has been a useful upgrade, both in terms of replenishing battery capacity but also as a definitive place to store a modern smartphone in a car that was never designed to accommodate one gracefully. Thank you to Induktiv for hooking me up with this E9X version for my E90 M3! It was a pleasure to finally meet you at the Grid Icons: NA Heroes event in Long Beach. Now back to wishing for that OE CarPlay unit!

Specific Induktiv installation instructions for E90, E91, E92, and E93 models can be found here.