Testing underway to understand potential for wireless EV charging

A common argument against adopting electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia stems from the lack of charging infrastructure widely available, particularly in rural areas.

While efforts to remedy this issue are improving, it has been predicted that increased uptake of EVs will likely put a strain on the infrastructure that is available. And with a limited number of charging points readily accessible, coupled with longer re-charging times of EVs, drivers are worried that there will not be any charging facilities available on demand when needed.

With this in mind, the concept of wireless charging pads has been explored recently as an alternative potential option of charging.

Wireless charging has divided researchers. While the flexibility it offers in terms of not requiring vehicles to be parked directly near a charging point is appealing, wireless charging is not capable of providing the same rate of charge as plugged-in charging. Wireless charging also requires the vehicle to be parked with the vehicle’s underbody charging plate directly above the charging pad.

American company Momentum Dynamics specialize in EV charging technology and have developed a fast-charging wireless charger capable of producing charging results similar to charging plugs.

The company are currently in the process of testing this technology with partnering company CEVT and recently demonstrated the high-powered wireless charging pads.

The demonstration involved a vehicle equipped with autonomous parking technology accurately parking itself in-line with the charging pad, with the charging pad communicating to the vehicle via “real-time alignment feedback”.

The goal for this technology, according to Momentum Dynamics, is to create a method of charging void of human interaction.

“This technology provides an effective solution for the charging of vehicles without the need for human interaction,” said a statement from Momentum Dynamics.

The high-powered charging pad is capable of charging at 65kW, however the demonstration was performed at a more manageable 40kW. To put this in context, a typical cable charger will charge at approximately 50kW.

With trials currently ongoing, Momentum Dynamics plans to enter the next phase of development in the near future, which involves expanding the technology to other types of vehicles.

“Wireless charging has clear applications in distributed fleet situations such as last-mile delivery: it is important for fleet efficiency that autonomous delivery vehicles can continue in service while automatically charging in strategic locations, without the need for a person or complex robot to dock the vehicle to a cable-based charging port.”

Following successful trials, Momentum Dynamics CEO Andrew Daga believes wireless charging will play a large role in EV charging into the future.

“Automatic wireless charging is the inevitable future of EV charging,” said Daga.

“No other system can match the efficiency, cost effectiveness and convenience of truly hands-free high-power wireless charging, where no human or mechanic interaction between the charger and the vehicle is required.”

Source: Caradvice | Wireless EV charging and auto parking tech combined in car trials

2 March 2020

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